The Federal Government of Nigeria has made it known that it has disbursed N5million as revolving loans to 500 women across the 33 local governments in Oyo State, to boost their businesses.

It was gathered that the money was disbursed through the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) to beneficiaries at Donald Hall, St Joseph Catholic Church, Oke-Ado, Ibadan.

The state NDE Coordinator, Mrs. Olayinka Olayemi, stated that the initiative was designed to help the women start and expand their businesses and that the program was under NDE’s Micro Enterprises Enhancement Scheme (MEES).

She added that it would contribute to economic growth and poverty reduction.

Olayemi said the empowerment was part of the Federal Government’s laudable program across the country being implemented by the NDE under the leadership of Dr. Nasiru Argungun. 

Argungun also said each of the beneficiaries would get N10, 000 as financial backing to start up a micro business or expand the existing one.

RB Nigeria, makers of Dettol and Jik has given the federal Government 800,000 units of hygiene products. 

The items donated to the Federal Ministry of Health are antiseptic disinfectants, dettol soaps, Jik bleach, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and 100 mobile handwash units.

The products are part of efforts to contain COVID-19 in the country, and the global -Fight for Access Fund,  aimed at improving access to health, hygiene and nutrition

“You have been in business for five decades, which tells us you know the health history of Nigeria. The need for hygiene cannot now be any more emphasised. What you have brought here will go a long way. We will distribute it to our agencies. We’ll take an inventory of all of it and declare it to the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19,” Minister of Health Dr Osagie Ehanire stated, on receiving the items in Abuja.

The Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) in a statement by its General Secretary, Prince Peters Adeyemi has asked the Federal Government to revert to the old pump price of N123.50 per litre.

The government which had earlier announced through the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) to marketers that the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) or petrol should now sell for N143.80 this month.

“The recent Federal Government announcement of the increase in the pump price of petrol from N123 per litre to N143.80 per litre with effect from 1st July, 2020 came to members of the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) and indeed all workers in the country as a shock, especially coming at a time when most workers are still struggling and have not yet found their feet financially after most of them have lost incomes and continue to lose incomes and jobs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Most workers are months back in the payment of their rents and other loans. This increase cannot be justified especially at this time. We in NASU see it as an extortion of the downtrodden masses of this country in favour of market forces. It is not only unjust but insensitive. The action has added to the hardship of workers and ordinary Nigerians. We therefore call for an immediate reversal by Government,” the statement said.

On Tuesday, the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 disclosed that there was no plan on ground yet for the reopening of tertiary institutions.

National Coordinator of PTF, Dr. Sani Aliyu, disclosed the information in a radio interview, said the PTF is, at the moment.

“Currently, there’s no plan to reopen tertiary institutions. Our plan at the moment is to ensure that we contain the spread of this disease and ensure that we are in the state where normal socioeconomic activities would be restored. We know that schools, together with restaurants, bars and other entrainment activities could encourage community transmission of the dreaded coronavirus, hence the reason why we were not in hurry to reopen them. But, however, we have taken pragmatic measures to ensure we do not loose a whole year in terms of primary to secondary school transition, hence the President’s approval for schools to reopen so that exiting students could return to school and write their examinations some of which are regional. Summarily, there is no plan to reopen tertiary institutions until we get to the top of the numbers, and also see clearly that we are making significant progress in terms of flattening the curve,” he stated.

At the Task Force briefing in Abuja on Wednesday, the Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba, debunked reports that schools are set to reopen on June 8. Adding that the Federal Government is considering sectionalising classes for primary, secondary, and tertiary institutions in the country ahead of the reopening of schools amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

The material that the Chairman of the PTF spoke about, which is an announcement purportedly from him that we are reopening all schools on the 8th did not emanate from us. That is not true. Until we are sure that these children can go to school, return safely and not bring home with them, this COVID material, and infect people who are more susceptible to the disease than they are, then we are running a huge risk and god forbid that in our hurry, something happens to our children, I’m not sure how anybody will be able to retrieve what would have been lost. So we are not taking that risk yet. We are going to prepare as much as possible, within the guidance that they (health authorities) offer us, working in conjunction with the World Health Organisation before we reopen schools,” the minister said.