Showing posts with label politics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label politics. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

You Are A Fiction Writer, Not Medical Professor - Presidency Attacks Soyinka

You Are A Fiction Writer, Not Medical Professor - Presidency Attacks Soyinka

Following Prof Wole Soyinka's stance against the 14-day lockdown ordered by President Muhammadu Buhari.

You Are A Fiction Writer, Not Medical Professor - Presidency Attacks Soyinka

The presidency on Wednesday, attacked the Nobel laureate, maintaining that he is not an expert in that area.

According to the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity, Garba Shehu, in a statement in Abuja, observed that even though Soyinka was entitled to his opinions, there were mere semantics and not science.

The statement reads;

Yesterday, the esteemed Nobel Laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka made comments on the legal status and description of 14-day lockdown announced by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Professor Soyinka is not a medical professor. His qualifications are in English literature, and his prizes are for writing books and plays for theatres. He is of course entitled to his opinions – but that is exactly all they are: semantics, not science. They cannot – and should not – therefore be judged as professional expertise in this matter in any shape or form.

Across the world – from parts of the United States and China, to countries including the United Kingdom and France, government-mandated lockdowns are in place to slow and defeat the spread of coronavirus. All have been declared, and all have been made necessary, based on medical and scientific evidence. The guidance of the Nigerian Government’s medical specialists is to advise the same.

Professor Soyinka has also declared, doubtless based on his specialism as a playwright, that: ‘We are not in a war emergency.

Eminent scientists say otherwise:

Dr Richard Hatchett, Head of the International Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (and former Director of the US Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority) has said, ‘War is an appropriate analogy.

Professor Anthony Fauci, Director of the United States National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force has said of the battle against the pandemic: ‘It’s almost like the fog of war.

As for the legality of the lockdown, the Government of Nigeria’s primary duty in law and action is the defence of the people of Nigeria. We face a global pandemic. Nigeria is now affected. The scientific and medical guidance the world over is clear: the way to defeat the virus is to halt its spread through limitation of movement of people.

Perhaps Wole Soyinka may write a play on the coronavirus pandemic after this emergency is over. In the meantime, we ask the people of Nigeria to trust the words of our doctors and scientists – and not fiction writers – at this time of national crisis.
Buhari Approves Release Of 70,000 Tonnes Of Grains For The Poor

Buhari Approves Release Of 70,000 Tonnes Of Grains For The Poor

70,000 tonnes of grains are to be released and distributed to the poor and vulnerable amid the coronavirus lockdown, in Nigeria.

Buhari Approves Release Of 70,000 Tonnes Of Grains For The Poor

The release of the grains was approved by President Muhammadu Buhari from the national strategic grain reserves.

The development was made known by the presidency in a tweet on Wednesday, saying the grains are for persons in states that have recorded cases of coronavirus and for people whose livelihoods will be affected by the lockdown.

The tweet read;

President @MBuhari has approved the release of 70,000 Metric Tonnes of Grains from Nigeria’s National Strategic Grain Reserves, for distribution to poor and vulnerable persons in frontline #COVID19 States, as well as persons whose livelihoods will be affected by the Lockdowns.

See tweet;


ALSO READ: PHOTOS: FG Begins Disbursement Of N20, 000 To Poor Nigerians In Abuja
Why We Won't Evacuate Nigerians Abroad – FG

Why We Won't Evacuate Nigerians Abroad – FG

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama has stated that the Federal Government of Nigeria has no plan to evacuate Nigerians in countries with high cases of COVID-19.

Why We Will Not Evacuate Nigerians Abroad – FG

The Foreign minister made this known while speaking on Tuesday in Abuja at the second joint national briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19.

According to him, while some countries evacuated their nationals from Nigeria, it was not the case for Nigerians abroad due to diplomatic procedures.

He insisted that, evacuations have to be done within the framework of the embassies.

He said;

As at now (Tuesday), that there has not been any requests from any of our embassies indicating any significant numbers of Nigerians to leave and if we receive such notification we would act accordingly.


PHOTOS: FG Begins Disbursement Of N20, 000 To Poor Nigerians In Abuja

PHOTOS: FG Begins Disbursement Of N20, 000 To Poor Nigerians In Abuja

The Federal Government has commenced payment of N20, 000 each to five thousand beneficiaries of its Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) programme in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

PHOTOS: FG Begins Disbursement Of N20, 000 To Poor Nigerians In Abuja

This was disclosed on Wednesday by the Minister of Humanitarian affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq at Kwali Area Council in the FCT.

According to the minister, the payment was in line with the directives by President Muhammadu Buhari. 

It can be recalled that, Buhari in a nationwide broadcast on Monday, announced the payment as a measure to cushion the effect of the lockdown of Lagos and Ogun States as well as the FCT on the poor and vulnerable households.
ALSO READ: Buhari Approves Release Of 70,000 Tonnes Of Grains For The Poor
She said;

As we know, the CCT is for poor and vulnerable households in the country.

Beneficiaries are entitled to N5, 000 every month; however, the payment of N20, 000 now to each beneficiary is for four mouths.

It is going to happen all over the country, but we are starting with FCT, Lagos and Ogun. These are the frontline states. Other states will follow.

With the current pandemic and circumstances on ground, this amount will go a long way to support the families in their daily lives.

Today, we are giving out N20, 000 each to about 190 beneficiaries in Kwali Area Councils. The total beneficiaries in FCT are 5, 000

The minister further said that the beneficiaries were chosen without any form of bias, adding that political party affiliation was never a criterion for selection of beneficiaries.

See photos;

PHOTOS: FG Begins Disbursement Of N20, 000 To Poor Nigerians In Abuja

PHOTOS: FG Begins Disbursement Of N20, 000 To Poor Nigerians In Abuja

PHOTOS: FG Begins Disbursement Of N20, 000 To Poor Nigerians In Abuja

PHOTOS: FG Begins Disbursement Of N20, 000 To Poor Nigerians In Abuja

PHOTOS: FG Begins Disbursement Of N20, 000 To Poor Nigerians In Abuja

Electricity Tariffs Won’t Be Increased Unless Power Supply Is Improved – Minister

Electricity Tariffs Won’t Be Increased Unless Power Supply Is Improved – Minister

According to the Minister of Power, Sale Mamman, the plan by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, to hike electricity tariff from April 1 which has been postponed won't still take off unless Distribution Companies (DisCos) improve the quality of supply, meter consumers and agree on rates with consumers. 

Electricity Tariffs Won’t Be Increased Unless Power Supply Is Improved – Minister

While reacting, the minister stated that though the implementation of the new tariff plan was delayed for the next three months as palliative measures against Coronavirus, DisCos which fail to improve its supply will be sanctioned.

He added that the Ministry he heads is supportive of a “service reflective” tariff system which is more equitable and will encourage investment in the sector.

Read the full statement below;

COVID-19; Minister’s Statement on Tariffs and Palliative measures for the Power Sector.

As part of the Federal Government efforts to ameliorate the current challenges occasioned by the ravaging COVID – 19 pandemic, The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission today issued an Order that included a 3-month delay in the implementation of tariff measures.

The 3-month delay in the implementation of tariff measures is consistent with His Excellency the President’s announcement on March 29th granting a moratorium for certain Federal Government funded facilities to the Nigerian Public.

There will be no tariff action in APRIL. Thereafter, tariffs will only be raised as the Distribution Companies (DISCOs) improve quality of supply, meter consumers and agree with consumers on rates. DISCOs that fail to improve will be sanctioned. This is based on the outcome of the public hearings on tariffs.

The Ministry is supportive of a “service reflective” tariff system which is more equitable and will encourage investment in the sector. The Ministry will work with NERC to ensure that improvements happen in the entire DISCO network and estimated billing is capped per NERC Order 197/2020. This will eliminate arbitrary billing that Nigerians have raised issues with.

We are also implementing other key emergency measures to support the NESI (Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry). We are working with the CBN to ensure payments to the generators and gas suppliers through the Payment Assurance Facility (PAF) are expedited to support power supply. TCN is also creating emergency measures to ensure staff will be available to monitor the grid and perform technical interventions.

These changes and emergency measures will have an impact on Government finances. The Power Sector Recovery (PSRP) Financing Plan is being updated to reflect the changes. The Financing Plan will help support ongoing discussions with the World Bank on financial support for the sector and the transition away from tariff support as Government optimises its resources.

During this difficult time the President has instructed that critical infrastructure projects and programs for the poor and underserved be continued. The Ministry will continue to
implement key infrastructure programs such as the Siemens/Presidential Power Initiative (PPI). The Ministry through TCN will also continue the Transmission Rehabilitation and Expansion Program in partnership with the World Bank, African Development Bank, AfD, JICA and other key development partners. To support the underserved and citizens without access in this difficult time, the Ministry will accelerate programs with the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) focusing on Solar Home Systems and Solar Mini-Grids that impact the poor. These programs continue to be supported by the World Bank, African Development Bank, USAID, DFID and other key development partners. The Ministry is also in discussions with the Central Bank to provide financing to accelerate Solar Off-Grid programs with the REA.

The Ministry will engage with key NESI players in this difficult time to ensure sustainability of supply.

I commend players in the NESI that have made commitments to ensuring stable power supply in this period. Thank you to all the industry players for this patriotic stand. Indeed, times like these demands nothing less.

I am assuring Nigerians that the priority of this government as directed by President Muhammadu Buhari is to provide support for all citizens as we battle the global pandemic.

Engr. Sale Mamman
Honourable Minister of Power
31/03/2020