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COVID-19: Nigeria Bans Travelers From India, Brazil and Turkey

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Nigeria will deny entry to passengers who have visited India, Brazil and Turkey in the last 14 days to stop the import of coronavirus cases from the three countries.

The travel advisory will take effect on May 4 and is subject to review after an initial period of 4 weeks, the Presidential Steering Committee on Covid-19 said in a statement Sunday. The government will introduce fines of $3,500 per passenger payable by airlines that ignore the new rules.

Nigerian officials have expressed concern about the potential for a third wave of the disease in the country of 200 million, which would be worse than the first two. “These precautionary measures are a necessary step to minimize the risk of a surge in Covid-19 cases introduced to Nigeria” from parts of the world where the virus is running rampant, said the committee’s statement.

Indian hospitals, morgues and crematoriums have been overwhelmed as the country has reported more than 300,000 daily cases for more than 10 days straight. Many families have been left on their own to find medicines and oxygen.

In Brazil, new coronavirus cases have fallen off a late-March peak, but remain high by historical standards. Total deaths in the country are second only to the United States.

Turkey imposed a nationwide “full lockdown” on Thursday, lasting until May 17, to curb a surge in coronavirus infections and deaths, with the world’s fourth highest number of cases and the worst on a per-capita basis among major nations.

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EFCC Chairman, Bawa Slumps in Abuja

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The Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Abdulrasheed Bawa, broke down while presenting his brief address and was rushed out of the banquet hall at the presidential villa on Thursday.

Bawa was offering his goodwill message at the National Identity Day celebration when he suddenly stopped speaking and asked to be excused.

“Please, excuse me, I can’t continue,” he said then walked off the stage before slumping on his chair and was eventually taken out.

Earlier, he mentioned that the EFCC was grieving the loss of a colleague.

He broke down while talking about a man the commission arrested in Ibadan, Oyo State, with 116 SIM cards.

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, and other senior officials at the event accompanied the EFCC boss as he was taken out of the hall.

The Master of Ceremonies later announced that Bawa’s condition was stable.

“I am happy to announce to you that the EFCC Chairman is now stable,” he said.

The minister, during his speech, also said that Bawa was stable but should be put in prayers.

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Osinbajo to Represent Nigeria at ECOWAS Meeting in Accra Concerning Situation in Guinea

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President Muhammadu Buhari would be represented by his deputy, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, at the 2nd Extraordinary Summit of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government on the political situation in the Republic of Guinea today.

Prof. Osinbajo had participated last week at the previous ECOWAS Extraordinary Summit on the political situation in Guinea and Mali. That meeting was held virtually on the 8th of September.

The Authority decided then that Guinea be immediately suspended from all ECOWAS governing bodies and statutory meetings. ECOWAS leaders had also called for the immediate and unconditional release of President Alpha Conde and other arrested persons; demanded the immediate return of Guinea to constitutional order; and decided to immediately dispatch a high-level ECOWAS mission to Guinea to assess the situation.

The physical meeting taking place today will review the situation in Guinea in light of the report of the ECOWAS high-level mission to Conakry.

The Vice President, who leaves Abuja this morning, would be accompanied by the Foreign Affairs Minister of State, Ambassador Zubairu Dada, and is expected back in Abuja later today.

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Senate Passes Bills To Establish Two Federal Universities in Ekiti, Nasarawa states

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The Senate on Tuesday passed two bills seeking to establish two federal universities in Ekiti and Nasarawa States.

The bills are the Federal University of Health and Medical Sciences Iyin, Ekiti State (Establishment) Bill, 2021, and Federal University Lafia Teaching Hospital (Establishment) Bill, 2021.

Both bills are sponsored by Senators Opeyemi Bamidele (APC, Ekiti Central), and Tanko Al-Makura (APC, Nasarawa South).

The passage of both bills followed the presentation and consideration of two separate reports by the Committee on Health (Secondary and Tertiary).

Chairman of the Committee, Senator Yahaya Oloriegbe (APC, Kwara Central), in his presentation, said the bill to establish the Federal University of Lafia Teaching Hospital was “necessitated as a result of the precarious health conditions faced by the resident.”

According to him, the bill to establish the Federal University of Health and Medical Sciences Iyin, Ekiti State, seeks to promote and emphasize teaching, research and extension of knowledge in the field of medicine and environmental sciences.

In a related development, the Senate on Wednesday passed a third bill to amend the University Teaching Hospitals (Reconstitution of Boards) Act.

The bill’s passage by the upper chamber followed consideration of a report by the Committee on Health (Secondary and Tertiary).

Senator Oloriegbe in his presentation explained that the amendment bill seeks to amend the First Schedule to the Principal Act to include the University Teaching Hospital, Lafia and Modibbo Adama University Teaching Hospital.

In a related development, a bill seeking to establish the Federal College of Education, Kaiama, Kwara State, scaled second reading during plenary.

The bill was sponsored by Senator Sadiq Suleiman Umar (APC, Kwara North).

The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, after the bill was considered, referred it to the Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND.

The Committee which is chaired by Senator Ahmad Baba Kaita was given four weeks to report back to the upper chamber.

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