Press zooms in on 14 countries placed under close watch by Lagos state over Covid-19, others

The 14 countries placed on close monitoring by the Lagos State Government as part of measures to prevent infection and…

The 14 countries placed on close monitoring by the Lagos State Government as part of measures to prevent infection and possible spread of the new variants of COVID-19 pandemic is one of the trending stories in Nigerian newspapers on Friday.The Vanguard reports that as part of measures to prevent infection and possible spread of the new variants of COVID-19, pandemic, Lagos State Government has placed 14 countries on close monitoring.

It will be recalled that Lagos state had earlier placed all emergency facilities in the state on high alert to pick up early trends that may suggest fresh wave.

The state Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, who announced this on Wednesday, at a media briefing in Ikeja, said the measure had become necessary following discovery of variants from banned countries within another country.

Lagos places 14 countries on watch list He said the state government will begin to monitor movement of people from 14 countries into the state. The affected countries are: Canada, USA, France, Germany, Netherlands, Togo, Ghana, Cameroun, Angola, South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda.

The newspaper says that the Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has said that the Nigerian Government will soon resuscitate Special Terrorism Prosecution Courts.

Malami made this known in a statement by Dr. Umar Gwandu, his Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations on Thursday in Abuja.

The move, Malami said was geared towards the Federal Government’s commitment to end insecurity in the country.

“The federal government is committed to ending insecurity in the country, and added that the courts are to bring to book all those found guilty in connection with terrorism so as to serve as deterrence to others.

“In addition to the prosecution of 400 suspected Boko Haram financiers, the measures taken by the government will counter the twin trouble of insurgency and insecurity in the country”.

The Punch reports that the Nigerian Labour Congress on Thursday insisted that petrol subsidy must not be removed and that it would not shift grounds on this position until Nigeria’s refineries were fixed.

The NLC’s position came as a support to the earlier declaration of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas workers where NUPENG kicked against the advice of the Presidential Economic Advisory Committee on subsidy removal.

The General Secretary, NUPENG, Olawale Afolabi, had exclusively told our correspondent recently that it was going to be highly suicidal to remove petrol subsidy now and that the advice by the PEAC that government should remove subsidy was wrong.

“Within the current context of hardship in the country, it is suicidal to remove subsidy now. It is highly suicidal within the current situation,” Afolabi had stated.

When contacted on Thursday to know if the NLC would support the advice of the PEAC following complaints by the government on the huge financial burden of petrol subsidy, the Deputy President, NLC, Joe Ajaero, replied in the negative.

The Sun says that the Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Abhay Thakur, visited the Lagos Free Zone (LFZ) with a high-powered corporate delegation and remarked that the LFZ provides a unique and special ecosystem that all the Indian companies with growth aspirations must seriously consider for their businesses.

The High Commissioner gave this advice when he led a cross-section of top executives of Indian companies operating in Nigeria on Friday, May 7, 2021 for a visit to the Lagos Free Zone, a world-class industrial zone developed by Tolaram Group.

Thakur described the Lagos Free Zone, especially with its integration of the Lekki Deep Sea Port, as a defining project for Nigeria that would impact the economy positively and further open the country to the world as a preferred destination for foreign direct investment (FDI).

“I have been very impressed with the scale, size and potential of the Lagos Free Zone project that I have seen here today and I commend Tolaram Group for having put together such a defining Project in Nigeria.

The Guardian reports that electricity consumers, yesterday, expressed frustration over power outage in the country, making the Eid-Fitri holiday bleak for Nigerians.

Many residents, who have been without power supply since Tuesday till when this report was filed, lamented the situation, urging the government to address it. Consumers lamented that the situation has impacted on their businesses, citing the case of Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company (IKEDC) that has been mum on reasons for the blackout.

“Other Discos informed their customers reasons for the outage, which was due to power grid collapse, but IKEDC did not dim it fit to explain anything to us, yet we are without supply,” Mr. Arimiyo told our reporter.

The Guardian reported that the nation’s electricity grid collapsed, on Tuesday, plunging parts of the country.

“We regret to inform you that the power outage currently being experienced across our franchise – Kaduna, Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara states – is a result of the collapse of the national grid,” Kaduna Electric said on Twitter. Eko Electricity Distribution Company Plc, in a text message to its customers, said: “Dear customer, there is a partial system collapse on the national grid. Our TCN partners are working to restore supply immediately. Please bear with us.”

The newspaper says that about three years after its unveiling in London, the Nigerian Government has relived hope of the new national carrier with a funding offer above $250 million.

The Ministry of Aviation, in a memo, disclosed that the private sector would avail the fund, in line with the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) design for the ‘Nigeria Air’.

The Federal Government on July 18, 2018, unveiled the name and logo of the proposed carrier at the Farnborough International Public Air show in London, United Kingdom (UK) ahead of the planned initial take-off on December 24 of that year.

The lack of budgetary provision and criticism by the public forced the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, to “temporarily” ditch the December 2018 roll-out plan.

The national carrier is to replace the defunct Nigeria Airways that ceased operations in 2003. The replacement was designed as a PPP project with the Federal Government likely to own as much as 10 per cent stake.

The equity was earlier backed by N47 billion in the 2019 budget to help the airline take off after it reached the procurement stage in early 2019.

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