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Pastor Adeboye Hits FG Hard, Condemns Border Closure, VAT Increase, Others

Peter Okunoren

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General Overseer of The Redeemed Christian Church of God, (RCCG) Pastor Enoch Adeboye has kicked against the proposed increase of VAT from 5 per cent to 7.5 per cent by the federal government.

The proposal, he said, will further increase the burdens on Nigerians.

Adeboye also said the proposed reintroduction of toll gates on the federal government was insensitive.

The plan, he said, shouldn’t be considered at a time most federal roads were in pitiable conditions.

The federal government, as far as Adeboye is concerned, should refocus its plans and programmes toward initiatives that would lessen the suffering and burdens of Nigerians.

He spoke last Sunday at the Special Independence Day Celebration of the church at its headquarters, RCCG, Throne of Grace, Ebute-Metta, Lagos.

The programme tagged Arise attracted worshippers and traditional rulers led by the Alake and Paramount ruler of Egbaland, His royal highness, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo.

He further pointed out the closure of borders to importation of rice was ill-conceived because it has made the stable unavailable to most Nigerians.

Adeboye said as the country celebrates at 59, the federal government should henceforth focus on initiating policies that would lessen the sufferings and burdens of Nigerians.

Such policies, he said, should have the capability to move the country out of doldrums, make her arise and pitch her tent with the comity of nations.

Speaking through the Assistant General Overseer, Administration and Personnel, Pastor Johnson Odesola, Adeboye emphasised a lot of policies of the government are not helping Nigerians.

He lamented many Nigerians were suffering when the wealth of their nation are just in few hands who have refused to let go.

The respected preacher also criticised how banks are fixing the interest rate, which he described as one of the highest in the world, saying the development was making business environment unfavourable for Nigerians.

He bemoaned the condition of commoners, saying it was insensitive for the federal government to consider bringing back toll gates when the roads were in bad conditions.

Oba Gbadebo appreciated God for the independence celebration, saying that God has helped us a lot as Nigeria has remained one the federation that has remained strong and indivisible since independence in 1960.

He appealed to Nigeria leaders to consolidate on the success and achievements made so far in Nigeria by working for the interest of the people rather than their personal interest and gain.

He restated that leaders in the position of authority are put there by God and will one day give an account of their stewardship to him.

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We Can Treat COVID-19 Patient In Our State, Akeredolu Boasts

Peter Okunoren

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Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, has said that the state is well equipped to treat the only COVID-19 patient it currently has.

Governor Akeredolu said the patient would not be transferred to Lagos State.

Speaking at a world press conference in Akure, Governor Akeredolu said the state’s own Infectious Disease Hospital where the patient is currently admitted has all the needed facilities.

The Ondo Governor urged the people not to be scared as the patient did not leave the premises of a military barrack when he returned from Indian.

Akeredolu stated that the military officer returned from Indian on an official assignment and was placed on self-isolation but developed symptoms on Friday which made his samples to be collected and tested positive.

He said they have begun contact tracing and told those traced to self-isolate in the barracks.

According to him, “We have moved the patient to our Infectious Disease Hospital (IDH). He has been receiving treatment and has been stable.

“If you trace the history of the officer, it leaves us with little or no potential of expansion. The man came in from Indian and on his return placed himself on self-isolation. Whatever it is, all we have to do to prevent the spread has been done with this man being in self-isolation

“We have contained it within a room or the barrack. There was never a time the man left the barrack. Our people have no reason to fear. We want to strengthen our precautionary measures. The school’s closure will remain until further notice. We have suspended public gatherings and social activities that will involve a crowd. We scaled down physical activities at the secretariat. We have to close done our markets. We directed a lockdown of our borders. This became necessary because we discovered a high movement of people from states that closed their borders.

“We have set up a special relief distribution committee. The committee is to purchase and share food through the local government.

“There is no way we can list how many contacts we are tracing. We have a well-equipped facility here in Ondo. We believe it will be enough for us. We will treat people here in our facilities. we pray there will not be any expansion. The module we have adopted is to have isolation centers in senatorial districts.

“If we have the means, we are going to spend millions of naira on palliatives. We are going to reach as many people as possible. There is no cause for fear. We should live a normal life. People should stay more at home.”

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Federal Government Seeks NASS Approval To Establish N500bn COVID-19 Intervention Fund

Gbemileke Ajayi

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The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, on Saturday, met with the leadership of the National Assembly to intimate it on an Executive proposal to establish a N500 billion COVID-19 Crisis Intervention Fund.

Ola Awoniyi, the Special Adviser to the President of Senate, Ahmad Lawan, in a statement said that the minister held the meeting with the President of the Senate and senior officials of the ministry at the National Assembly Complex in the Federal Capital Territory.

Also in attendance were the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, Deputy President of the Senate, Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege; Deputy Speaker, Idris Wase, and some principal officers of both Chambers.

The meeting is a follow-up to another one held on March 25 between the National Assembly leadership and members of the Presidential Committee set up for the management of the COVID-19 crisis.

“What we are proposing is the establishment of a N500 billion COVID-19 Crisis Intervention Fund.

“This Fund that we are proposing should be created will involve mopping up resources from various special accounts that the government, as well as the Federation, have to be able to pull this N500 billion,” the minister said.

Ahmed added that in addition to the identified special accounts from where the money would be drawn as loans, the proposed intervention fund would also be sourced from grants being expected and loans from multilateral institutions.

“Our general view is that this crisis intervention fund is to be utilised to upgrade healthcare facilities as earlier identified.

“The Federal Government also needs to be in a position to improve health care facilities not only in the states but to provide intervention to the states,’’ she said.

Ahmed explained to the lawmakers that the Fund if approved, would also take care of special Public Work Programmes currently being implemented by the National Directorate of Employment (NDE).

“We know that there will be a need for the parliament to agree and approve the taking of loans from these special accounts and we will be coming back with a proposed bill in that regard that will define what the fund will be used for,’’ the minister said.

Earlier in his remarks, the Senate President said the meeting was in fulfilment of an earlier promise to provide support as the need arises in this time of crisis.

“Just like we told Nigerians when there is need for us to meet or to take legislative action in support of ensuring that the government responds appropriately to development issues and challenges in the country, we will do so.

“This meeting, the second in the series after we shut down the National Assembly for two weeks, is a clear testimony of what we have said.

“Governance requires that we work together, so we want to listen to those things that you have on your side and how we can also play our constitutional role in ensuring that Nigerians continue to benefit from governance.

“And to also see how we are able to weather the storm created by COVID-19.

“Going forward, we need to interact more because very fundamental decisions will need to be taken, and these decisions can only be said to be constitutionally legal if the legislature gives its stamp of authority for the executive to implement and execute.

“I think coming to us for those loans is critical because we are in an emergency and time is of the essence.

“So, we must work as expeditiously as possible to ensure that we place the request before the National Assembly.

“I think time has come for us to redefine the implementation of the Social Intervention Programme, because probably going out to communities to give them N20,000 per person might not be the best way to go.

“It is still an effort, but I think we need a better approach that will be more efficient,’’ Lawan said. (NAN)

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BREAKING: Lagos Deputy Governor, Obafemi Hamzat Tests Negative For COVID-19

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The Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, has tested negative for Coronavirus.

Hamzat stated the result of his status through his twitter handle on Saturday.

He said that the COVID-19 test was not a pleasant experience.

He said that it was important for him to do it because as a leader nothing should distract him from his role at this period.

He thanked all health workers and appealed to the residents of the state to play their role and ended the tweet with the hashtag #StayHomeSaveLives.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that a breakdown of the cases by states shows that Lagos now has 109 cases; Abuja- 41; Osun- 22; Oyo- eight; Edo- seven; Akwa Ibom- five; Ogun and Kaduna have four cases each.

Others are: Bauchi- three; Enugu and Ekiti- two cases each, while Rivers, Benue and Ondo States have one case respectively.

(NAN)

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