FG Plans to Suspend Travellers for Six Months if They Failed to Comply
Ahead of international flight resumption, the Federal Government has warned that passengers who failed to comply with the COVID-19 protocol put in place to curb the spread of the virus will be suspended from travelling for six months.
This was disclosed by Sani Aliyu, the National Coordinator, PTF, during a briefing of the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 (PTF) in Abuja on Monday.
It would be recalled that in March, the country’s airlines and airports were shut down to curb the spread of coronavirus disease which as of Monday 31, August has killed over 1,000 people in Nigeria.
In July, the federal government reopened Domestic flights in the country, adding that the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos and the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport in Abuja, would start operation on August 29 which was later shifted to Sept. 5.
Aliyu said there would be penalties for airlines and passengers who fail to comply with the guidelines.
Aliyu said, “There will definitely be sanctions if they do not comply. Sanctions to the airlines if they allow passengers without a Covid-19 PCR result to board, they will be sanctioned on arrival in Nigeria. That is the airline. For passengers that decline to do the test, at Day 7, we will still allow them after Day 14 to have a test done after which their details will be forwarded to Port Health, Immigration, and part of the security services.
“It is very likely we will put in place measures to enforce this by suspending travel up to six months or deny foreign travels altogether.
“But beyond the sanctions, because as responsible citizens, we all want our country to continue to be Covid-19-free once we get on top of the pandemic, so, we expect the vast number of travellers to continue to comply with these simple, straightforward measures we are putting in place for the benefit of our country and for the health of our citizens.”
Aliyu added that airlines that failed to comply with the Covid-19 protocol for the resumption of international flights would pay a fine of $3,500 per passenger.
Tanker Drivers Suspend Strike as NNPC and DSS Intervene
NARTO Called Off Strike as NNPC and DSS Intervene
The Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) on Tuesday said it has called off its two-day warning strike that began on Tuesday.
On Monday NARTO had directed all its members to halt operations following the new policy of the federal government that restricted truck above 45,000 litres from plying Nigerian road.
The National President of the association, Yusuf Othman, said the directive was sudden with little to no time for affected tanker drivers to make adjustments.
However, on Tuesday in Abuja, Othman said the association had to call off the strike following the intervention of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and the Department of State Services.
He said “Yesterday (Monday), following an emergency meeting of the National Executive Council of our association, it was resolved that transport owners would park their trucks from 22nd to 23rd September, 2020.
“This was in protest of the Federal Government’s decision to ban all trucks of over 45,000 litres capacity from loading petroleum products from all depots throughout the country.”
He added, “However, following the intervention of the Group Managing Director of NNPC and the Director-General of the DSS, we are hereby directing all our members to resume operation nationwide.
“This is a directive that we revert to status quo until January 2021 to allow for wider consultation.”
NARTO president said the association now await peaceful resolution and hope that the agreed time would be enough for affected members to re-engineer their trucks in accordance with the 45,000 litres directive.
FG to Boost Foreign Revenue Through Methylformate Production
FG to Enhance Methylformate Production
The Federal Government has started unlocking domestic capacity to up foreign revenue generation and deepen domestic productions through various means including enhancing the production of methylformate.
The Minister of Environment, Dr. Mohammad Abubakar, disclosed this during the inauguration of Systems House of Vitapur Nigeria Limited on Tuesday in Ikeja.
He said the Federal Government was committed to improving the nation’s foreign reserves by unlocking domestic capacity in methylformate productions.
Speaking further he said domestic capacity in methylformate would help in phasing out ozone depleting substances and mitigate climate change, adding that such technological innovation also has potential to enhance Nigeria’s foreign revenue generation, among others.
According to him, such domestic production have advantages, including availability of ozone-friendly and low global potential blowing agents in the production of rigid foam, generation of forex for the country from export of methylformate and forex savings from local production, building of local capacity in the formulation of methylformate-based systems and consequently generation of employment and wealth.
“The methylformate systems will serve as source of raw material to ice making machine manufacturers. The project will lead to increased capacity utilisation in enterprises that will be using the methylformate being produced by Vitapur,” Abubakar said.
He reiterated the commitment of the government towards creating enabling environment that will enhance the global competitiveness of manufacturers, especially through fiscal incentives.
N-Power Beneficiaries Receives N13.3bn in Kwara State
NPower Beneficiaries in Kwara States Received N13.3bn
The National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) has said N-power beneficiaries in Kwara State received a total sum of N13.3 billion.
The amount was paid to 15,246 beneficiaries from both batches A and B that exited the programme.
Hajia Bashirah Abdulrazaq, the Focal Person of the programme in the state, said batch A beneficiaries were paid N7.4 billion for the 42 months period they were engaged.
She said batch B beneficiaries who were engaged for about 24 months received a total sum of N5.7 billion.
“Non-graduates received the sum of N10,000 every month and were engaged for a period of 24 months with a total sum of over N24 million spent,” she added.
Abdulrazaq also said Kwara state government had created a replica of the empowerment programme, codenamed K-power, in order to support beneficiaries after exiting the N-power programme.
She said around 10,000 of N-power beneficiaries benefited from “trader moni’ programme in the state with over N1.3 billion disbursed to them.
She, however, said the people are not willing to repay the loan.
Said she: “Poor masses are not ready to repay the loan after collection because of the attitude of Nigerian to anything from the government thinking it is national cake. Also, those that disbursed the money do not have records of beneficiaries like phone numbers and addresses. Thus, making it difficult to track them for repayment.
“The programme is designed to provide soft loans to boost small scale businesses in the markets which Vice President Yemi Osinbajo flagged off sometime last year to support women with N10,000 as soft loans to
be paid back and then enjoy the next stage of N50,000.
“Unfortunately, many beneficiaries didn’t pay back or the channel for payment was not identified, therefore, beneficiaries could not fulfill their pledges. Though, the component is going through restructuring to
seeing it achieves its objectives,” she said.
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