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Oyo Begins Enforcement of Environmental Laws

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Oyo Begins Enforcement of Environmental Laws

Oyo Begins Enforcement of Environmental Laws

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

On Wednesday, Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State led top officials of the state on a road show to sensitise the people on the preparedness of the state to begin the enforcement of environmental sanitation laws.

At each stop, the Governor said he decided to lead the train to underscore the importance attached to the environmental sanitation and urban renewal flagship programmes of the administration.

The campaign, which took Mr Ajimobi and his team to markets in Bere, Oja Oba, Bode, Molete and Challenge, is expected to continue on Thursday (today) in other areas of the state.

Addressing the traders and residents, the Governor warned them to desist from indiscriminate dumping of refuse, refuse burning and other violations of the state’s new sanitation laws, which he said would be fully enforced beginning from February 2.

Advising the residents to comply with the law, he said that violators would be brought to justice irrespective of their status.

Mr Ajimobi said, “As we have been doing earlier, we have come again on environmental sanitation sensitization to make our people know that Ibadan should be one of the cleanest cities in Nigeria. We want Ibadan to be aesthetically friendly and environmentally attractive to investors.

“We want people to know that this sensitization has three goals; one is the health goal, a clean environment is conducive to good health; the third one has to do with invitation to investors, when investors know you have a clean environment, they will certainly come.

“As you can see now, we are doing road network with dualization of all entrances into the state and major cities across the state. This form of modernization will make our state the preferred destination for investors.

“What is important to us for now is that all our people must join hands with us and make Oyo State a better place. We want a good state that we can all be proud of and I’m happy that my people are very supportive.”

The Governor said that the state could not afford to go back to the era when Ibadan, the state capital, was adjudged as one of the dirtiest cities in the country.

The Oyo State Environmental Laws prescribes imposition of fine and jail terms for indiscriminate dumping of refuse, street trading, building structures on the water ways and under high-tension cables.

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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Health

Oyo Assures Residents of COVID-19 Vaccine Efficacy, Safety

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Oyo COVID-19 Vaccine Efficacy

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

Residents of Oyo State have been assured of the efficacy and safety of the COVID-19 vaccines, urging them to take the jab to keep the state safe from the virus.

Last week, the state government, through the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, collaborated with UNICEF to create awareness on the COVID-19 vaccine (COVAX) among residents in the state.

The UNICEF C4D Specialists, Akure Office, Mrs Aderonke Akinola-Akinwole, stated that there was the need to educate and clear all doubts about the efficacy and safety of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine by the people of the state especially those living at the grassroots.

According to her, media practitioners have a huge role to play in demystifying misconceptions and rumours about COVAX in the grassroots.

She dismissed rumours that the vaccine causes early death, sterility or that it is a scam, adding that residents should shun all unfounded assumptions about the vaccine.

The UNICEF representative further explained that the vaccine is safe, effective and free of charge, as it helps reduce the effects of COVID-19 if contracted at all after the complete vaccination.

Earlier, the Director of UNICEF Programs in the ministry, Mr Rotimi Babalola, in his welcome address stated that the meeting with media practitioners and information officers from all the 33 LGA’s is important at this time, due to the outbreak of the Delta variant of COVID-19.

He noted that the Delta variant of the pandemic is deadlier than the previous COVID-19 hence the need to raise awareness among citizens who may have let down their guards concerning the COVID-19 protocols.

Mr Babalola stressed that the vaccine is available at primary health care centres in the state at no cost to prevent the spread of the virus especially at the time that school’s resumption is in the offing.

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Health

Court Orders Resident Doctors to Suspend Strike

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Resident Doctors

By Sodeinde Temidayo David

**As NARD Appeals Ruling

The National Industrial Court of Nigeria has ordered the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) to suspend their strike action and go back to work immediately, pending the determination of the substantive suit.

The order followed a suit filed by the federal government to challenge the legality of the industrial action, which commenced August 2.

Justice Bashar Alkali, while ruling on the matter on Friday, also asked all parties to return to the negotiating table.

Counsel to the federal government, Mr Tochukwu Maduka, alongside the Federal Ministry of Health, noted that resident doctors embarked on the strike action, without proper notice as provided by the extant strike laws.

According to Mr Maduka, resident doctors are persons who provide essential services and cannot embark on strike as continuing to do so will pile hardship on citizens.

He also prayed the court to compel the members of NARD nationwide to return to their duty posts, pending the determination of the substantive suit.

Opposing this, the counsel to the resident doctors, Mr Femi Aborishade, urged the court to discountenance their application, arguing that the life of a medical doctor was not less useful than the life of an average human being.

He further pointed out that justice must be balanced, not just to the government, but also to the doctors who are the field marshals in the face of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier, both parties had told the vacation judge, Mr Alkali, at the industrial court on September 15 that they were set to negotiate and give the court an update by Friday.

But the process of negotiation and possible settlement failed.

Speaking shortly after the court ruling, however, the counsel to the doctors said he would advise them accordingly and show them other options of appeal, but they would not disobey court orders.

Meanwhile, the latest reports indicated that the doctors have filed an appeal to upturn today’s ruling, emphasising that they were not given a fair hearing. The association directed its members to continue with the industrial action.

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Health

COVID-19: Multilateral Agencies Fear Inability to Reach 40% Vaccine Target

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Vaccine Target

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Multilateral Leaders Task Force, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank (WB) Group, World Health Organization (WHO) and World Trade Organization (WTO), have expressed concern that without urgent steps, the world may not achieve the end-2021 target of vaccinating at least 40 per cent of the population in all countries which is a critical milestone to end the pandemic and for global economic recovery.

The Task Force made its position known at a meeting with the CEOs of leading vaccine manufacturing companies to discuss strategies to improve the access to COVID-19 vaccines, especially in low- and lower-middle-income countries and in Africa.

At the onset of the novel pandemic, the task force joined forces to accelerate access to COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics by leveraging multilateral finance and trade solutions, particularly for low- and middle-income countries, with the aim to achieve a 40 per cent vaccine target in every country by the end of 2021, and at least, 60 per cent by mid-2022.

In a statement, the Task Force members noted that despite adequate total global vaccine production in the aggregate, the doses are not reaching low- and lower-middle-income countries in sufficient amounts, resulting in a crisis of vaccine inequity.

The Task Force, therefore, encouraged countries that have contracted high amounts of vaccine doses, and vaccine manufacturers, to come together in good faith to urgently accelerate COVID-19 vaccine supplies to COVAX and AVAT, two multilateral mechanisms that are crucial for equitable distribution of vaccines.

The group’s members welcomed the willingness of the CEOs to work collectively with them to end vaccine inequity and their readiness to form a technical working group with the Task Force to exchange and coordinate information on vaccine production and deliveries.

They, however, stressed that if the 40 per cent coverage threshold is to be reached in all countries by the end of 2021, countries with high vaccination rates that have collectively pre-purchased over two billion doses in excess of what is required to fully vaccinate their populations, should, as a matter of urgency, “swap their near-term delivery schedules with COVAX and AVAT; fulfil their dose donation pledges with unearmarked upfront deliveries to COVAX.”

They also asked that these countries release vaccine companies from options and contracts so those doses can be delivered to people in low- and lower-middle-income countries and adding that vaccine manufacturers should prioritize and fulfil their contracts to COVAX and AVAT.

The Task Force advocated for the need to ensure that doses reach countries that need them the most, particularly low- and lower-middle-income countries.

It, therefore, called on vaccine manufacturers to share details on month-by-month delivery schedules for all vaccine shipments, especially for COVAX and AVAT.

In its remarks, WHO emphasized its call for a moratorium on booster doses until the end of 2021, with the exception of the immune-compromised, to help optimize supply to low-income countries.

The Task Force also called on all countries to urgently address export restrictions, high tariffs and customs bottlenecks on COVID-19 vaccines and the raw materials and supplies required for the production and timely distribution of vaccines.

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