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Senate urges PTF to reduce high cost of testing

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The Senate on Tuesday called on the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 to ensure a drastic reduction in the cost of testing for the virus by private- owned laboratories.

Chairman of the Senate Joint Committee on Health and Aviation Senator Ibrahim Oloriegbe (Kwara Central) made the appeal during an interview session with members of PTF on COVID-19, comprising the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, and the National Coordinator on COVID-19, Dr. Sani Aliyu, among others.

Members of the committee lamented the high cost of testing for the virus by private laboratories but at N75,000.00.

Oloriegbe urged Ehanire and Aliyu to enlarge the scope of testing for the virus by including public laboratories to bring down the cost.

He said the panel expects response action plans from the minister and the PTF within the next two weeks.

The committee members admonished relevant stakeholders in the country not to adopt measures that might be disastrous to the nation’s economy by replicating a western-style of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chairman, Senate Committee on Aviation, Senator Smart Adeyemi (Kogi West), in his remarks at the interactive session, said though based on realities on the ground, COVID-19 is real but not potent in Nigeria and in many other African countries.

He said based on the present reality, it would be wrong for stakeholders in the country to swallow hook, line, and sinker measures being adopted to fight COVID-19 in Europe, America, China, and others.

“There is something in us as Africans that is not in them in Europe and America, which made COVID-19 not to be disastrous here as it is there.

“In light of this, measures that are detrimental to the livelihood and well-being of Nigerians should be avoided, so as not to kill the Nation’s economy,” he said.

Senator Biodun Olujimi (Ekiti South) took up both Ehanire and PTF National Coordinator on the usefulness of face masks in Nigeria based on realities on the ground.

She said based on what she saw in many communities in Ekiti State last week, residents have stopped the usage of face masks.

She asked the PTF’s National Coordinator reasons behind the success story in Nigeria.

Aliyu said the three reasons already identified are: poverty, demography, and the aggressive nature of African countries against the pandemic.

According to him, though the factor of poverty as part of the success story against COVID-19 in Nigeria is “controversial” but it is generally believed that the virus gets weakened in crowded and stuffy areas.

“Demographically, only 3% of Nigerians are above the age of 65 as against 20%, 18%, etc, of such populations in Europe and America, where death casualties were high.”

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NIGERIA

EDO 2020 UPDATES: Godwin Obaseki wins polling unit

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Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has won his polling unit in the ongoing governorship election in the state.

Voting at Polling Unit 19, Ward 4, Oredo Local Government Area, Obaseki polled 184 votes while All Progressives Congress governorship candidate, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, got 62 votes.

In Unit 21 of the same ward, the PDP garnered 53 votes while the APC polled 33 votes.

Obaseki’s PDP polled 70 votes ahead of Ize-Iyamu’s APC that garnered 65 votes. In Unit 23, it was PDP 101, APC 32.

In Unit 24 of the same Oredo Ward 4, PDP won with 94 votes, while the APC got 50 votes.

Also in the same ward, Unit 25, the PDP got 33 votes ahead of the APC’s 22 votes.

Casting of ballots ended in most of the areas at 2:30pm

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NIGERIA

School building collapses in Lagos (photos)

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A three-story building belonging to a private school in the Ejigbo area in Lagos state collapsed on Saturday, September 19.

The affected school, Excel College, which is located at 15, Ansarudeen Street, Ile-Epo Bus-Stop, collapsed at about 8.15 am. So far, there are no reports of casualties recorded.

According to eyewitnesses, the privately-owned building belonging to Excel College had previously shown signs of distress and the school was planning to renovate the structure before the collapse.

 

School building collapses in Lagos (photos)School building collapses in Lagos (photos)

by Linda Ike

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NIGERIA

Edo election: I’m disappointed, says Obaseki after voting

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Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has expressed displeasure over the conduct of the ongoing governorship election in the state.

He said the Independent National Electoral Commission should have prepared better for the election.

Obaseki spoke after casting his vote at Polling Unit 19, Ward 4, Oredo Local Government Area.

The governor lamented that he stayed for over one and a half hours in the queue.

The Peoples Democratic Party candidate in the election said he was delayed because the card reader was slow.

He said, “I expected that INEC would have prepared better for this election. I waited for one and a half hours in the queue before exercising my franchise, it’s a bit disappointing.

“Giving that this is a sole day election, I expected better planning for this election. Card readers were very slow and that’s the situation everywhere.”

Earlier, the Special Adviser to Edo State Governor, Crusoe Osagie, alleged that there was manipulation in areas where Obaseki is popular.

He said, “Suddenly card readers are not working in areas where Governor Godwin Obaseki is very popular.

“Voters are being disenfranchised and we are constrained to say that this is sabotage.

“Specifically, in Oredo Ward 1, Unit 20 and other places where the Governor is clearly popular, the card readers are not working.

“The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should prove to Edo voters that it can conduct a credible election in Edo State.”

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