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COVID-19: CACOVID Donates 150-Bed Isolation Center, Multi-Million Naira Medical Equipment To Lagos State

Peter Okunoren

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The Private Sector led Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) has donated a 150-bed fully equipped isolation facility with medical equipment worth millions of naira to the Lagos State Government, to provide support in the fight against the virus within the state.

Speaking at the commissioning of the Yaba Isolation center, Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu noted that the isolation center would further strengthen the state’s healthcare system in dealing with the challenges of the Pandemic as the state currently leads the toll of Nigeria’s COVID-19 infections with over 10,000 confirmed cases.

The Governor commended the Coalition’s efforts in mobilizing resources quickly to support emergency responses and pledged that the donated facility would be used to provide adequate treatment to those who are infected and help to stop the overall spread of the virus within the state.

He urged all citizens to continue to take responsibility and follow directives of the government and health professionals towards reducing the spread of the virus and saving lives across communities.

“We need to take responsibility because the virus knows no race, ethnicity, religion, or boundary. We need to take responsibility for our loved ones by wearing a face mask, maintaining social distancing, and hand hygiene to reduce morbidity and mortality,” the governor said.

He further disclosed plans by the State Government to build an International Infectious Disease Research Centre, Doctors’ quarters, and permanent isolation wards at the Mainland Infectious Disease Hospital, Yaba as part of Lagos COVID-19 response and other infectious disease preparedness in the post-COVID-19 era.

In his remarks, the State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, said that the center was the sixth facility in the state dedicated to the treatment of COVID-19 patients, and is coming on board at a time when the state is ramping up its testing capacity.
He further said the 150-bed facility donated by CACOVID would be used for the management of moderate to severe COVID-19 patients and would assist in admitting and providing care for more patients.

Also speaking at the event, the Central Bank Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, said that collaboration between the private sector and government was vital to prevent the spread of the virus and save the lives of the citizens,
He further said that the center would enhance the state’s healthcare system and the management of COVID-19 within the state.

According to him, N29 billion has been donated so far by members of the coalition towards supporting the government’s efforts in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and that the funds have been used to build and equip isolation centers across the country.
Mr. Emefiele said that 32 isolation centers have been built as of today, with a target to reach 39 isolation centers by the end of July.

The CBN governor added that CACOVID had also provided in-kind food palliatives to members of the public across the country to ameliorate the effects of the virus on their welfare.

He commended members of the coalition for their generous and selfless donations which have helped in achieving its common goal of helping the nation fight the spread of COVID-19. He also lauded the healthcare workers and the state government for their efforts in implementing strategies, caring for the infected patients, and reducing the spread of the virus in the state.

Also, the Chief Executive, Dangote Industries Limited, Aliko Dangote said the Lagos Isolation Center was a model for what the coalition would build in other states.

Dangote, represented by Ms Zouera Youssoufou, Managing Director Aliko Dangote Foundation (ADF), said: “It is with great pride that we hand over the Yaba Isolation Center to Lagos State. More supports will come to the state from the coalition and we appreciate everyone’s contribution towards our goal.”

In his remarks, the Managing Director, Access Bank Plc, Mr. Herbert Wigwe said that Lagos was more vulnerable to the spread of the virus due to its large population. He commended the state government for its efforts to reduce the spread and effect of the virus on the citizens. He also appreciated the state government’s support for CACOVID.

The Yaba Isolation center comes with a fully equipped medical laboratory and high dependency unit; personal protective equipment and other critical medical consumables; water and sewage treatment plants; 11kv power generator amongst other essentials. This is in addition to 34,000 test kits, sample collection swabs and infrared thermometers recently delivered to the NCDC.

To date, CACOVID has committed billions of naira to build 38 fully equipped isolation centers across Nigeria with over 5,000 beds and critical medical equipment needed to fight the pandemic, exemplifying sustainable value addition from a partnership that truly works.

BIG STORY

Diezani Removed $70m From NNPC In 12 Bags —– Ex-NNPC GMD

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A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos heard on Thursday that in 2015, a former Petroleum Resources Minister Diezani Alison-Madueke ordered the removal of $70 million from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in 12 padlocked bags.

A former NNPC Group General Manager told Justice Muslim Hassan that he delivered the bags to an Abuja-based banker on Mrs. Alison-Madueke’s instructions.

He testified that he and others “had a command-and-obey relationship and also took an oath of office to obey directives and authority”.

The former GGM appeared as a prosecution witness in the trial of a former Executive Director of a top commercial bank, Dauda Lawal.

Lawal is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for alleged money laundering of N928,000,000

The commission accused him of handling $25 million out of $153 million, which the former minister allegedly doled out to influence the 2015 general elections.

The trial opened on Thursday with the ex-NNPC GGM appearing as the first prosecution witness.

Led in evidence by EFCC Prosecutor Rotimi Oyedepo, the witness narrated how he delivered the cash-laden bags to the Abuja banker, identified simply as Charles, in the front of Dume Supermarket in Abuja.

The witness said: “My lord, as I can remember, shortly before the 2015 elections, it was the norm for heads of subsidiaries (of the NNPC) to be invited for an undisclosed briefing of activities of their departments to the minister.

“At the end of such briefings, the then Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Alison-Madueke, gave me a GSM number in respect of one Charles, whom I had never met, with a clear instruction that I should convey 12 padlocked bags to the said Charles.

“My lord, the source, the content, and the purpose of the bags were not disclosed to me.

“Thereafter, I called the said Charles, who equally confirmed to me that he had been briefed about the message. I delivered the bags to Charles.

“Much later, my lord, the EFCC invited me for interrogation on the issue and I made a statement to that effect.

“Charles equally confirmed at the EFCC that he received the 12 padlocked bags and the bags contained $70 million.”

Under cross-examination by the defense counsel, Patrick Ikwueto (SAN), the witness said he had never met Lawal before.

Justice Hassan adjourned till July 21, 22, and 23 for the continuation of trial.

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BIG STORY

Afenifere Demands Sack Of Education Minister For Stopping School Resumption

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The pan-Yoruba socio-political organization, Afenifere has condemned the decision of the Federal Government that schools should remain closed in the country until further notice.

The group called on the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (red.), to sack the minister of education for planning to ground education for a year.

The Secretary-General of the association, Bashorun Sehinde Arogbofa, said the Federal Government should have allowed pupils to resume and find means of protecting them against coronavirus disease.

He said, “Adamu Adamu should be sacked, he cannot bring our school system back to the stone age. They had about six months to plan for these children what did the Federal Government do?

“It means the two of them (Adamu and the Minister of State for Education) don’t know what they are doing, so they should go. I think the two ministers in the ministry should go. Why would one say the pupils should resume taking their paper in August and the other minister would come and reverse the order?”

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BIG STORY

Magu Quizzed Over 380 Houses, 7 Crude Oil-Laden Ships, N37bn Assets

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The embattled Acting Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, was on Wednesday confronted with more allegations.

The Justice Ayo Salami-led Presidential panel asked him to account for 380 houses and seven vessels loaded with crude oil.

The probe panel also grilled on him on the disposal of assets worth N37 billion.

Magu is being grilled, following allegations raised against him by Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami(SAN).

The panel started quizzing Magu on Monday after his arrest by detectives in Abuja. On Tuesday, he was grilled on cash discrepancies said to be N539 billion realized from the sale of seized assets and N504 billion declared by the commission.

Both issues are part of the over 20 allegations leveled against the anti-graft agency chairman by the AGF.

It was also gathered, on Wednesday, that on the ground floor of the Federal Criminal Investigation Department, FCID, Area 10, Abuja, where the EFCC boss is being held, his family members are allowed to visit him.

A Presidency source had said, on Tuesday, that the probe was an affirmation that nobody under the present administration was above scrutiny.

The source had also explained that the interrogation of the anti-graft boss was being done to give him the opportunity to clear himself of the weighty allegations.

It was gathered that Magu was brought to the venue at about 11:14 am from the Force Criminal Investigation Department, FCID, building where he had been held since Monday. He was also joined by his lawyer at the panel for interrogation.

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