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Pay Emergency Relief Funds to Households Through BVN-Tinubu Tells FG

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Pay Emergency Relief Funds to Households Through BVN-Tinubu Tells FG

National Leader of All Progressives Congress (APC), Sen. Bola Tinubu, has urged Federal Government to make cash payments to households through Bank Verification Numbers (BVN) to cushion the effects of COVID-19 pandemic on Nigerians.

Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos State, gave the advice in a statement issued in Lagos on Wednesday.

He said payments could be made quickly by using the BVN of prospective recipients to make direct deposits into individual bank accounts.

The APC leader said the use of BVN would also be safer and not lead to the types of violence and crime that might follow physical cash transfers.

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Tinubu said this would even encourage those without bank accounts to establish such accounts and this process would further bring millions of people into formal banking.

“The money-less family still needs food, water, shelter and, to a lesser degree, utilities. In a compassionate society, they should not be made to do without.

“Most families need relief. If relief is not forthcoming, these families risk hunger and its attendant suffering and woes,” Tinubu said.

He said the palliative measures would blunt hunger, maintain aggregate demand in the domestic economy and help sustain private-sector markets to the extent possible.

Tinubu explained that such payments could be done in either one or in a combination of three ways.

He said: “First, we can designate a stipend for every household. The amount should be enough to pay for the monthly needs of an “average” household for food and other basics.

“While this may somewhat penalise larger families, perfection cannot be had at this time.

“Second, the stipends could be given as a form of emergency unemployment insurance to those who can prove they were relieved of employment due to the crisis.

“This will be more targeted at the actual victims of the crisis but harder to administer. This stipend will also have to be extended to owners of small and medium-sized businesses.

“Third, the government can render some form of payroll support to companies and businesses that seek to retain workers albeit they may not be fully employed.

“The stipend can help companies stay in operation while maintaining workers on their payroll. By maintaining workers, the company can more swiftly return to full operation when normalcy returns.”

Tinubu said payment of these stipends would require hiring additional government workers to augment the existing bureaucracies to implement that programme.

According to him, this administrative requirement will help boost employment and aggregate consumer demand.

He said that activating Trader-moni and other programmes would help many small-scale traders but not the average wage earner who just lost his job.

On agriculture, the APC national leader called for the re-establishment of commodity boards for strategically important crops to maintain adequate supply of food and ensure price stability.

He said that these boards would specify a guaranteed minimum-maximum price range for these crops in order to maintain and stabilize farm incomes as well as consumer prices.

According to Tinubu, the country faces a “trade-off between certain pandemic and possible widespread depravation.

“This situation presents a historic chance to establish more beneficial social contract between government and the governed,” he said.

He also urged government to expand the school feeding programme to many states consistent with applicable public health measures.

“By expanding this programme, we help feed our most vulnerable children while creating extra jobs and bolstering food production and farm incomes,” he said.

On debt relief, Tinubu called on African finance ministers to join a coordinated effort for debt forgiveness, while urging the World Bank and other DFIs to agree to a wholesale debt rollover by reducing the interest rate burden of African nations by at least one half.

He also urged the CBN to lower interest rates to single digits to spur some private sector and lower the charge on government deficit spending.

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Duke of Edinburgh: The world’s longest-serving consort in British History died at 99 (The Highlights & Photo News)

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Duke of Edinburgh: Prince Philip
Philip’s funeral will be held at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, “in line with custom and with His Royal Highness’s wishes,” the College of Arms, which oversees many ceremonial aspects of the royal family’s work, said in a statement Friday.
The statement added that the duke would not have a state funeral, and that the funeral would not be proceeded by a lying-in-state.
“The funeral arrangements have been revised in view of the prevailing circumstances arising from the Covid-19 pandemic and it is regretfully requested that members of the public do not attempt to attend or participate in any of the events that make up the funeral,” the statement added.
The bells of London’s Westminster Abbey, where Prince Philip married Queen Elizabeth more than 70-years-ago, rang on Friday evening in honor of him.
Gun salutes will be fired across the UK at noon on Saturday, the UK Ministry of Defence wrote in a statement. “Across the United Kingdom, in Gibraltar and on HM Ships at sea, saluting batteries will fire 41 rounds at one round every minute for 40 minutes,” it wrote.
“The public are encouraged to observe the gun salutes from home, they will take place behind closed doors but broadcast online and on television,” the statement added.
More details on funeral arrangements are expected to be confirmed by Buckingham Palace on Saturday, according to a royal source.
The royal family joined the British government in asking the public to not gather at the royal residences, in light of coronavirus restrictions, and “make a donation to a charity instead of leaving floral tributes in memory of The Duke of Edinburgh.”
An online condolences book has been launched on the family’s official website for those who wish to leave messages, Buckingham Palace said.
The College of Arms also gave details for the period of mourning, stating that all “official flags, including the Union Flag, will be flown at half-mast from now until 08:00 on the day following the funeral.”
Charles, the Prince of Wales, visited his mother the Queen on Friday afternoon, traveling from his Gloucestershire home to Windsor Castle, a royal source told CNN.
The source also said the Prince of Wales had been in constant contact with his father since his hospitalization in February.
Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, said Britain’s Prince Philip would be “greatly missed,” in a statement following the news of the death of Harry’s grandfather.

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Prince
Set on a full-screen dark background, the message, which was posted on the front page of the couple’s Archewell charity, simply reads: “In loving memory of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, 1921-2021. Thank you for your service … you will be greatly missed.”
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson paid tribute to the duke, saying that he’d “earned the affection of generations here in the United Kingdom, across the Commonwealth, and around the world.”
US President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden said in a statement: “Philip gladly dedicated himself to the people of the UK, the Commonwealth, and to his family. The impact of his decades of devoted public service is evident in the worthy causes he lifted up as patron, in the environmental efforts he championed, in the members of the Armed Forces that he supported, in the young people he inspired.”
Former US President Barack Obama praised the late Prince as “an extraordinary many” who “showed the world what it meant to be a supportive husband to a powerful woman,” he wrote on Facebook.
“Yet he also found a way to lead without demanding the spotlight — serving in combat in World War II, commanding a frigate in the Royal Navy, and tirelessly touring the world to champion British industry and excellence,” he added.

A lifetime of service

Philip, also known by his official title of the Duke of Edinburgh, was the longest-serving British consort. He married the then Princess Elizabeth in 1947 after a courtship that charmed a country still reeling from the ravages of World War II.
In his seven decades of service, Philip often accompanied the Queen on royal engagements, and conducted thousands of his own solo appearances. He once referred to himself as “the world’s most experienced plaque unveiler,” while the Queen lauded him as her “constant strength and guide.”
The duke was known for off-the-cuff remarks that often displayed a quick wit but occasionally missed the mark, sometimes in spectacular fashion. Philip continued making public appearances well into his 90s, retiring only in August 2017.
He supported a number of philanthropic endeavors and was associated with around 800 organizations. He founded the Duke of Edinburgh Awards Scheme, a youth development program that operates in more than 130 countries and territories around the world.
After retiring, Philip spent much of his time at the Queen’s rural Sandringham estate. He was occasionally seen in later years at private family events such as the weddings of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, and of Princess Eugenie to Jack Brooksbank, both at Windsor Castle.
Philip’s advanced age meant that his health had been the subject of much media focus in recent years. In December 2019, he was taken to hospital as a “precautionary measure” for what Buckingham Palace described as a “pre-existing” condition. He had previously been admitted to hospital on multiple occasions for a variety of reasons, including for a hip replacement and for treatment for bladder infections.
The duke was born the Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark on the Greek island of Corfu in 1921. He left Greece aged 18 months with his family when King Constantine was forced to abdicate after a revolt by Greece’s war-stretched military forces. The family moved first to Paris and later, in 1928, to England.
Philip had an itinerant childhood, educated variously in the UK, France, and Germany.
He became a decorated naval officer for his service during World War II, and when peace returned, rekindled an earlier friendship with Elizabeth that quickly blossomed into a public romance.
In order to marry, the duke renounced his Greek title, became a naturalized British subject and took the surname Mountbatten, derived from his mother’s side of the family. The marriage ceremony was held at Westminster Abbey in 1947. He and Elizabeth had four children: Charles, Anne, Andrew and Edward.
Tributes for the duke have flooded in from all over the world, including the Commonwealth nations of India, Australia and Canada. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he had “distinguished career in the military and was at the forefront of many community service initiatives. May his soul rest in peace.”
Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Philip “embodied a generation that we will never see again.” Canada’s Justin Trudeau said “Prince Philip was a man of great purpose and conviction, who was motivated by a sense of duty to others. He will be fondly remembered as a constant in the life of our Queen.”

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Senate urges FG to procure COVID-19 vaccines for Nigerians

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covid-19 Vaccine

Senate urges FG to procure COVID-19 vaccines for Nigerians

The Senate has urged the Federal Government to make sufficient funds available for procurement and administration of COVID-19 vaccines for Nigerians.

It described as unfortunate the failure by government to produce a plan for the purchase, distribution and administration of the therapy despite the fact that many nations globally had done so.

Adopting a motion sponsored on Thursday, Dec 3, by Senator Oloriegbe Ibrahim during plenary presided over by Senate President Ahmad Lawan in Abuja, the upper legislative chamber directed its Committee on Health and Primary Health Care to summon the Ministries of Health and Finance, as well as the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 and other relevant agencies for their plans.

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The lawmakers regretted that “the only plan on COVID-19 vaccine for Nigeria is the pledge by Global Alliance for Vaccine Initiative (GAVI) to support 20 per cent of the country’s requirement.”

This support, according to them, would cover only the cost of the treatment without taking care of logistics for distribution and administration.

The legislature added: “Despite the change in the epidemiology trends of the disease, the financial plan developed by the country and World Bank in April 2020 to fund the response to the pandemic is still being implemented without taking due cognisance of the changes by re-allocating the funds to vaccine procurement.”

It noted that failure to administer vaccines in the nation would result in Nigeria’s inability to contain further infections and a possible ban on Nigerians by countries across the world.

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COVID-19: Chinese Embassy Issues Nigerians and Other Nationals Travel Restrictions into China

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COVID-19: Chinese Embassy Issues Nigerians and Other Nationals Travel Restrictions into China

The Chinese authorities have issued fresh travel restrictions into China by Nigerians and other nationals in Nigeria holding valid Chinese visas or residence permits.

A public notice issued by the Embassy of China and Consulate in Nigeria today November 5, states that the decision was based on the COVID19 concerns in Nigeria. Other countries placed on temporary travel restrictions include the United Kingdom, Belgium, Luxembourg, Philippines, and a few others.

 

The Chinese embassy says it will no longer issue certified health declaration form for non-Chinese nationals in the country. It, however, said holders of diplomatic passports, courtesy, or C visas would not be affected by the regulation.

 

‘Notice of temporary suspension of entry into China by non-Chinese nationals in Nigeria holding valid Chinese visas or residence permits.’

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, China has decided to temporarily suspend entry into China by non-Chinese nationals in Nigeria holding visas or residence permits still valid at the time of this announcement.

The Chinese Embassy and Consulate in Nigeria will no longer issue a certified health declaration form for the above-mentioned personnel. Entry by holders of diplomatic service, courtesy or C visas will not be affected.

Foreign nationals visiting China for emergency needs may apply for visas at the Chinese Embassy or Consulate. Entry by non-Chinese nationals in Nigeria with visas issued after November 3, 2020, will not be affected.” the public notice read

Reacting to the development, the spokesman, Chinese Foreign Affairs Ministry, Wang Wenbin, told AFP that the entry suspension was a legitimate and valid move consistent with international customary practices.

 

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