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Omicron Variant: The State of the Coronavirus in Europe

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Omicron variant

On November 24, a new variant of the COVID-19 pandemic which has ravaged the world for a long time was discovered by South African scientists. On November 26, the World Health Organisation designated the variant as one of high concern, and named it Omicron. Now, the variant appears to be hitting countries hard, with the European continent being the most affected by the virus.

As at December 9, the Omicron variant cases have been reported in more than 50 countries since it was first discovered in South Africa. However, the European Union has recorded a total of 337 confirmed cases of the Omicron variant to date, with Denmark recording the most (83), Portugal following at 37 cases and the Netherlands recording the third-highest at 36 cases.

The United Kingdom alone has seen 246 cases of the Omicron variant, with European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC) reports saying the variant has a growth rate of about 35% per day. This report was as at December 6, 2021. As at December 8, the number of cases in the United Kingdom had grown to 437 and was said to have a growth rate of over 50%.

In comparison, all other countries outside the EU where the Omicron variant has been reported amount to a total of 1,121 confirmed cases. The United Kingdom presently has the highest number of cases outside the EU.

Looking at the growth rate of the Omicron variant, the European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention has said that the variant has a very high risk of spreading even wider than it is now. As the number of cases increase rapidly, the CDC predicts that it could be the primary strain among countries in the EU by February 2022.

The Omicron variant is already dominating some parts of the United Kingdom, with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson saying that the variant is now the dominant strain of COVID in London, overtaking the Delta variant. The exponential rate at which the variant is spreading has caused countries to establish new restrictions to slow the virus. France has introduced new restrictions, disallowing “leisure travel” and only permitting trips that are deemed essential.

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Nigeria Air to Commence Operations Soon; Air Service to Start With Abuja-Lagos Route

Nigeria Air will soon begin operations, starting with the Abuja – Lagos route, the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika had stated.

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Nigeria Air

The country’s National Carrier, Nigeria Air will soon begin operations, starting with the Abuja – Lagos route, the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika had stated.

According to the minister, the National Carrier, “Nigeria Air” will be launched with three Boeing 737-800 aircraft. Hadi Sirika further disclosed that the aircraft are configured to adapt to the Nigerian market. 

It will be recalled that in 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari had promised a National Carrier as part of his campaign manifesto. While preliminary work begins, the government however suspends the plan in 2018 with no defined explanation. 

The Minister also disclosed that Ethiopian Airlines Consortium has been selected as the preferred partner for Nigeria Air with a stake of 49 percent. The Federal Government will hold a stake of five percent while a group of three investors ‘MRS, SHACO and Sovereign Wealth Fund will retain 46 percent. 

Speaking during a press conference in Abuja, Hadi Siriki noted that the bidding process was subjected to due process and due diligence. Nigeria Air has an ambitious plan to reach a size of 30 aircraft and begin International operation within the next two years. 

Meanwhile, Nigeria Air Limited has commenced recruitment of qualified crew members ahead of its launch. A memo posted on the verified Twitter handle of the Ministry of Aviation read 

“Nigeria Air is now recruiting qualified crew for the following positions: Experienced, and current B737 Captains; Experienced, and Current B737 First Officers; Experienced, and Current B737 Senior Cabin Crew and Cabin Crew Experienced, and Current B737 Engineers (B1/B2 preferred),” the memo noted.

Interested and qualified candidates are advised to forward their Curriculum Vitae (CVs) to recruitment@nigeriaair.world

Nigeria previously had a national carrier, “Nigeria Airways” which was founded in 1958 and wholly owned by the government. It ceased to operate in 2003 due to corruption and mismanagement. 

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Residents of Lagos State Raise Alarm Over Rising PoS Fraud

Residents of Lagos state have raised alarm over the rising case of POS fraud in the state as criminals continue to illegally access their funds. 

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point of sales

Residents of Lagos state have raised alarm over the rising case of Point of Sale (PoS) fraud in the state as criminals continue to illegally access their funds. 

The rampaging rate of PoS fraud across the state has raised concerns and doubts about the reliability of the PoS system of payment as few affected Lagosians narrated their ordeal using the system.

A victim of PoS fraud in Lagos state Omotayo wept when her bank account was exploited by fraudsters who emptied her account.

Narrating her ordeal, she said: “I had used my ATM card many times during the week of that incident. I couldn’t identify the particular point where the scam happened.

“I visited a PoS point to withdraw N5,000 and after the withdrawal, I kept my ATM card in the usual spot that is known only to me. When I received debit alerts from my bank, I felt it was a mistake but when I checked my account, N10,000 had been deducted from my balance of N111,000.

“This happened on a Saturday, so I couldn’t visit the bank to lodge a complaint. A few minutes later, I received another debit alert of N10,000 from my bank. ‘What is happening?’ I asked myself. Minutes later, I got another debit alert of N10,000. It continued until my account balance was N11,000.

“This time, with tears running down my cheeks, I hurried to a nearby POS point to withdraw the remaining N11,000 before I would withdraw, I received another debit alert of N10,000, leaving my account balance at N1,000. I wept. I cursed the scammers but then I had lost N110,000 to PoS fraudsters.”

Following the incessant case of PoS fraud in the state, the Lagos State Government (LASG) has declared its move to partner strategically with Mobile Money and Bank Agents in a bid to protect Lagosians from the rising incidence of fraud perpetrated through Point of Sale (PoS).

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Npower Payment: Npower Commence July Payment For Batch C, Stream 1

Npower has commenced July payment for batch C, Stream 1 as some beneficiaries have started receiving credit alerts

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Npower

Npower has commenced July payment for batch C, Stream 1 as some beneficiaries have started receiving credit alerts. 

Investors King had earlier reported that the management of Npower disclosed that all Npower beneficiaries will be paid their allowance before the end of the month. 

Many Npower beneficiaries have since then been paid their July allowance. Some of these beneficiaries who are highly elated took to their social media pages to report their payment. 

One of the recently paid beneficiaries, Janet Olaleke who could not hide her feelings said ” I just got my credit alert for July. Thank you Npower ooo. Please extend our time to two years like it was done for others. God bless Nigeria”. 

However, some of the beneficiaries lamented that they have not been credited despite seeing it on their Nasims dashboard that they have been paid. 

Dele Alade posted on Facebook “What is going on Nasim? My July shows paid but yet to receive alert. Please do something”.

Another beneficiary, Charles Jude complained that he has not been credited nor does he see any paid message on his Nasims dashboard. 

Charles said, ” My own is not showing anything about July like it has not been initiated. I hope I have not been dismissed from the scheme. I am kinda afraid”. 

National Social Investment Management System (NASIMS) however has appealed for calm from those who are yet to receive credit alerts or a paid message on their Nasims dashboard. The management disclosed that it is working to make sure all payment issues are resolved as soon as possible. 

 

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