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Okonjo-Iweala Named Among Time’s 100 Most Influential People Of 2021

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Nigeria’s Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is the only Nigerian on 2021 The Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the world.

Okonjo-Iweala, the director-general of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) is on The Time’s 100 Most Influential People list alongside Duke and Duchess of Sussex Prince Harry and Meghan.

Other notable honourees of the 2021 Time 100 Most Influential People include Naomi Osaka, Britney Spears, Angelique Kidjo, Joe Biden, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Kamala Harris and others.

Prince Harry and Meghan were full of praise for Okonjo-Iweala, who was the first Nigerian woman to serve two terms as finance minister – first under President Olusegun Obasanjo from 2003 to 2006 – and secondly, under President Goodluck Jonathan from 2011 to 2015. Subsequently, from June to August 2006, she served as Minister for Foreign Affairs of Nigeria.

“What will it take to vaccinate the world? Unity, cooperation—and leaders like Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala,” wrote Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, in the post accompanying Okonjo-Iweala’s selection.

“As the first African and first woman to lead the World Trade Organization, a 164-member group of nations that oversees trade across the world, Okonjo-Iweala took on the role of director-general this March at a watershed moment for our global health and well-being. Make no mistake, her job affects every person, family and community.

“As we face a constant barrage of vaccine misinformation, bureaucratic slowdowns across both government and industry, and the rise of variants that underscore the urgency of the situation, Okonjo-Iweala has shown us that to end the pandemic, we must work together to equip every nation with equitable vaccine access.”

Prince Harry and Meghan said their “conversations with her have been as informative as they are energizing. This is partly because, despite the challenges, she knows how to get things done—even between those who don’t always agree—and does so with grace and a smile that warms the coldest of rooms.

“The fragility of our world right now cannot be overstated. Just over a quarter of the nearly 8 billion global population is fully vaccinated.

“Achieving vaccine equity is a global duty of compassion for one another. Our hope is that guided by strong leaders like Ngozi, we can get there soon.”

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FG Launches Virtual Court Sitting At Correctional Centres

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The Federal Government on Monday launched the use of virtual court proceedings in Nigeria’s correctional centres.

The launch ceremony took place at the Kuje Correctional Centre in Abuja, the nation’s capital and had in attendance the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami; Interior Minister, Rauf Aregbesola, and the Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS), Haliru Nababa among other top government officials.

In his remarks, the Justice Minister said the programme would reduce backlogs of court cases and the time spent on pre-trial of suspects.

Malami believes the virtual court proceedings would effectively aid in the administration of criminal justice in the country.

“This project, therefore, initiated to ensure the hearing and determination of urgent and time-bound cases using the digital platforms,” he said.

“This system will effectively ensure the speedy dispensation of trials in line with Section 36 (4) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended which provides that every person shall be entitled to fair hearing within a reasonable time.”
The Kuje Correctional Centre in Abuja.

On her part, the Secretary of the Presidential Committee on Correctional Reforms and Decongestion, Leticia Ayoola-Daniels said the virtual court proceedings would augment the already existing virtual court facilities that are inherent in the nation’s judiciary.

The move, she noted, will fast-track the dispensation of court cases that would help save the Federal Government cost on the security and mobilisation of accused persons to court.

While giving a breakdown of the number of inmates awaiting trial, the Interior Minister, also spoke on the attacks of correctional centres in recent times.

According to Aregbesola, most of the attacks on the custodial centres are linked to suspects that are awaiting trial because they make up 74 per cent of the total population of inmates in the nation’s correctional facilities.

He said, “50,992 inmates representing 74 per cent of the total population of inmates in our custodial centres are awaiting trial suspects while only 17,755 inmates which is a mere 26 per cent area actual convicts.

“The challenges of safety and external attacks at the custodial centres for most parts come therefore from the awaiting trial inmates given their numerical strengths.”

The launch of the project followed the Federal Government’s collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme and the Japanese Government.

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COVID-19: Lagos Announces Beginning Of 4th Wave

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……Says Erring Foreigners Risk Deportation

The Lagos State Government has raised alarm over the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the state with its positivity rate at six per cent.

Governor Babajide who made the declaration in a statement on Tuesday said the state had begun to experience the beginnings of a fourth wave of the pandemic.

The current positivity rate, according to him, is against the positivity rate of 0.1 per cent recorded as of mid-November and analyses revealed that the fourth wave is a result of non-adherence to the laid down protocols.

As a way to tackle the rising cases, the governor appealed to residents to go to the various approved centres for the vaccine jabs to protect themselves from the virus.

He also asked them to support the government in its effort to manage the fourth wave of the pandemic, especially during the festive season.

Governor Sanwo-Olu noted the review of Nigeria’s travel protocol by the Presidential Steering Committee, saying the state government would ensure total enforcement.

He stressed the need for inbound passengers to take the post-arrival Day 2 test within 48 hours of arrival into the country, as well as an additional Day 7 PCR test for all partially or unvaccinated returning travellers.

The governor warned that the government would soon commence the prosecution of those that refuse to submit themselves for the tests by blacklisting their passports for one year.

According to him, this will be done in synergy with the Presidential Steering Committee while foreigners who flout the rules risk deportation.

Read the full statement below:

MR GOVERNOR’S CORONAVIRUS PRESS STATEMENT– DECEMBER 07, 2021

Fellow Lagosians,

Firstly, I would like to commiserate with all Lagos residents who lost their loved ones during the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our hearts go out to you and the Incident Command System will continue to do everything that we can to mitigate the impact of this pandemic.

Secondly, most of the continents of the world – including Africa – are now experiencing a fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, Lagos State is not left out as we are also experiencing the beginnings of a fourth wave with the current positivity rate at 6%.

This is against the positivity rates of 0.1% as of the middle of November 2021. Based on our analysis, the fourth wave was brought by the non-adherence to the laid down protocols to mitigate this pandemic.

I would want to use this opportunity to, once again, plead with everyone to get vaccinated and join hands with the Lagos State Government in managing this wave of the pandemic in this festive season by following the guidelines we have set, especially regarding the use of face masks, public gatherings and travelling in and out of Lagos State.

Epidemiology Update

As of the 5th of December 2021, Lagos State had recorded a total of 78,564 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Of this number, 71,977 have recovered in community and 612 are being managed actively in community.

Over the course of managing the COVID-19 pandemic, about 6,066 patients have been admitted into our various COVID-19 care centres in Lagos: with 686 registered fatalities.

Let me take this opportunity to, once again, urge all residents of Lagos State to take advantage of EKOTELEMED and our home-based care programme.

Please, reach out to EKOTELEMED on our toll-free number 08000EKOMED (08000356633) if you have any symptoms associated with COVID-19 or have tested positive for the virus.

Travel Protocols

Based on the review of the current guidelines on travel protocols, the Presidential Steering Committee has released new rules which must be followed by all passengers arriving in Nigeria. These include:

A COVID-19 PCR test is to be done within 48hrs before departure.

Post-arrival Day 2 COVID-19 PCR test

All partially and unvaccinated individuals to self-isolate for 7 days following arrival into the country and a Day 7 release PCR test.

All outbound passengers to demonstrate evidence of full vaccination against COVID-19

Negative PCR test results within 48hrs from the time to boarding a flight out of Nigeria.

It is important to note that the review of the protocols was based on science, national experience and global developments. The Lagos State Government will do all within its power to enforce these new mandates and will prosecute anyone found wanting in compliance with them through our mobile courts.

Regulation Of Day 2 And Day 7 Tests For Inbound Passengers For International Flights

While it is a stringent requirement that all inbound passengers perform a Day 2 test within 48 hours of arrival into the country; and an additional Day 7 PCR test for all partially or unvaccinated inbound passengers, we cannot stress enough how important the strict adherence to these protocols are.

These tests are mandatory to assist the State monitor the inflow of positive passengers, which we have identified as a veritable source of our waves and community spread.

Based on this, we will commence the prosecution of those that refuse to submit themselves for these mandatory tests by blacklisting their passports for 1 year.

This would be carried out in partnership with the Presidential Steering Committee. In addition, all foreigners that flout the rules would be subject to possible deportation

Therefore, I implore all intending inbound passengers to perform their required tests at any of the private laboratories within the Lagos State Private Laboratory Consortium as and at when due.

Fake Covid Test Results And Vaccination Cards

It is also pertinent to mention at this point that we have received very disturbing information about intending outbound passengers procuring fake Covid test results and/or vaccination cards for travel purposes.

This is a very worrisome trend for us to note and we are currently working with the NCDC, DSS and the Police to investigate and bring to book the criminal gangs involved in this reprehensible activity.

We implore everyone to desist from patronizing these gangs, as anyone found with a fake COVID test result and/or vaccination card will also be liable to prosecution and very stiff penalties.

Our State Mobile Courts will be used to prosecute all those involved in flouting the regulations; as well as those engaged in the fraudulent production of fake covid test results and vaccination certificates.

Testing Protocols

Up until today and into the future, the Lagos State Government is still offering free COVID-19 testing at all our public facilities for those that fit our case definition for COVID-19 infections. If anyone has any symptoms indicating a possible infection, please proceed to any of our public laboratories to get tested.

We are also still operating our 10 sample collection sites at the level of our LGAs and encourage residents to proceed to these centres to get their samples taken if they feel ill or have been exposed to anyone who has an infection.

It is also important to reiterate that our private laboratories are still available for those who want to test outside of the public health response.

Booster Doses

I am also very happy to announce that the Presidential Steering Committee, in partnership with the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency and the Federal Ministry of Health, has approved the administration of booster doses for anyone with the criteria below:

Any persons 18 years and above;

Time interval of 6 months or more after receiving the second dose of Astra Zeneca, Moderna or Pfizer Bio-N-Tech; or

Time interval of 2 months or more after receiving the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

Consequently, all Lagos residents should proceed to any of our public health facilities to receive these vaccines for free and at any of our 30 private priority health facilities to access them for an administrative fee of N4,500 per dose.

Mitigating the Fourth Wave of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Our approach to mitigating the effects of the ongoing wave of the COVID-19 pandemic include the following:

Increasing the percentage of vaccinated residents of Lagos State from 1.6% to 30% within one year. I have specifically mandated the Lagos State Ministry of Health to administer 8 million doses to 4 million residents by the 25th of December 2021 under the Count Me In campaign.

We have deployed a robust strategy that involves the private sector to improve access to vaccines. We are launching 30 private priority sites for those who want to be vaccinated within a private health facility.

While vaccination at public centres remains free, there is an administration fee (N4,500 per dose and N6,000 for two doses) at private centres. To register for the vaccination, please visit the registration portal at https://nphcda.vaccination.gov.ng/

Over the next couple of days, the Lagos State Government will release policies to facilitate the uptake of vaccines to achieve desirable herd immunity.

Guidelines for Social Events and Gatherings During the Festive Period

All Social Events must be duly registered to obtain Event Safety Clearance from the Lagos State Safety Commission website: www.lasgsafetyreg.com prior to holding; and the guidelines set out below must be strictly adhered to.

Where possible events should be held outdoors.

Occupancy limit at any event must not exceed 60% of maximum design capacity of the event centre.

Every attendee of a social gathering MUST present their Vaccination Cards or digital bar code page showing at least first dose but preferably double dose full vaccination.

In unvaccinated people, a negative PCR within 72 hours will be an exemption.

Everybody, irrespective of vaccination status, MUST be subject to Rapid Diagnostic test (Antigen) to be conducted AT THE EVENT VENUE OR within 24hrs prior to the event at designated laboratories. (Request for rapid tests at the venue requires an application through the Safety Commission).

Under 18 years of age are unvaccinated and the above applies.

Guests and service providers with high temperature (above 37.5) are to be politely turned back and referred to paramedics or the emergency response team on the ground.

All guests and service providers at the event must wear a nose mask or face shield before entry.

All guests and service providers must endeavour to wash their hands before entering the venue or use hand sanitisers after which temperature checks should be carried out.

Hand sanitisers to be positioned at the entry point and at different spots within the venue.

In Conclusion

Despite the huge financial obligation and constraints associated with managing this pandemic, our administration will continue to do everything within its power to ensure the preservation of the lives and livelihood of residents of Lagos State.

As always, I would like to thank all members of our Emergency Operations Centre and our Incident Command System, in addition to all our health workers in the public and private sectors, without leaving out our colleagues in the federal institutions for their dedication and commitment in the management of this response.

Once again, I implore all residents of Lagos to comply with all guidelines and join hands with the government in the management of this pandemic.

Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu

Governor of Lagos State

December 7, 2021

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Former PMAN President, Bolaji Rosiji Dies At 56

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Bolaji Rosiji, a former president of the Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria (PMAN), is dead.

Rosiji’s death was announced by one of his friends and colleague, renowned flutist Tee Mac Omatsola Iseli.

Until his death, he was the founder and brain behind Guarapad Charities.

In a statement by Olayemi Esan, the Public Relations Officer, Gaurapad Charities, Rosiji died in Lagos on Sunday after a brief illness.

He said burial arrangements will be announced in coming days.

The late Rosiji founded Gaurapad Charities in 2004, and was the former Secretary-General of the Nigeria Network of NGOs (NNNGO).

He is survived by wife and children.

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