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Ministerial Screening: Aregbesola Holds Senate Spellbound, As He Outlines His 8-Years Administration Achievements In Osun

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Former governor of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola Monday got a rousing welcome in the senate chambers as he reeled out his achievement as governor in the land of the virtue.

Ogbeni Aregbesola who started by recognizing the leadership of the senate, senators from Osun, former progressive governors in the Senate, as well as party leaders in the South West stated that his past 39 years post-academic experience had prepared him for a life of service.

“The past 39 years of post-qualification experience in professional, leadership, and resilience with a huge dose of politics has prepared me for a life of service. I believe that power is responsibility and should be used for the welfare of the people.”

He further went ahead to reel out the achievement of his administration saying, “the United Nations Development Program, UNDP and the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS Human Development Index Report released in October 2018 shows that as at October 2010, Osun Poverty Index was 37.5%, but by 2016, Osun’s Poverty Index had crashed to 17.5%, the lowest in the country.

“Out of school Children reduced from 12.8% in 2011 to 10.5% in 2016 according to the UNICEF Multiple Indication Cluster Survey, 2016/2017. According to the NBS report on JAMB Admissions, in the last 7 years, Osun has ranked top 3.”

On security, the former governor says Osun recorded 0.94 crime incidence rate, being the lowest in the South West of the country. Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola also used the opportunity to explain to the senate how his administration was able to weather the financial crisis that ravaged the nation which did not leave out his state.

“I must hasten to add that I and my administration faced lots of criticisms while in government, partly due to ignorance and partly due to mischief. One interesting topic of misrepresentation is salary 7 pensions payment. Yet, while many states were unable to pay a penny to workers for many months, it was never so in Osun.

“What we did was to devise a method of modulated salary & pensions payment by which the most vulnerable workers earned their full pay. This applied to workers on Levels 1-7, who accounted for about 72% of the workforce. Those on Levels 8-12 earned 75% of their salary & pensions, while only those on Levels 13-17 earned 50%.

“I am happy to say that from July 2018, we commenced the payment of full salaries & pension to all workers before I left the office and the practice continues till today. In 8 years, We received a total gross allocation plus IGR of N332,928,683,766.46, of which we paid Salaries, Pensions & Gratuities worth N209,375,950,193.71 representing 62.9% of our total earnings on personnel cost alone.” The former governor stated.

Responding, former governor of Imo and Senator Representing Imo South, Sen. Rochas Okorocha eulogized the nominee, describing him as a man who used power for the good of the people.

In the same vein, Sen. Elisha Ishaku Abbo representing Adamawa North of the PDP gave a touching story of how Ogbeni had supported him in the past when he wanted to contest as chairman of his local government without knowing him from anywhere. He, therefore, asked his colleagues to allow him to bow and go whilst also imploring the president to give him a ‘big ministry’.

Two APC senators from Osun, Sen. Surajudeen Ajibola Basri, and Sen. Oriolowo Aderele Adeyemi Oriolowo spoke glowingly of the nominees describing him as their leader, an achiever, a mentor and benefactor and should be allowed to ‘bow and go’.

Meanwhile, the senator representing the nominee, Sen. Francis Fadahunsi, PDP Osun East seconded the motion as moved by the Senate Minority Leader, Sen. Enyinnaya Abaribe, PDP Abia South for the nominee to ‘bow and go’.

Meanwhile, earlier during the screening of a ministerial nominee from Lagos, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, a former governor in Imo, Sen. Rochas Okoracha suggested that the presidency unbundles the Federal Ministry of Power, Works & Housing to allow for effectiveness and efficiency in the provisions of essential services to the populace.

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I ‘Murdered’ Coronavirus, I Fought To Live, Swallowed 31 Tablets Daily —- Survivor [MUST READ]

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Hours after she was certified free of Coronavirus and discharged, Miss Oluwaseun Ayodeji Osowobi on Monday relived her battle against the virus.

She declared victory, saying: “I’ve murdered Coronavirus. I fought to live. Coronavirus is not a death sentence. People can survive and I have.”

Miss Osowobi is the Executive Director of an anti-rape Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) @StandtoEndRape.

She said she had to swallow about 31 tablets daily, eight in the morning, 13 in the afternoon and 10 in the night.

The activist said she ended up vomiting the pills only to depend on Oral Rehydration Solutions (ORS) after becoming dehydrated.

She said she got infected with Coronavirus while looking forward to a fantastic consultancy job, which she eventually lost.

She praised Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for coming to see her.

Osowobi, who defied stigma, made known her experience on her twitter handle (@AyodejiOsowobi).

She was among the five people discharged yesterday from the Lagos Isolation Centre after their recovery

Her experience with Coronavirus is a mixed bag of pains and hope.

She promised to release the video clip of her experience.

Miss Osowobi said: “Life finds ways of throwing Lemon at me. I’ve struggled with coming forward, but I want to inspire hope.

“I returned to Nigeria from the UK post-Commonwealth event (I totally enjoyed) and fell ill. As a responsible person, I self-isolated

“Before returning, I had planned several interviews, I was scheduled to start a fantastic consultancy job and was also expecting to sign a contract worth millions. I lost them all!!!

“I had to self-isolate and also inform people I came in close contact with to get tested. #COVID19

“My friend and I kept calling @NCDCgov to get tested? What if we didn’t persist?

“No info on my test result. At 12am, an ambulance was at my house. I woke from sleep and was crying. I got to the isolation centre, but no one was there to receive me. I waited in the ambulance for two hours.

“The nurses eventually came out and treated me like a plague. I sat in the ambulance feeling rejected.

“No questions about how I felt. So many questions about my travel history. Same information I had provided to NCDC & Lagos State Government during profiling. Lack of data sharing!

“After two hours, I was taken to my space. I felt lonely, bored & disconnected from the outside world.

“A few days after, another patient came in. We bonded. Days later, patients trooped in.

“Are people observing self-isolation and social distancing?” I was so scared for Nigeria.

“The next days were tough. No appetite. Nausea, vomit & stooling was unbearable. I’m a blood type A & #COVID19 dealt with me. I’ll share the daily symptoms & recovery process in a video tomorrow.

“I thought I was going to die and contemplated a succession plan for @StandtoEndRape”

Osowobi explained how she and other coronavirus patients were managed at the isolation centre.

She described the medical team as fabulous.

A major highlight was how she was on 31 tablets per day which she ended up vomiting.

She said: “I was on drugs daily. Sometimes, I‘d take 8 tablets in the morning, 13 tablets in the afternoon, 10 at night. My system threw everything out!

“Water, food, soap and all disgusted me. But, I’d look at the wall and force myself to stay hydrated — drank ORS. I fought to live! I fought!!”

Notwithstanding, Osowobi, who was the third Nigerian to be infected by Coronavirus, said she later tested negative.

She added: “Days after, the doctors shared good news that I tested negative. I shared this news with family and friends! My blood sample was taken and I also tried to donate my plasmapheresis to help others. I hoped to be discharged.

“I waited to be discharged, but for two days, nothing happened. I continued the medication and asked to be in a separate ward. Sadly, I remained in the same ward as all other rooms were full.

“My ward had people who were positive. What if I get re-infected? For them, I was a beacon of hope and they needed me gone to register the progress.”

She recounted her encounter with a doctor in her last moments in the Isolation Centre

She quoted the doctor as saying “…You’ll stay a few more days. You know we take nose, mouth & sputum samples.”

“Am I still positive,?”I asked.

“No, you’re negative,” the doctor replied.

“The doctor apologised for the delay. I was anxious to go home but remained calm. I wanted to be free from this pain.

“I was unsure of what was going on. Why haven’t I been discharged? Should I be in the same ward? Could I get re-infected? I was worried but remained calm.

“On the 3rd day, Doctors said, “well, we worked with the info we had of you testing negative, but one result came back positive.”

“My family & friends were becoming anxious. People in my ward who earlier celebrated the news of my result suddenly lost hope.

“Why are you still here? You shouldn’t be here with us. You should be separated from us now…People in my ward muttered. I tried to calm them.

“Today, I am proud to inform you that I murdered COVID-19 and I have tested negative twice! I have been discharged! I bless God for His mercies. Coronavirus is NOT a death sentence. People can survive and I HAVE!

“The nurses at IDH Yaba were fab(Fabulous). They deserve accolades for their hard work. Thank you Governor @jidesanwoolu for coming to see me.”

She said a takeaway from her ordeal was the value of friendship despite being stigmatized.

She said: “This experience reminded me of the value of friendship. Some people I refer to as friends speculated about this, but never reached out to check.

Thank you still. Back to the grind!

“Huge thanks to my family, @Triciabiz and Sola Odetola who were my backbone. Thanks to everyone who called, sent messages and tried to contact me. I am grateful and well. This experience reminded me of the value of friendship.

“Thanks to @ProfAkinAbatyomi, the health team at IDH+ Lagos State. The food was good. Thanks to @dondekojo for helping me get help. Thanks to my chat buddy, @akintonminde

“Thank [email protected] and @lailajohnsosal for the mental and material support

“Some stigmatized me based on an article with subtle messages like “why did she come back to Nigeria?” Nigeria is my home. Coronavirus is NOT a death sentence. People can survive and I HAVE!

“Here to remind you that no matter how you itch to do it or how convenient it may seem, never use your friend’s situation or information to score points. It’s crass behaviour!!! Don’t be that person.

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COVID-19: Be Friendly In Enforcing Lockdown, Sanwo-Olu Charges Security Operatives; As Lagos CP Promises To Be Civil

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Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has charged security agents to be friendly in enforcing the lockdown order announced on Sunday by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Governor called for high professionalism on the part of the enforcement team in dealing with erring persons, cautioning that high-handedness may lead to violation of human rights of residents.

Sanwo-Olu gave the charge on Monday in a discussion with commanders of all security formations in the State during a Security Council meeting held at the State House in Marina.

President Buhari had announced 14-day cessation of movement in Lagos, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and Ogun State as part of the steps to break the cycle of the spread of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country. Lagos is the worst hit among the three states locked down by the Federal Government.

Briefing the press after the meeting, Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, who spoke on behalf the Council, said the presidential directive would be fully implemented, stressing that commanders of each security agency had resolved to comply with the Governor’s entreaty.

He said the enforcement of the restriction order would be executed with a human face, but pleaded with residents and inter-state commuters to exercise self-compliance with the presidential directive.

He said: “We have just concluded a Security Council meeting with Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and as commanders of security agencies in Lagos, we have fully digested the presidential directive on COVID-19. We have all resolved now to comply and enforce all the restrictions.

“The enforcement of the restrictions and all directives will be done with a human face. We want to appeal to members of the public; what matters most is self compliant. They must try as much as possible to comply voluntarily to the laid down-regulations so that we can collectively defeat the pandemic.”

The Lagos police boss said those who had been exempted in the presidential directive would be allowed to move unhindered at any time of the day in the containment period, but added that the exemption was not blanket.

Odumosu said some other professionals and government officials on essential duties would be allowed to move, but said their leadership must obtain clearance from security agencies before sending out staff to work.

He said: “The exemption is not blanket. Some other measurements will still be attached to it and sent to various government ministries in the state. The Commissioners in charge of these ministries will have a review and confirm those who are exempted are actually qualified to be exempted.”

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Electricity Tariff To Increase On Wednesday April 1st Amidst National Lockdown

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Nigerians will from Wednesday, April 1, 2020, pay more for electricity, The PUNCH Newspaper is reporting.

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission had disclosed this in its December 2019 Minor Review of Multi-Year Tariff Order 2015 and Minimum Remittance Order for the Year 2020.

It was learnt that the decision to increase tariff had not yet been suspended despite the lockdown occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.

A top source at Ikeja Electric told The PUNCH that the firm had not received any directive from NERC as regards the reversal of the plan.

He said, “According to the tariff order for the year, we are supposed to increase on April 1, 2020. So far, we have not received any directive not to go ahead.”

Efforts to get NERC to speak on the matter were not successful on Monday as the spokesman for the commission, Usman Arabi, said he was not around but on a course at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies.

Arabi’s substitute, however, did not respond to calls or a text message sent to him.

NERC had disclosed in its December 2019 Minor Review of Multi-Year Tariff Order 2015 and Minimum Remittance Order for the Year 2020 that the order was issued to reflect the impact of changes in the minor review variables in the determination of cost-reflective tariffs and relevant tariff and market shortfalls for 2019 and 2020.

The commission said the order also determined the minimum remittances payable by the distribution companies in meeting their market obligations based on the allowed tariffs.

It said, “The Federal Government’s updated Power Sector Recovery Programme does not envisage an immediate increase in end-user tariffs until April 1, 2020, and a transition to full cost reflectivity by end of 2021.

“In the interim, the Federal Government has committed to funding the revenue gap arising from the difference between cost-reflective tariffs determined by the commission and the actual end-user tariffs payable by customers.”

According to NERC, all Discos are obligated to settle their market invoices in full as adjusted and netted off by applicable tariff shortfall.

It said, “All FGN intervention from the financing plan of the PSRP for funding tariff shortfall shall be applied through NBET and the market operator to ensure 100 percent settlement of invoices issued by market participants.

“Effectively, this order places a freeze on the tariffs of the TCN and administrative charges until April 2020 at the rates applied in generating MO invoices for the period of January to October 2019.”

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