The management of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital has asked Edo State residents in south-south Nigeria, not to panic over the new case of Lassa fever at the hospital that claimed one life.
A senior management staff of the hospital, who is the Deputy Chairman Medical Advisory Committee, Dr. Darlington Obaseki, told Channels Television that the hospital had isolated six persons.
Dr. Obaseki said that the hospital had so far tested seven persons who had contact with the dead patient for the Lassa Virus.
Another official of the hospital, the Head, Infectious Disease Control Unit, Dr Benson Okwara, said though those isolated had tested negative to Lassa fever, the hospital management would monitor them closely for the next two weeks.
The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has thrown its weight behind the efforts to re-integrate beneficiaries of the Presidential Amnesty Programme.
Stating its willingness to contribute to the success of the programme, the Acting Managing Director of the commission, Mrs Ibim Semenitari, said that the NDDC was by law expected to forge strategic partnerships for the purpose of developing the Niger Delta region.
Receiving the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Coordinator of the Niger Delta Presidential Amnesty Programme, Brigadier-General Paul Boroh (Rtd) and his team at the NDDC headquarters in Port Harcourt, Mrs Semenitari noted that the partnerships were critical for driving sustainable development.
She also commended the efforts being made by the Federal Government, through the Amnesty Programme, to move Niger Deltans from just being hewers of wood, to people who will have respectable and sustainable means of livelihood.
While speaking, Brigadier-General Boroh disclosed that his assignment was to ensure that the peace already established after the introduction of the programme, was sustained by proper integration of the 30,000 youths captured in the programme.
He also noted that collaboration with critical agencies of government and the private sector would help harness available trained manpower under the programme, for placements in various establishments.
The Coordinator of the programme further stressed that the current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari remained committed to peace and sustainable development of the Niger Delta region.
“To achieve this, there id need for all stakeholders, including the international community to join in the effort,” he said.
Making contributions to the issue, the Head, Post-Training Engagement and Empowerment, Mr. Kester Tawari, disclosed that 13,000 youths had been trained in special areas such as aviation, marine, professional welding and technicians for the oil and gas sector.
He also said that between 15,000 and 17,000 youths were undergoing training.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has denied reports that it is focusing its anti-corruption fight on opposition, with the release of Jafaru Isa, an All Progressives Congress (APC) Chieftain and the continued detention of the Peoples Democratic Party’s National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh.
The opposition party had alleged that the release of Jafaru Isa showed that the anti-corruption crusade was a much-hyped crusade to prosecute the leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
“The release of Jafaru Isa, a known associate of the President and Chieftain of the APC, eight hours after his arrest, while our Spokesman remains in detention even when the two are being investigated over same allegation, clearly shows that the President Buhari-led APC government is not fighting corruption but using the much-hyped crusade as a cover to prosecute PDP leaders and decimate the opposition, a project the EFCC has clearly yielded itself as a willing tool,” the PDP claimed.
In a statement by the commission through its Head, Media and Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren, the EFCC explained the reason behind the release of Mr Isa, who was arrested for his involvement in the arms procurement scam of a total of 170,000,000 Naira.
“Upon his arrest, the retired General admitted receiving the said sum from Dasuki and immediately refunded a total sum of 100 million Naira, with an undertaking to refund the balance of 70 million Naira in two weeks,” the EFCC said.
The commission also mentioned the state of the APC Chieftain’s health as another factor that prompted his release.
The EFCC pointed out that the grant of bail does not amount to exoneration of the suspect.
In the case of the PDP’s National Publicity Secretary, the EFCC revealed that “Metuh, who is exposed to the tune of 1.2 billion Naira in the arms scandal, has shown no readiness to refund any amount of money to the EFCC, nor has he signed any undertaking to do so at a future date”.
It also claimed that contrary to claims by his party, the PDP Spokesman was not being detained illegally, as the commission obtained a valid court order to hold him.
The commission gave the assurance that Mr Metuh would be released once he satisfied the condition for the discretion to be exercised in his favour.
The EFCC further said it would not be intimidated or stampeded by any campaign of calumny intended to detract it.
About 150,000 graduates are churned out annually by Nigerian universities and polytechnics without entrepreneurial skills and so available jobs remain inadequate to keep pace with this ever-expanding army of job seekers.
The Head, German Industry and Commerce, Mr Andre Roenne and Coordinator, German Dual Vocational Training Partnership with Nigeria, Mr Kehinde Awoyele, who were guests on Channels Television’s Business Morning, stressed that vocational training has been identified as the best means of reducing the level of unemployment among youths in the country.
This is because it helps prepare them for the immediate needs of the labour market.
According to them, vocational training has led to the development of a highly efficient workforce in some nations and they recommended the same for Nigeria to foster job creation and reduce unemployment.
The Head, Ebola Emergency Operations in Nigeria, Dr. Faisal Shuaib on Thursday dismissed claims that there are new cases of Ebola victims in Nigeria apart from those who had contact with the primary index.
He maintained that the Ebola patients, who had primary contact with the index patient, Patrick Sawyer, still remain those reported.
” We have 12 confirmed cases of the Ebola outbreak, with five discharged patients and five deaths”, noting that “in the whole of Nigeria we have only two persons with the Ebola virus and four persons who are in isolation centre presently.
“There are two cases which had a direct primary contact of the index patient and there is no new case(s) of the Ebola Virus”, he noted.
“Nobody leaves the health facility in good fitting to go home when he is infectious.
“There is a discharge protocol that we follow which indicates that there is no symptoms, adding that laboratory tests are conducted and when turned to a negative form, the patient is good to go home, and will not transmit the disease.
“There is no evidence what so ever in the literature that anybody can transmit the virus to his spouse through semen, it has not been documented and I do not know where he got his fact from. this might create panic to people”, he stressed.
According to Dr. Shuaib, the agency controlling and containing the virus has a joint-solving approach for the emergency treatment of the Ebola virus.
“We have a situation where we have all partner agencies bringing all their resources both material and human into one group led by the government” adding that strategies are in place to examine and coordinate further spread of the epidemic.
” We have daily meetings twice where we have all strategies developed against Ebola outbreak. Data is anaylsed and interpreted in terms of the current stage of the Ebola outbreak and examined”, he noted.
Dr. Shuaib added that the best health care practitioners are working hard in Nigeria to curb the further spread of the virus.
“In the cases of the Ebola outbreak, the best doctors are working with Nigerian doctors, so that we could have one focus in curbing the virus and making sure all efforts are put in the same direction. This is why we are cautiously optimistic that it will bring a lot of progress”, he emphasised.
He also, noted that the Ebola Emergency Centre was currently at the Central Public Health Laboratory in Yaba Lagos.
He however encouraged States in the federation to have centres in order to curb the rise of the virus
” We encourage States to set up their emergency centres by reputing data analysis and interpretation of data so that it can define an epidemic and place strategies to curb further spread of the virus”, noting that “the obligation of the centre strategised in the country was to ensure that there is no further spread of the virus.
“What the centre does is to cast a wide net to ensure that any body that had any contant with the Ebola patient, is brought in and observed.
” We are optimistic that they might not see new cases,we are not relenting at all; we are going out to do surveillance in communities .
Since the disease broke out early this year, at least 1,200 deaths have been recorded in West Africa.
The Central Bank of Nigeria says it has mapped out modalities to ensure the cashless policy succeeds in other parts of the state as it did in the pilot states.
The Head, Shared Services at the Central Bank, Mr Chidi Umeano, who was a guest on Business Morning, said that the apex bank is doing all it can to deploy the needed infrastructure to support the policy.
According to him, the one year waiver of charges on withdrawals is one measure to give time for the infrastructure to be put in place.
He says the Central Bank has carried its sensitisation campaign to the rural communities and is still doing more to sensitise Nigerians.
The CEO, Cowry Assets Management Ltd, Mr Johnson Chukwu, who was also a guest on the programme, said the cashless policy has benefited the economy in so many ways but that the Central Bank should do more towards putting all that is needed in place to ensure its efficiency and success.
The Central Bank of Nigeria plans to roll-out the cashless policy in the remaining 30 states on July 1.