Ebola Virus: Fashola Advises FG To Close Some Borders

IMG_0444The Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola, has advised the Federal Government of Nigeria to consider closing some of the nation’s borders to ensure that the deadly Ebola Virus does not spread across the border to the country.

Addressing reporters in Lagos on Friday, Governor Fashola urged members of the Customs and Immigration Services at the nation’s borders to demonstrate professionalism in order to checkmate the spread of the deadly disease.

“Quite aside from localising the spread, the men and women at our border posts, especially the Customs and the Immigration Services must now know that they are our first line of defence.

“What happens going forward depends on how professionally they act. It is prevention rather than just calling health workers to come and quarantine people that are really the strongest defence now against the migration of the virus,” he emphasised.

Fashola commended the State’s Ministry of Health and all the Health workers for their prompt response and professional conduct to ensure the prevention of the spread of the disease when a victim of the Ebola Virus who flew in from Liberia, Patrick Sawyer, died in a hospital in the State. He pointed out that the spread of the disease would be more easily contained if it is localised than to increase the epidemic. He also emphasised that  the disease was no longer a local problem.

“It is an international problem because it is being transmitted across the borders.

“From what I gather, unless the spread of the disease is localised it becomes increasingly more difficult to stop its epidemic. We must make that choice now and consider it very seriously. It is a national security issue and I think we should give it the required attention,” he said.

He therefore urged Lagosians to be vigilant and appealed to  all lagosians to desist from public defecation.

“We have also been appealing against public defecation. This is the time to really stop it now that we know the serious health risks”, Fashola said.

The governor, told reporters that the Ministry of Health had finished the decontamination of the hospital where the body of the Ebola victim was kept and the hospital would get the global certification that is necessary at the appropriate time for it to reopen.

according to him, some of the people who had contact with the victim have been tested, with the result showing they do not have the virus.

“But we are not resting. We heard news of the body of another victim brought to another part of the country from Liberia. So there is still need to be vigilant especially monitoring our border post security by Customs and Immigration and to act professionally to report every incident that they suspect,” he said.

Present at the press interaction were the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Aderemi Ibirogba, the Special Adviser on Information and Strategy, Mr Lateef Raji and his counterpart on Media, Mr Hakeem Bello.

West Africa Is Not Ready For Single Currency – Isemede

vlcsnap-2014-07-22-17h12m47s210As West African countries plan monetary union that will see all countries under the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) maintain a single currency, the Director of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture,(NACCIMA) says the region is not ready for such development. 

Speaking on Channels Television’s Program, Business Morning, on Tuesday, Mr John Isemede said that West Africa was not ready for the single currency because most Francophone countries had no control over their interest rate or exchange rate, a situation that would create chances of over devaluation of other countries’ currencies.

“We have been on the project for over 10 years. Ghana and Nigeria was not devaluated the same day but the Francophone countries were devaluated the same day.

“We  don’t have ECOWAS central bank and should get a central bank by oraganising the sub-region, before planning to unify the currency in African countries. We have to put our house in order and put the sub-region as one body,” he emphasised.

The Director General of NACCIMA insisted that “before ECOWAS begins to promote the single currency and businesses, West Africa needs to make the region a conducive place for business”.  He suggested that the monetary agency should use their own local currency through their Central Bank to import goods from Ghana to Sierra- Leone and other parts of African countries.

Another guest on the programme, a columnist, Mr Gabriel Idahosa, also pointed out that ECOWAS was not ready for the change, citing the inflation level of most African countries as a big challenge.

He also stressed that most of the criteria set for African countries as development goals had not been met because of high rate of inflation.

“Most African countries are still struggling to meet the criteria. You will first have to meet the criteria and run it for three to four years by keeping the deposit by four per cent and then a common currency emerges,” he said.

Idahosa called on West African governments to open up the physical structure by making business move freely across the border of most African countries.

Mr Isemede and Mr Idahosa’s comments are coming few days after the Central Bank Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, said that the lunching of a Single Currency for the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ) by January 2015 might not be feasible.

At a meeting of the West African Central Bank Governors held in Abuja on July, Mr Emefiele called on leaders in the region to redouble efforts in maintaining fiscal and monetary supervision in their countries.

“It is unlikely at this time. Despite this disappointing update, we need to use the new period created by this to redouble our efforts toward the final realisation of this objectives.

“In this regard, there is need for the intensification of effort towards meeting the laid down convergence material, in sensitisation of all stakeholders in the ratification of various West African monetary zone protocols and in their consequent implementation,” Mr Emefiele said.



































Police apprehend killer of STF member, smash robbery gang

The Plateau State police command has arrested 28 suspects for various offences which include armed robbery, stealing, kidnapping, illegal possession of arms and ammunitions.

Also, one of the suspects has been charged to court for killing a soldier attached to the special task force.

The Commissioner of Police, Plateau state command, Dipo Ayeni, at the Command Headquarters in Jos disclosed this while briefing journalists on the activities and success recorded by the command in the last two months.

According to him, several items recovered from the suspects include motor vehicles of different brands, motorcycles, arms and ammunition as well as value of property recovered more than eleven million naira.

On finding lasting solutions to the lingering crises in the state, the Commissioner stated that the collective efforts of government, the citizens, and  security agencies will be needed.