Tag Archives: closure

Pastor Chris slam Pastors in support of Churches lockdown. [Nigeria]


Founder of Christ Embassy, Pastor Chris Oyakhilome has attacked pastors who supported the closure of Churches during the lockdown period caused by coronavirus.

In the video below, Oyakhilome stated that the pastors should have first asked the government to permit them to pray for coronavirus patient before accepting the closure of Churches.

“In different cities, countries, states, before the government went ahead with the lockdown, they held meetings with pastors, leaders of churches. Why did the pastors and leaders not say give us a few days to go and pray? Because they were not prayerful before.


“As a Minister of God, you were called for such a meeting and you couldn’t say give us a few days to call other Ministers and say this is what we just heard from the government authorities and we need to pray. We have asked them to give us three days. Then you would have seen the hand of God,” he said.

He added that the pastors who accepted the closure of Churches and even warned members to stay away don’t really know Jesus as their Lord.


“They were not thinking about the father’s house when they made the decision. Do you know what it is for you to shut down the congregations of the lord? It never meant anything to you, that is why.

“Even the pastors and Ministers are warning others not to enter the church because of coronavirus. This is because Christ has never truly being your lord and you have been the master of your life. You have never truely known him,” Oyakhilome added.



COVID-19: ALIMA maroon as Africa shut borders.

Medical charity Alima planned to open an emergency operating theatre this week in Burkina Faso, but the project has stalled because the country closed its borders before a surgeon and anaesthetist could fly in, its director told Reuters.

In Central African Republic, health officials say a measles vaccination campaign may be cancelled because of a delay in the supply of vials normally flown in from France.

Coronavirus has infected more than 3,000 people In sub-Saharan Africa and killed about 100, prompting some of the world’s poorest countries to shut land and sea borders.

The restrictions, meant to shield fragile health systems from a mass outbreak, have a troubling side effect: aid organizations are struggling to keep supplies and personnel moving in a region where millions rely on outside help for basic care.

“The travel restrictions that have been put in place by many governments jeopardize our ability to get our staff and our humanitarian aid where they are needed,” said Patrick Youssef, the International Committee of the Red Cross’s incoming regional director for Africa.

Some organisations including Medecins Sans Frontieres say they rushed personnel into some places before the border closures and have supplies to keep facilities running for the coming weeks because governments have kept borders open for humanitarian aid.

But problems are already appearing.

Aid workers who usually travel on commercial airlines can no longer reach the front lines, they told Reuters, leaving those already there to continue working, risking burnout in high-pressure conditions.

Three of six senior Alima staff members in Niger cannot return to the country because of border closures, said Executive Director Augustin Augier. Alima will have to consider closing health centres in Africa or restricting medical care to children and pregnant women if the crisis persists, he said.

Meanwhile, MSF workers in Cameroon cannot reach operations over the border in Nigeria, a spokeswoman said.

In Burkina Faso, an arid, landlocked country where nearly one million people have fled a jihadist insurgency, the speed of the crisis has overwhelmed an already threadbare health system and caused shortages of food and water.

Getting aid there is vital ahead of the summer, when malaria and malnutrition typically skyrocket, said MSF, which has suspended a measles vaccination programme there while it reassesses the situation.

“We only have a few months window to deploy an effective emergency aid effort on a massive scale and avert the wave of mortality likely to begin in June,” said Dorian Job, MSF’s West Africa programme manager.

Lost Shipments, Delayed Vaccines

Overcoming the situation will be a hugely expensive task. The United Nations has launched a $2 billion appeal for a worldwide humanitarian response focused on poorer countries. Oxfam said doubling the health spending of the 85 poorest countries, many of them in Africa, would cost $159.5 billion.

But those on the ground say it is lack of mobility that is hobbling them now.

Christian charity World Vision ordered a shipment of masks, gloves and hygiene equipment to combat coronavirus in Central African Republic, where at least a million people have been uprooted by conflict.

CAR’s situation is critical. The country of 5 million has just three ventilators to treat the severe lung illness that coronavirus can bring on, the Norwegian Refugee Council said on Tuesday.

World Vision’s shipment was due to arrive on March 18 but is now lost.

“It left Accra, Ghana, and then became stranded in Lagos,” said Philippe Guiton, World Vision’s director of operations. Eventually the shipment reached Belgium, from where it was supposed to head to CAR, though nobody has been able to track its progress.

“Airline regulations change every day, it’s impossible to anticipate.”

Meanwhile, a measles outbreak that has infected 5,000 people this year threatens to go unchecked as vaccines normally flown in on Air France are delayed due to flight disruptions, health officials said.

The first phase of a campaign to vaccinate 2 million children took place this month. The second phase may be stalled.

“If the doses do not arrive by the first week of April, at the latest, the vaccination campaign will be postponed,” said the WHO’s Bangui representative, Severin Ritter von Xylander.


COVID-19: High court reject total borders shutdown request in Nigeria.

A Federal High Court in Abuja, on Friday, rejected an application to compel the Federal Government to totally bar entry into the country from the US, Iran and China.

Justice Inyang Ekwo refused the ex parte motion filed by an Abuja-based lawyer, Johnmary Jideobi.

He ordered the applicant to put the respondent on notice.

The Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN) is the only respondent in the suit.

In the ex parte motion rejected by the court, the applicant stated that coronavirus had killed thousands of people around the world and still spreading like a wildfire.

The motion was brought pursuant to sections 33 (2), 36, 46 (1) & (2) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), Order 2 Rules 1-5 and Order 4 Rule 1 of the Fundamental Rights (Enforcement) Procedure Rules 2009 and under the inherent jurisdiction of the court.

Jideobi urged the court to grant an interim order barring all entry of all persons by air, land or sea pending hearing and determination of the originating motion.

He also sought a mandatory order of the court directing that the order prayed for and granted be served on the respondent, who shall ensure that the Federal Government of Nigeria [through all responsible Ministries, Departments, and Agencies] implements same within 48hrs of the order being served on the AGF.

He also prayed for an order setting down the originating motion on notice in the suit for hearing within seven (7) days as envisaged and commanded by Order 4 Rule 1 of the Fundamental Rights Enforcement Rules, 2009 enacted by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, and any order the court may deem fit to make.

Jideobi reminded the court that the AGF had initially been served with the substantive application on March 13.

The lawyer, in his affidavit in support of the motion, stressed that the application was “propelled by the urgent need to protect the public health of all Nigerians susceptible to infection of the dangerous Coronavirus Disease 2019 [COVID-19] that has been spreading like a wildfire to many parts of the world”.

Although Justice Ekwo did not grant the prayers, he directed him to put the respondent on notice within two days of making the order.

He adjourned the matter for hearing till March 26.

The Federal Government had, on Wednesday, placed a travel restriction on 13 countries over the spread of coronavirus.

The countries are China, Iran, South Korea, Germany, Italy, United States, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Norway, Netherlands, Spain, France, and Japan.”

The country also announced a temporary suspension of the visa-on-arrival policy.


COVID-19: Nigerian govt. under pressure to close borders.

The announcement by the Federal Ministry of Health yesterday of a new case of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria has intensified calls on the Federal Government to impose travel restrictions at the country’s entry points.

This is coming as the Federal Government yesterday banned all government officials from embarking on foreign trips on account of the pandemic.

Secretary to the Government of the Federation Boss Mustapha made the disclosure following the inaugural meeting of the Presidential Task Force Team on coronavirus disease.

The president of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Dr. Francis Faduyile, told reporters that it was high time the Nigerian government took the decision to “close its borders to countries with high cases of coronavirus.”

Also, the president, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, explained: “When people come from countries with high prevalence of coronavirus, they should do compulsory quarantine. Suppose the people you ask to do self-quarantine refuse and go about their businesses, what would happen? They would spread the virus!”

He, however, added: “I personally do not subscribe to closing borders. If everyone closes his borders, what do you think will happen to the world? There are still necessary travels that need to be done. But if you travel, ensure you self-quarantine.”

Faduyile and Ohuabunwa stated these following the presentation of a report by the NMA/PSN joint committee on inter-professional harmony in Lagos, yesterday.

This was as 21civil society groups yesterday called on the Federal Government to allow only essential travels into the country.

They made this known in a joint statement signed by Policy and Legislative Advocacy Centre, Centre for Liberty, Stakeholders Democracy Network (SDN), Silverchip Fox, TechHer, Butterfly Effect Empowerment Initiative, YIAGA Africa, Concerned Nigerians, Free Nigeria Movement, Adopt A Goal Initiative, Dinidari Foundation, and Rule of Law Development Foundation.

The others are: Education as a Vaccine, Stand to End Rape Initiative (STER), Centre for Democracy Development, Girl Child Africa, TAP Initiative, Centre for Impact Advocacy (CiA), Raising New Voices Initiative, Global Rights, and Connected Development (CODE).

The statement reads in part: “We cannot and should not contemplate banning Nigerians from returning home in these difficult times, but it is obvious that it is time for drastic measures to protect our country and a fragile health system that has been neglected for too many years. The Federal Government and states must recognise, like other countries, that this is the most urgent of national security matters.

“Effort should be put in place to closely monitor our land borders and ensure basic health protocols for preventing the spread of coronavirus. Governments at all levels should consider immediate measures to limit public gatherings and promote safe social contacts among citizens.”

Advocacy for Integrity and Economic Development (AIED), a civil society organisation, also called on Buhari to close the nation’s borders.

In a statement, the group’s director of media and publicity, Comrade O’Seun John, said: “We find it extremely hard to understand the motive behind the refusal of the President Buhari’s administration to close the Nigerian borders and shut down our airports against travellers from coronavirus-infected countries in the wake of the pandemic.

“It is unexplainable that a father will knowingly and wishfully expose his children to the cold hands of death to satisfy the ego of superiority in the fight against the deadly COVID-19.

“Let’s make no mistake, Nigeria is on the brink of an outbreak and like South Korea, which was doing everything right until Patient Number 31 decided to disobey social distancing orders, we cannot afford to leave the country to the unseen hands of the divine.

“President Buhari must take action. This is not a plea. He swore an oath of allegiance to Nigeria and Nigerians, and the safety of Nigerians must come first.”

The national leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, said the party’s position aligns with the decision by advanced countries like the United Kingdom to shut its borders as part of measures for containing the pandemic.

He told reporters at the end of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) meeting in Abuja that the APC would not sit back and watch the citizenry exposed to the disease by foreigners. He promised to lead a team of NWC members to interface with Health Minister Osagie Ehanire with a view to protecting Nigerians.

Also, the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) charged the Federal Government to go beyond “rudimentary interventions and adopt more stringent measures to further safeguard our nation from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

It expressed concern that the current approach in tackling the disease falls short of the required pre-emptive measures, thereby leaving gaps that expose the nation to avoidable risks.

The PDP, in a statement by its national publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said: “Nigeria is a strategic international hub. As such, the Federal Government should adopt stringent pre-emptive measures by radically stepping up our international ports and border screening as well as quickly improving our internal surveillance and hygiene monitoring system.”

It further urged the Federal Government to “go beyond its proposed secondary screening of travellers from certain countries and extend the measure to all international flights coming into the country, given the prevalence of connecting flights and land border crossing by international air travellers.”

Calling on the government to create more screening centres, the PDP enjoined Nigerians to remain vigilant, ensure personal hygiene and follow directives issued by the authorities.

Senate President Ahmad Lawan, on his part, regretted the country’s inadequate preparation for stopping the pandemic.

At a session yesterday, Lawan said: “We are very lucky and fortunate, but we shouldn’t push our luck too far. We should be very observant of all those regulations the technical experts give us. There is the need for the Federal Government to do a little more, especially in the area of testing centres. The entire north and southeast have no testing centres and it shouldn’t be so.”

Ibrahim Oloriegbe (APC, Kwara Central), who introduced the motion, also drew the attention of the Senate to the need for more serious efforts to combat the pandemic. “God has been very kind to Nigeria”, he said: “But we don’t need to take anything for granted.”

According to the senator, “Nigerians need to increase the observance of preventive measures including avoidance of shaking of hands. If it is possible, people should not travel to high-risk countries especially in Europe, unless such trips are very important.”

He further suggested: “Nigeria should also consider disallowing non-Nigerians from high-risk countries from entering the country. Currently, we have only five centres where testing can be done. The government has to step up the testing capacity and provide support for state governments.”

Meanwhile, observing the proverbial ounce of prevention, Buhari yesterday approved the postponement of the 20th edition of the National Sports Festival scheduled to begin in Benin City on Friday, March 20.

Minister of Sports Sunday Dare and his health counterpart, Olorunimbe Mamora, made the disclosure in Abuja yesterday following a meeting with the president.

“For the benefit of the sporting community, the Ministry of Youth and Sports recognises the fact that a lot of resources, a lot of efforts on the part of our athletes have gone into preparing for Edo 2020. But we think that staying healthy, to be able to compete in not just Edo 2020 but other sports and tournaments, is very important,” said Dare.

“After briefing Mr. President, he took the initiative and gave the directive that the National Sports Festival, christened Edo 2020, should be postponed as a precautionary measure against the press of COVID-19. A new date will be communicated later based on development around COVID-19,” Mamora said.

Mamora said further that the principle of social distancing must be observed. “That also extends to religious gathering or any other gathering that would have a large number of people. It is not advisable at this point in time,” he said.

The minister was, however, not categorical about what form of ban against social gatherings the government might put in place.
“What I can say for now is that the immediate issue before us is the national sports festival and our meeting with Mr. President essentially was to convey our thoughts in that regard and Mr. President did the right thing by approving the need for the postponement. But social distancing is desirable at this point in time.”

On the possibility of restrictions to flight from high-risk countries, Mamora said the ministry would address the issue at an appropriate time. “There will be subsequent briefings from the ministry because each situation is reviewed as it comes to us,” he said.

Also, Buhari said his administration would explore diverse options to protect Nigerians from the pandemic and address resultant economic problems.

He made the commitment during a briefing session by the Presidential Economic Advisory Council (PEAC), led by Prof. Doyin Salami.

With oil prices oscillating between $29 and $30, as opposed to the $57 benchmark for the 2020 budget, Buhari noted that many variables, including production cost and political impact, determine oil prices, but “we will see how to survive falling prices, as we already envisaged the problem.”

He said protecting the people from the vagaries of international markets and falling oil prices is a priority of the government, “and we will do our best to do so.”

Salami painted sobering scenarios of what could happen to the Nigerian economy if the pandemic becomes protracted. These include: slower growth, as the supply and demand sides of the global economy become affected; uncertainty, which would erode confidence; governments acting unilaterally instead of cooperatively; further drop in oil prices; and lockdowns gaining grounds around the world. There would also be oil glut, trade imbalance, drop in foreign reserves, and rise in unemployment.

He advocated hard work so that Nigerians could keep their heads above the water. He also recommended a revision of the 2020 budget, with priority spending on healthcare, among others.

According to a statement by Minister of Health Osagie Ehanire, the latest case is a Nigerian national in her 30s, who returned from a short visit to the United Kingdom on March 13.

“Fortunately, she decided, upon returning home, to go into a 14-day self-isolation, but subsequently developed symptoms of fever and cough on March 16, at which point she voluntarily called the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) toll-free line to report her condition.

“Officials from the Lagos State Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) were immediately dispatched to her home to collect samples, which upon testing came out positive for the coronavirus. The lady is currently at the Infectious Disease Hospital (IDH) in Yaba, where she has remained clinically stable and is responding to treatment.”

He added: “Intensive contact tracing has begun, to help identify all persons who the patient has been in contact with since her return. We expect the number to be small, because of her sensible decision to go into self-isolation from the time of her arrival.”

As at Monday, March 16, 2020, the World Health Organisation (WHO) revealed that the pandemic had infected more than 168,000 people and claimed the lives of more than 6,000 people in over 140 countries, areas or territories worldwide.

It said 38 cases had been reported with zero death across Senegal (26), Burkina Faso (3), Cote d’Ivoire (3), Nigeria (2), Ghana (2), Guinea (1) and Togo (1). Of all these, Senegal is currently the only member state with local transmission with a hotspot in the locality of Touba.


COVID-19: Chile, Peru shut borders.

Chile and Peru announced a total closure of their borders on Monday while Latin America’s largest airline said it was reducing operations by 70 percent as the region scrambled to stem the rapidly-spreading coronavirus pandemic.

Latin America has registered more than 800 cases and seven deaths, according to an AFP count, after the Dominican Republic became the latest nation to report a fatality.

“We’ve decided to close all our country’s terrestrial, maritime and aerial borders for the transit of foreigners,” said Chile’s President Sebastian Pinera.

The announcement came as Chile revealed on Monday its number of coronavirus cases had more than doubled since Sunday to 155.

Peru followed suit soon afterwards with President Martin Vizcarra announcing a two-week border closure from midnight, while Colombia announced it would close its borders until May 30.

Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay confirmed partial border closures. Paraguay also imposed overnight curfews.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced late Monday that his country would enter “collective quarantine.”

Latam Airlines said it was reducing operations by 70 percent, just four days after already cutting back by 30 percent.

“If these unprecedented travel restrictions increase… we’re not ruling out being forced to decrease our operations even more,” said the airline’s vice-president Roberto Alvo.

Mexico President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador bucked the trend, saying he would not ban public gatherings or stop greeting people with “hugs” until public health officials said otherwise.

– Stocks tumble –

Chile rolled out a number of coronavirus control measures as the central bank slashed interest rates by 75 basis points to 1.0 percent.

The move failed to stop the Santiago stock exchange closing down 14 percent, its worst fall in three decades.

Regional stocks were battered as the Sao Paulo exchange lost almost 14 percent, Buenos Aires fell nearly 10 percent and Colombia plummeted more than 15 percent.

Brazil’s currency fell below $0.20 for the first time ever, prompting an emergency government investment of almost 150 billion reals ($27.5 billion) into the economy.

Chile’s closed borders caused a problem for a quarantined cruise ship in the country’s deep south.

More than 200 passengers and crew aboard the Silver Explorer in the remote port of Caleta Tortel are in lockdown after six people tested positive for coronavirus.

Health authorities want to evacuate the other passengers back to their home countries, but may need special permission.

– Cuba helping Nicaragua –

Cuba said it was allowing a British cruise ship to dock despite five people on board testing positive for COVID-19 and nearly 40 others in isolation with flu-like symptoms.

“We are working around the clock to arrange evacuation flights from Cuba to the UK as soon as possible for passengers on the Braemar cruise ship,” a British foreign ministry spokesman said.

Cuba is also sending specialist doctors to Nicaragua to help the central American country treat COVID-19 patients.

Ecuador, which has seen 58 cases and two deaths, banned tourists from the Galapagos Islands on Monday while authorities in Rio de Janeiro used megaphones to order people at the beach to go home.

Rio’s Flamengo football club, the reigning Copa Libertadores champions, revealed that their Portuguese coach Jorge Jesus is the latest sports star to have tested positive for the virus.

The city’s famous Christ the Redeemer statue was also closed to the public.

Honduras announced a week-long lockdown to prevent people from going to work, using public transport or taking part in religious activities.

The Argentine government announced work exemptions for public and private employees of non-essential sectors, as well as parents with school-age children.


COVID-19: Canada closes border to Non-canadians.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, has announced that the country is closing its borders to anyone who is not a citizen of the country, an American or a permanent resident.

The country is taking more aggressive measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus, as the prime minister, sked all Canadians to say home amid the pandemic.

There will be exceptions, such as airline workers and those with families in Canada.

“We recognize the level of integration of our two economies puts the US in a separate category from the rest of the world,” Trudeau said, adding that the situation could change in the coming days.

“We are not closing the door to any measure that could keep Canadians safe.”

The Canadian government is also mandating air carriers to screen passengers with symptoms of the novel coronavirus out of lines so they don’t board planes home.

#Newsworthy. .

Buhari order quit of border patrol officials checking smugglers

President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the withdrawal of some operatives of the special border patrol team checkmating activities of smugglers at Nigeria’s borders.

The President has ordered that such officials be severely sanctioned for undermining government’s effort.

This directive was contained in a presidency statement issued by Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity.

He said: “As part of the Federal Government’s effort to ensure food security and improve local production of goods at competitive prices, President Muhammadu Buhari commissioned ‘OPERATION SWIFT RESPONSE’ as a border drill exercise to checkmate the illegal activities of smugglers across our borders.

“The border drill has been hugely successful and has led to the interception and seizure of large quantities of foods, materials, minerals and petroleum resources illegally trafficked across our borders. The President commends the security agencies for a job well done.

‘He, however, finds it disheartening to learn that 295 smuggled petroleum tankers were released without due authorization on 17th December, 2019 by some security officials charged with the responsibility of protecting our borders.

“Sequel to this act, the National Security Adviser (NSA) was directed to set up a Board of Inquiry to investigate the crime, and it was recommended to the President that all officials (civilian or security operatives) found to have connived to undermine government’s efforts should be withdrawn from the border drill and severely sanctioned by their respective organizations.

The President has accepted the recommendations and directed the immediate withdrawal and replacement of all those found culpable.

“He has also directed that their respective organizations should mete immediate appropriate disciplinary actions to them.”


Border closure: Keep it closed – Dangote

Nigerian businessman, Aliko Dangote, has thrown his weight behind the border closure policy of President Muhammadu Buhari.

In a statement made available to our correspondent in Lagos on Thursday, Dangote debunked insinuations that the policy was responsible for the drop in Dangote Cement’s profitability for the year 2019.

He said the border closure policy was the best for the country’s economy at this point in time.

The president of the group said Dangote Cement was building its terminals across Africa and the border closure could not in any way impact negatively on the company’s performance.

The statement issued by the group also said that the stock of Dangote Cement had remained dominant on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

It said this was buoyed by the news of a robust dividend as announced by the management of the company.

The management of the company had approved that N16 per share be paid to the shareholders despite the drop in profitability.

The statement said, “The company’s investment across Africa is also bearing the desired results as pan-African sales volume grew in the year 2019, hitting 9.6Mt from 9.4Mt.

“Dangote Cement Plant, Mtwara, Tanzania, recorded an increase of 94 per cent increase in volume within the review period. Dangote Cement Plant, Pout, Senegal put up a remarkable performance with sales up more than 100 per cent of rated capacity.”

The board had proposed a final dividend of N16 per share subject to ratification by the shareholders at the forthcoming Annual General Meeting.

Speaking on the result, the Group Chief Executive Officer, Dangote Cement, Joe Makoju, said, “Dangote Cement maintained strong financial performance despite a low growth environment, pricing pressure and increasing competition in key markets.

“The Nigerian operations maintained volume and revenue performance in a challenging environment. Export sales were affected by the border closure in the second half of 2019.”

He added, “Looking ahead, I expect an increase in volumes in 2020 as we commence clinker exports via shipping from Nigeria.

“Pan-Africa volumes were slightly up, notably supported by Tanzania and Senegal. I am glad to report that Tanzania contributed positively at EBITDA level.

“In 2020, I believe Dangote Cement will see an increase in profitability in pan-Africa driven by higher volumes and further efficiency improvements.”

Makoju added that as he retired from Dangote Cement, he was proud to have watched it grow from a local producer back in 2007 to a major force in global cement production.


Why we need to keep borders closed – Buhari explain

The Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari said the government had to consider temporary closure of land borders with a view to taking a closer look at how to address the challenges of smuggling and illegal movement of weapons.

He added that the border issue would be properly examined, in collaboration with neighbours, to put in place acceptable measures to prevent illegal economic activities and other related crimes..

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Keep borders closed – Senator alleges

On his part, the Minister of Defence, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Nuratu Batagarawa, acknowledged the efforts of President Buhari in creating an enabling environment to resolve the prevailing security challenges.

Mr. Magashi said it was imperative to forge a common front against the security challenges towards finding permanent solutions to the security challenges, adding that the seminar was apt. He said the ministry would put in measures to implement the recommendations from the communique at the end of the seminar.

Earlier, the president of AANDEC, Garba Audu, a retired major general, disclosed that the seminar was organized with a view to proffering solutions to national security challenges.

The Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari

Audu said that the seminar would focus on some key security challenges bedevilling the country such as negotiations with bandits in some parts of the country.

He said a solution to national security challenges go beyond military intervention, adding that economic solutions were also required.


Keep Borders Shut – Senator Walid Jibrin

Life Patron of Nigerian Textiles Manufacturers Association (NTMA), Senator Walid Jibrin has said that the partial closure of the nation’s land borders by the Federal government can ensure revival of some moribund textiles industries in Nigeria and keep the surviving ones afloat.

Senator Jibrin who is also the Chairman, Board of Trustees (BOT) of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) urged the Federal government to keep the borders closed because it helps in frustrating smuggling of foreign textiles products into the country.

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Buhari Calls For Patience On Border Closure

In a chat with journalists shortly after the Annual General Meeting of NTMA in Kaduna, where he was unanimously elected as the Life Patron, Jibrin who is the Sarkin Fulani of Nasarawa said he has put in over 45 years in textiles Industry.

He said, “During my acceptance speech I thanked all Members for the confidence they have on me to elect me to this highest position in the Textiles Industry regretting that the Industry that was proud of employing over 300,000 workers with 175 Textiles Industries in existence in the 80s has in its employment now less than 30,000 employees with surviving Industries of only 30.

“While congratulating the Federal Government for turning attention to the textiles Industry especially in the areas of trying to curve smuggling by introducing policies aimed towards reviving the Industry, the Textiles Industry welcomes the closure of Nigerian Borders which has tremendously reduced the rate of smuggling of Textiles Fabrics to Nigeria.

He said, “We want the border closure to remain because smuggling of foreign textiles fabrics into our country is not good for the revival of the industry in Nigeria.

“The Textile Industry is also in dare need of adequate electricity to aid its production as against the use of 70%
generator as against 30% PHCN usage.

“The Industry also appreciate the Government through the CBN for giving support to Cotton Production and Textile Industry to produce made in Nigeria uniforms for the Armed Forces, Immigration, Customs, and Prison.

“The Bank of Industries has done very well in giving loans to the Industry.
Once the Industry is revived there is guarantee for adequate employment in Nigeria”. He said.

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Border Closure: US Embassy Say Nigerians Are Losing

Recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari Friday in Abuja said the issue of partial closure of Nigeria’s land border to goods from neighbouring countries will be determined by report of tripartite committee made up of Nigeria, Benin and Niger Republic.

President Buhari, who received President Roch Marc Christian Kabore of Burkina Faso at the Presidential Villa, said Nigeria’s decision to partially close the borders was purely to safeguard national security.


Border Closure: Buhari Calls For Patience

President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday in Abuja said the issue of reopening of Nigeria’s land border to goods from neighbouring countries will be determined by the report of a tripartite committee made up of Nigeria, Benin and Niger Republics.

President Buhari, who received President Roch Kabore of Burkina Faso at the Presidential Villa, said Nigeria’s decision to partially close the border was purely to safeguard national security.

“Our major problem is security — the inflow of weapons, ammunition and drugs. We have witnessed a decline in banditry using such weapons since the partial closure of the border. Also our farmers are now able to sell their rice since we stopped the inflow of foreign rice, usually dumped in the country,’’ he said.

President Buhari said Nigeria was very much mindful of the concerns of neighbouring countries on the issue, assuring that his administration will find an early and enduring solution.

“I will work as fast as I can as soon as I receive the report,’’ the President added.

The President of Burkina Faso is the Chairman of the ECOWAS Committee mandated to resolve the issue of border closure.

He told President Buhari that he came for the visit, following the mandate of ECOWAS to resolve the issues that culminated in the partial closure of the border, urging the Nigerian leader to reconsider the position of the country.


Border Closure: Trader remanded over smuggling 180 bags of foreign rice

Justice Patricia Ajoku of the Federal High Court, Ibadan, on Monday ordered that trader, Kabir Folorunso, or allegedly smuggled-in 180 bags of banned foreign rice, be remanded in a correction centre, pending bail.

Ajoku ordered the defendant, who hails from Ogbomoso, in Oyo state, to be remanded in Agodi Correctional Centre after he had pleaded not guilty to the charge.

She adjourned the case until April 23, for bail application and fixed Apri, 26 for commencement of trial.

Earlier, Counsel to the Nigeria Customs Service, Mr Musa Onimisi, told the court that the defendant was arraigned on a charge bordering on unlawful dealing in contraband.

He alleged that the defendant committed the offence on Oct. 19, 2019, on the Ogbomoso-Igbeti road, Oyo State.

He told the court the operatives of the customs service apprehended the defendant, as he allegedly tried to smuggle in the 180 bags of banned imported rice in an ash-coloured truck with Reg. no. STA11XA.

The prosecutor said that the offence contravened the provisions of Section 164 (A) of Custom and Excise Act 2004.


ECOWAS set up committee over border closure

The Authority of Economic Community of West African State (ECOWAS) Heads of State and Government has constituted a committee, headed by President Roch Marc Christian Kabore of Burkina Faso, to study and make a full report on Nigeria’s land border closure with her neighbours.

In a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the decision was made on the margins of the 33rd AU Summit to discuss the issue and other pressing regional matters.

Nigeria’s Foreign Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, told reporters after the three-hour closed-door session that the meeting attended by President Buhari and chaired by the ECOWAS Chairman, President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger Republic, also discussed West Africa′s new single currency, the Eco, and the situation in Guinea Bissau after the presidential election.

On border closure, Onyeama said: “The President of Burkina Faso is charged with undertaking a full study of the situation, make a report and then we take it from there.”

Asked when the report will be presented to ECOWAS Heads of State and Government, he replied: “As soon as possible, there are no timelines. But he is supposed to start very quickly, study the situation from all the affected countries and present his report.”

On the Eco currency, Onyeama said: “Nothing has changed in respect of Nigeria’s position.”

He explained that Nigeria’s position was that the convergence criteria have not been met by the majority of the countries, therefore there has to be an extension of time on the take-off of the single currency.

On Guinea Bissau, the Minister said ECOWAS leaders recognized that there was an appeal of the presidential election result and they are waiting for the Supreme Court decision on the matter.


Nigeria to begin exportation of rice, come 2022 ..

Nigeria’s agriculture and rural development minister Muhammad Sabo Nanono said the country will begin exportation of its locally produced rice in 2022.

Nanono made this disclosure during a press conference after a working visit of the Nestle Nigeria Public Limited Company (PLC) Office in Lagos on Tuesday.

“If we maintain the momentum in the next two years, we may export rice to other countries,” Nanono said.

“I was worried in terms of the production of rice, but what I have found out is that most rice producers have stocked rice for the next six months.

“This means that before the stock is finished, dry season rice will be harvested, and before that finishes, rainy season will come back.”

Nanono noted that Nigeria’s current land border closure had resulted in increased outputs by many rice milling plants that were operating below capacities before the closure.

He stated that despite the annual three months- November to January when rice is not planted, the nine-month cycle is enough for Nigeria to process sufficient rice for local consumption and exportation.

“As at today, we have 11 rice milling plants with the capacity to produce from 180 tonnes to 350 tonnes of rice per day,” Nanono said.

“In a few months, another mill with a capacity to produce 400 tonnes of rice per day is going to be opened, with another upcoming 34 smaller mills; then, we have clusters in different areas.”

He added that the local rice farmers were fully engaged and used between 200 farmlands and 300 farmlands directly.


Border closure curb economy, security problems – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari Saturday in London said that the partial closure of Nigeria’s borders is not meant to punish the neighbours, but to strengthen the country’s security and economy.

At a meeting with a select group of the Nigerian Community in the United Kingdom, the President explained that the period of closure will be used for stock-taking on threats to the nation’s security and economy.

He noted that Nigerian farmers have been celebrating the closure which has drastically reduced smuggling of agricultural produce as well as arms and ammunition.

President Buhari attributed the country’s virtual food security position to the “very good last three rainy seasons;” the federal government’s reduction in the price of fertilizers by 50 per cent and the presidential directive to the Central Bank of Nigeria not to give foreign exchange for food imports thereby saving the nations billions of naira.

Commending Nigerians in the Diaspora for their huge home remittances – more than $25 billion in 2018 – the President also lauded their individual performances in their various fields of expertise.

Explaining the achievements of his administration in implementing its three-point campaign agenda by focusing on fixing the economy, providing security and tackling corruption, the President said Nigeria’s “huge, vibrant youth population” have been encouraged to go back to the farms and are “living decent and respectable lifestyles.”

On security, he said “it is common sense that you can only run the country if it is secured,” adding that the country “has not done badly in the North East.”

Describing the havoc done by corruption to the image and economy of Nigeria as “terrible,” President Buhari said that his administration has now focused on retrieving stolen fixed assets and returning the proceeds of the sale “to the treasury through the Treasury Single Account (TSA),” so that nobody can return them back to the convicts even after his tenure.

The President congratulated the current World Heavyweight Boxing Champion, Anthony Joshua, who was the cynosure of all eyes during the meeting, on regaining his world championship belt, as well as putting Nigeria “on the world map again like Hogan Bassey.”

On his part, Joshua, who later presented his belts to the President, pledged to “stand up for Nigeria anytime you need me.”

Various speakers lauded the President’s commitment to bequeathing a lasting legacy.

A renowned research biochemist, Adebayo Olamideji, went down memory lane to recall President Buhari’s nationalistic disposition by his decision to save 1,250 Nigerian students from Oyo State studying abroad from indebtedness and shame when he was military Head of State by agreeing to pay over $6.2 million.

Comparing him to former British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, Oladimeji said the President has started “turning Nigeria around for good,” urging him not to allow detractors to “grind him down.”

The meeting with the Nigerian Community was coordinated by the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, who described President Buhari as “diaspora-friendly,” while the President commended her for efforts in coordinating the affairs of diaspora Nigerians in different parts of the world.


The best for growth in Nigeria, Border Closure – Rev. Fr. Kizito Fogos

Rev. Fr. Kizito Fogos, the Parish Priest of Church of Assumption Chongo’ Pyeng, Jos, says the decision by the Federal Government to close the nation’s land borders is the best for the country.

Fogos made the remark in a sermon on Sunday in Jos, adding that the decision would make Nigeria realise its full potential and ensure the growth of its economy, N.Rs culled.

According to him, the closure of the borders will also make Nigeria become a self sufficient economy, where it consumes what it produces.

The cleric, who noted that the current hardships being experienced as a result of the closure were temporary, said the long term benefits would be enormous.

“I am totally in support of the government’s decision to close all our land borders because it will make us realise our full potential.

“With this, Nigeria will no longer be a dumping ground where other countries only export into it expired products; products that are even harmful to our health.

“It is the frozen items that have been preserved with harmful chemicals and are imported to us to consume, or the expired tyres that kill us on the highways.

“The hardships and challenges that come with this decision are temporary, but the long term benefits will be awesome. So, the decision remains the best,” he said.

President Muhammadu Buhari

The cleric, however, advised the government to put modalities on ground to support the growth of local industries, adding that such move would enable them to meet the high demand for locally produced goods.

He also advised Nigerians to patronise locally produced goods in order to promote local industries and grow the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).