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Top Breaking News in Nigeria This Morning, Sunday, 19 July, 2020

WASSCE: Don’t reopen schools until 2021, ASUU tells FG.

The Academic Staff Union of Universities has said it supported the decision of the Federal Government to stop Senior Secondary School 3 pupils from partaking in the West African Senior School Certificate Examination earlier scheduled to commence on August 4.

The union advised the government to shut down schools until 2021 to ensure adequate preparations, citing the case in some countries such as Kenya.

Our correspondents had reported on Saturday that the Federal Ministry of Education met with officials of the West African Examination Council in Abuja and resolved to announce a new date for the examination.

The Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, had also said the government would consult with the four other countries under WAEC to set a new date, while announcing COVID-19 mandatory guidelines for schools which must be kept before July 29.

The ASUU President, Prof Biodun Ogunyemi, who made the recommendations in an interview with Sunday PUNCH, said no reasonable government would take such chances unless parents would be told to sign an undertaking.

Ogunyemi said, “Look, Kenya has said they have closed all their schools till next year (2021); they too have exams to write. Safety first. If it means closing the schools until next year to safeguard the lives of Nigerian children and safeguard the health of all Nigerians, so be it.

“So, if that will help us to address cases that can lead to increase in mortality, I think Nigerians should go that way and all of us should see reason for it. If they need to cancel admission for the year, it is good for them. Life matters first, people must have life first before they can go to university. Are the universities ready to work now?

“Our position is that they should not experiment with the lives of our children. Nobody can tell; the situation may soon normalise and they can do their exams and there is another opportunity for external candidates around November. So, it’s not as if the door is totally closed.”

The ASUU president added that the union had not seen any evidence to show that schools were secured for students to go back.


Adeboye unveils handwashing machines for schools.

The General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, has unveiled integrated handwashing and sanitiser dispensing machine for use by schools as they prepare for resumption as directed by the Federal Government.

Adeboye urged the schools to cooperate with the government and make an adequate provision for preventive measures against COVID-19.

The cleric unveiled the machine fabricated by the Redeemer’s College of Technology and Management at the Redemption Camp, Mowe, Ogun State, saying it was in preparation for the much-anticipated resumption of schools in the country.

He noted that he looked forward to the resumption of academic activities in the country.

He said, “The machine which was fabricated as a measure to check the spread of the coronavirus in preparation for the reopening of schools has features which include leg pedal designed to dispense soap, water and hand sanitiser; it has a water storage tank and also has a tissue paper holding device.”

Addressing newsmen after the unveiling, the RECTEM Rector, Dr Stella Mofunanya, remarked that the college which had embarked on e-learning following the closure of schools occasioned by the spread of the pandemic, deployed the fabricated machines to all entrances to students’ halls of residence.

“Others are lecture halls, laboratories, workshops among others. Adequate preparation for resumption has also been made with the production of customised nose masks, face shields in large quantity and the World Health Organisation-recommended alcohol-based hand sanitisers which would be distributed to the students and staff on resumption,” she said.

Mofunanya assured the fumigation of the halls of residence, classes, laboratories and offices prior to reopening.


Post COVID-19: We should focus on how to grow economy, create jobs –Peter Obi.

As he marks his 59th birthday today, former governor of Anambra State and ex-vice presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2019 election, Mr. Peter Obi, has given a roadmap for the country to overcome effect of coronavirus pandemic.

Fielding questions from a team of editors, he said inasmuch as Nigeria preoccupied itself with how to come out of COVID-19, that the main issue was what happened after the pandemic. He further said the focus should be how to grow the economy and create jobs, just as he declared that stimulus package is the magic to solving the problem. He however, said what the government provided as stimulus package was meagre and could not achieve much.

The former governor recommended the support to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), focus on education and health care, among other development area, as actions that would grow the economy. 

He spoke on these and many others.


Akpororo signs new endorsement deal.

Comedian Akpororo has signed a new endorsement deal. The comedian recent inked an endorsement deal with Fedan Investment Limited (FIL), an ICT and mobile phone accessories company as it’s ambassador.

The signing of agreement between the two took place at the company’s headquarters in Alaba International Market, Lagos.

Speaking during the signing, Akpororo said he is happy to be part of the family and promised to work hard and take the brand to another level.

“We are here to work. I have the fan base that will respond positively when I advertise the products on my different social media handles. On Instagram alone, I have 2.7 million followers,” he said.

Asked how he met FIL, he said he came in contact with the company during their Christmas party in 2019 “so when they approached me, I jumped at it because the work environment is very homely.

I will do all in my power to make sure that the company achieves it’s goal of becoming the number one brand in the world.

The Akpororo brand is one of the best in the world and that’s what we will be using to push this product to the market place.”

On his part, Managing Director, FIL, Stephen Amaechi Chinemerem said that the goal of his company is to make sure Nigerians access quality phone accessories and lighting products.

“This is why we brought Akpororo on board so that he can help us take this brand around Nigeria and Africa since we are one of the best in Africa.

“We picked Akpororo because to us he is not just the best comedian in Nigeria but carries God’s favour which we believe will spread all over our business,” he said.


Safety violations: UAE impounds aircraft operated by Nigerian airline.

Civil aviation authorities in the United Arab Emirates have impounded a private jet operated by a Nigerian airline (name withheld) over serious safety defects.

The aircraft was impounded at the Dubai International Airport shortly after arriving the UAE from the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, Nigeria.

The chartered plane had flown some Nigerian minerals merchants to Dubai.

The UAE civil aviation authorities, which carried out a random ramp inspection on the plane shortly after arriving in Dubai, reportedly discovered serious safety infractions on it. The plane was subsequently grounded. Findings showed that the plane had remained grounded in Dubai for over three weeks now.

Top officials of the Ministry of Aviation confirmed the development on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak on the matter.

According to them, the UAE civil aviation authority has contacted the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority and the United States Federal Aviation Authority on the development, the regulators of civil aviation of both countries.

The US government was contacted because the private jet was carrying an American registration even though it was operated by a Nigerian charter airline.

Top officials of the Ministry of Aviation said the NCAA leadership was disturbed by the development. Among other things, the UAE discovered that the tyres of the plane had worn out while the Minimum Equipment List, a major safety condition, was not on the plane.

Aside from other safety violations by the operators of the plane, the UAE authorities found out that the plane was conducting an illegal flight to Dubai as there were no documents to prove that the plane had approval for commercial (charter) flight.

It was learnt that the aircraft was meant for private purposes, contrary to the commercial (charter) it did to Dubai.

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