The Federal Executive Council has approved the sum of N653,886,584 to procure and deploy a hybrid spectrum monitoring system that will cover the southern part of the country, most importantly the south-east.
The Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Issa Pantami, disclosed this on Wednesday, at the end of the 18th virtual Federal Executive Council meeting presided by President Muhammadu Buhari at State House in Abuja.
According to him, the investigation carried out in five geo-political zones, the north-east, north-west, north-central, south-west and south-south, revealed that out of the 320 frequencies discovered, 106 were illegal and based on the advice of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, the illegal frequencies will be prosecuted.
Mr Pantami described the use of illegal frequencies in the country which according to him, has become very rampant, as worrisome.
He explained that the initial monitoring did not cover the southeastern part of the country, hence the need for the council’s approval.
The governors of the southeast have asked teachers in the country to undergo compulsory COVID-19 test.
The Chairman of the Southeast Governors’ forum and Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, disclosed this at the Government House in Abakaliki, the state capital while briefing newsmen of the outcome of the virtual meeting of the forum on Sunday.
Umahi said the forum also reviewing the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic in the region, adding that school infrastructures will be reviewed to support the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) protocols pending when the Federal government decides on when it is safe to reopen schools.
While urging the Igbo people to continue to comply with the COVID-19 protocols, the governor said eastern states will commence COVID-19 testing on every household, targeting people of 65 years and above.
To Reopen Or Not
The South-East Governors’ decision comes as the debate on whether to reopen schools amid the coronavirus pandemic continues.
“Now is the time to plan and address the eventual safe reopening of schools and learning facilities,” Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, said.
“As a responsible government, it is also our duty to provide comprehensive guidelines for a safe and hitch-free reopening of schools and learning facilities. We do so knowing that the health, safety, and security of learners, teachers, education personnel, and families are priorities.”
However, schools have remained closed across the country as the pandemic rages on.
The federal government has relaxed restrictions to allow final year secondary school students prepare and sit for WAEC examinations, but many have voiced concerns on the health implications of such a move.
“For the avoidance of doubts, schools have not resumed,” Chairman of the Presidential Task Force for COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, said on July 2. “Only critical examination classes will be allowed to resume for those who need revision before examinations.
“As we have informed you, the Federal Ministry of Education will consult further with stakeholders before issuing guidelines that will lead to full resumption.
“We appeal to Nigerians to continue to show understanding and to ensure that their wards take full advantage of electronic platforms provided for learning.”
On Sunday, Nigeria reported 555 new cases of COVID-19, pushing the country’s total caseload past the 40,000-mark, according to the NCDC.
Governors of the Southeast states and lawmakers in the Federal and State Houses of Assembly are currently meeting in Enugu, the Enugu state capital.
The meeting which is holding at the Enugu State Government House, also has the President General of the Ohaneze Indigbo, Chief John Nwodo, Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, Anambra Deputy Governor, Nkem Okeke in attendance.
This is the first meeting of the southeast leaders since they announced the proscription of the activities of IPOB on September 15, 2017.
Today’s talks are expected to centre on the IPOB issues, their meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari earlier this month, as well as the Anambra governorship election scheduled for November the 18th.
The Southeast Governors Forum has sworn in executives into the forum.
The executives include Prof Otuanya Simon as Director General of the Forum, Dr. Udah Michael Ikechukwu as Director of Media and Publicity, Mr. Olandu as Director Finance and Administration, Engr. Chibuke Amechi as Director of Projects.
At least 21 people including children have died in Central Italy after a magnitude 6.2 earthquake struck 76 kilometre, Southeast of the city of Perugia.
In Rome, reports say some buildings shook for 20 seconds and a family of four were found under rubble in the town of Accumoli. Several people remain trapped under the rubble.
“One person was pulled out of the rubble during the night,” said Mayor of Accumoli, Stefano Petrucci. “There is a family of four under a collapsed house and sadly there are two small children among them.”
Some of the worst damage was in the town of Amatrice, where several people died and rescue efforts were under way to find survivors.
“The roads in and out of town are cut off. Half the town is gone. There are people under the rubble. There’s been a landslide and a bridge might collapse,” Mayor of Amatruice, Sergio Perozzi told BBC.
Italy’s civil protection has described the earthquake as “severe” and the united states geological survey also predicted that the damage could be significant, based on data from previous quakes.
In 2009, a 6.3-magnitude earthquake in the Aquila region, which was also felt in the Italian capital, left more than 300 dead.
The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr John Oyegun, has assured Nigerians that the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration would live up to expectations during the first 100 days in office.
Mr Oyegun, who was represented by National Vice Chairman of the APC in Southeast, Mr Emma Enukwu stated this in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State capital, during a south-east Solidarity Rally organised in honour of the President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, and his Vice, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.
He insisted that the results generated from the south-east region during the last Presidential elections were not the true reflections and wishes of the people of the south-east, saying that the APC government will always ensure free and fair elections, portraying the wishes of the masses.
While addressing the crowd, the Ebonyi State Chairman of the party, Eze Nwachukwu, also commended the national and south-east leaders of the APC for their quest to change Nigeria.
Other National Officers, who spoke to Channels Television, said most of the people in the south-east do not believe in the course of the APC before now. It is obvious that with the event, the entire region has defected to the party, they said.
The event was graced by former Governor of old Abia State, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, the National Organising Secretary of the party, Senator Osita Izunaso, National Auditor of the party, Chief George Moghalu and the Deputy National Financial Secretary, Sunday Chukwu, amongst others.
At the event, new members of the party that defected from other political parties in the state were welcomed.