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Sanwo-Olu Boosts Fight Against COVID-19



Sanwo-Olu Boosts Fight Against COVID-19_newtimes

Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has released N200 million to support the Coronavirus (COVID-19) response of the Federal Government-run isolation centres that are based in the state. The grant is specifically to ramp up the capacity of the federal isolation centres in Lagos to efficiently manage and cure infections from all identified COVID-19 variants.


This development was disclosed in the governor’s latest update on the state’s COVID-19 response, which was released on Sunday evening.


The beneficiary treatment centres are the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) in Idi Araba, and Federal Medical Centre (FMC) in Ebute Metta, which will get N150 million and N50 million respectively.


Also, the state government announced that its isolation centre situated in the Gbagada General Hospital would now be transformed into fee-paying private wards. The move, Sanwo-Olu said, was in response to the growing requests from patients and families willing to pay for personalised care in government-run facilities, while also protecting their privacy.


Payable fee for the private treatment, the governor noted, will be moderately lower than charges at licensed private hospitals. Sanwo-Olu said the state-owned treatment centre at Infectious Disease Hospital (IDH) in Yaba would continue to offer high-quality treatment to all persons, free of charge.

He said: “In view of the rising profile of the Coronavirus disease due to the mutating variants now being discovered globally, and to shore up our containment and management capacity, I have approved the sum of N200 million to support the ongoing patient management and treatment efforts in two Federal Government’s treatment centres in our state. To this end, LUTH will be receiving the sum of N150 million and the FMC Ebute Metta will be receiving N50 million. These sums will be disbursed today, February 1.


“Also, in response to the growing clamour by patients and families who are willing to pay for COVID-19 treatment but would like to do so at a cost that is lower than is currently obtainable at private facilities, Lagos State Government is making efforts to transform the state-owned isolation centre in Gbagada into a fee-paying facility that people can elect to be treated at. While the treatment facility in Yaba will continue to offer free and high-quality treatment to all persons, Gbagada isolation centre will offer treatments at a moderated and affordable cost to those who wish to take advantage of extra offerings like private treatment rooms and more personalised levels of care.”


Despite that oxygen demand has spiked up from 300 cylinders to 400 cylinders per day across state-owned treatment facilities, Sanwo-Olu said the state government would not charge patients who receive oxygen.


The governor said Lagos was working hard to ensure oxygen supply met and surpass the demand, disclosing that the state was on the verge of delivering its second oxygen plant at the Gbagada General Hospital. The new plant will be ready in the next seven days.


According to Sanwo-Olu, when the COVID-19 vaccines are finally delivered to Lagos in the coming days, distribution priorities would be accorded to frontline workers, persons with co-morbidities, essential workers and the elderly who are within the age bracket of 50 to over 65 years.


He said: “The government will keep the integrity of the vaccines intact along the entire supply and distribution chain, while also ensuring approved dosages are complied with. The state will follow up on possible post-vaccination adverse event; the monitoring strategy will be diligently followed in line with protocols of pharmaceutical public safety.”

READ ALSO; COVID-19: Lagos Civil Servants To Work From Home Till Feb 26

The state government condemned what it called “widespread flagrant disregard and non-adherence to COVID-19 guidelines and protocols” issued to stem the tide of infection. Sanwo-Olu particularly noted that some event centres’ owners had been operating their facilities outside the acceptable parameters for usage, warning that defaulters would be decisively dealt with.


In line with the COVID-19 Health Protection Regulations of 2021 signed last week by President Muhammadu Buhari, Sanwo-Olu directed that no gathering of more than 50 persons shall hold in an enclosed space, except for religious purposes, in which case the gathering shall not exceed 50 per cent capacity of the space.


“A breach of the provisions of the presidential regulations attracts upon summary conviction, a fine or six months imprisonment or both. Our enforcement agencies have been appropriately tasked to ensure maximum compliance,” the governor said.

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Sogolo’s Moral Values And Social Change   In Nigeria



Readers’ Showers Of Encouragement
Prof. Tony Afejuku


Tony Afejuku

We are examining Professor Godwin Sogolo’s thoughts by yielding the column to him presently. Sogolo is a National Open University of Nigeria’s Professor Emeritus; an accomplished regular reader of the column., a former editorial board member of the Guardian where he also was a columnist. 

The thoughts we are presenting are from the keynote address he delivered at the First International Conference of the Faculty of Arts 13-17 May, 2024 on the subject of “The Humanities in the Fourth Industrial Revolution”.     

The theme of today’s Conference is the place of the humanities in the 4th Industrial Revolution. And what I intend to do in this Keynote address is to examine the subject from the perspectives of philosophy, my own discipline, under the rubric of the humanities. The discussion looks into the intricate relationship between the moral values of a society and its capacity to attain full potential, with particular reference to Nigeria. It starts with a brief analysis of morality as a universal phenomenon, the values of which are inculcated in the individual by parental upbringing and then transmitted from generation to generation through education, formal and informal, as well as other processes of socialisation. It, then, examines some of the factors that cause moral disruptions and argues that failure in governance and other political lapses, in Nigeria, are products of moral retrogression. The discussion concludes by recommending moral education and behavioural re-orientation as the path to follow, if Nigeria is to be an active partaker and beneficiary of the 4th Industrial Revolution(4IR). I am particularly interested in establishing the fact that every system has two components: (1) the structure and (2) the operators of the structure. The human invention, called “Industrial Revolution”, comes in structures the success of which requires human beings with an appropriate set of values. 

 Conceptual Clarifications 

The key concepts and notions in this discussion are “Moral Values”, “Humanities and Arts”, “Social Change” and “Industrial Revolution”. Each of these ideas requires some clarification. Moral values are the principles that guide human social relations – relations among individuals, groups, or even between humans and non-human entities – in varieties commonly classified into the political, economic, spiritual and aesthetic values.  The terms, “Arts” and “Humanities” may be used interchangeably to refer to disciplines that “study and interpret various aspects of human experience through words or non-verbal forms of expressions”. There are, however, slight differences between the concept of arts and that of humanities. 

Strictly speaking, the arts are concerned with the intellectual creation of ideas, either through performance or the physical production of works while the humanities have to do with research and critical analysis. In their specific usage, the arts are narrower in connotation and refer to the creative disciplines of the visual arts, performing arts, literary arts, etc. The humanities, on the other hand, are broader in conception and they encompass the entire gamut of academic disciplines such as archeology, anthropology, history, philosophy, religious studies, the performing arts, visual arts and literary arts.

The idea of “Social Change”, as used in this discussion, refers to developments that flow from the epochal events, historically called Industrial Revolutions, caused by human inventions. A “Revolution” is a category of change, but one of a monumental scale; with substantial impact on the people and institutions. It may be sudden or gradual. In human history, there have been four such Revolutions: the 1st Industrial Revolution (1760–1840) was marked by the transition from agrarian to industrial economies; the 2nd Industrial Revolution (1870–1914) was characterised  by advancements in industrial production, and the 3rd Industrial Revolution (1960–date) is called the era of digitisation and rise of Information Communication Technology (ICT). And, the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) – already in the making – commenced from the late 20th Century. This emerging Revolution is marked by the fusion of digital, biological and physical technologies, including Artificial Intelligence (AI), robotics, gene editing, etc., anchored on what is today, referred to as knowledge economies.

Do the Humanities Humanise?

The premise, on which this discussion rests, is that progress in Africa has been stunted due, mainly, to value deficit and lack of political will by African leaders to tap into the reservoir of available knowledge and expertise. We in the humanities are interested in the study of human values for the development of mankind and society. The question, which my colleague and friend at the University of Ibadan, Emeritus Professor Femi Osofisan, asked as far back as 1981, in a Faculty of Arts Lecture, was whether the humanities truly humanise, and the extent to which our Leaders have taken advantage of the humanities disciplines in fostering progress in our society.Osofisan’s answer, which was elaborated by the late Pius Adebola Adesanmi, one of the most brilliant and resourceful Nigerians, who, sadly, lost his life in March 2019 in an Ethiopian Airline crash. May his soul continue to rest in peace. The late Adesanmi believed strongly that the humanities play a pivotal role in tackling the challenges of development in Africa, especially Nigeria. For him, the failure of African nations to develop at par with their counterparts elsewhere in the world is attributable to their inability to evolve a system of morality that nourishes modern social and democratic institutions.

According to Adesanmi, “Western civilisation, the Renaissance and Enlightenment and all the features of modernity, science and technology, were the products of hundreds of years of speculations in the humanities, philosophical reflections and critical thought”. Adesanmi was referring to the historical role of the humanities in preparing the individual to adapt to social change. He was right: during the Industrial Revolutions of the 18th, 19th and 20th Centuries, the humanities provided critical perspectives on the socio-cultural and ethical implications of industrialization. Not only did they reflect on the impact of technological advancements on society, they inspired discussions on labour conditions, urbanisation and the human experience. More important, the humanities fostered creativity and innovation by encouraging interdisciplinary thinking that gives meaning to scientific and technological developments.    

Moral Values and Social Change. 

Moral values are the principles and standards that guide our behaviour and shape our understanding of right and wrong. They are the ethical foundations that define how we treat ourselves, others, and the world around us. Moral values are shaped by cultural, religious, and philosophical influences, and they play a critical role in driving social change.

Throughout history, moral values have been at the forefront of social movements that have transformed societies. The abolitionist movement, the civil rights movement, and the women’s suffrage movement were all driven by a deep sense of moral conviction and a desire to challenge the status quo. These movements challenged existing power structures and inequalities, and they did so by appealing to our shared sense of what is right and just. At the heart of moral values is the belief that all human beings deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, regardless of their race, gender, or social status. This belief has been the driving force behind many of the social changes that have occurred over the past centuries. The abolition of slavery, the extension of voting rights to women and minorities, the recognition of LGBTQ+ rights are all examples of how moral values have shaped social change.

When people recognize that certain groups are being treated unfairly or denied basic rights, they are often motivated to take action to address these injustices. This can take the form of political activism, social movement or even legal challenges. The abolition of the slave trade, the capitulating of empires to self -determination, the political empowerment of women, the grant of equal rights to blacks in the United States of America, etc., are some of the instances in which values have led to social change in the last century

In more recent years, we have seen moral values play a significant role in driving social change on issues such as LGBTQ+ rights, environmental protection, and economic inequality. The LGBTQ+ rights movement, for example, has been driven by the belief that all people, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. This moral conviction has led to the legalization of same-sex marriage in many countries and the recognition of LGBTQ+ rights in various areas of legal mind society.

Similarly, the environmental movement is driven by the moral belief that we have a responsibility to protect the natural world and preserve it for future generations. This moral conviction has led to the creation of environmental laws and regulations, as well as the development of sustainable technologies and practices.

To be continued.

Afejuku can be reached via 08055213059  

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Ogun Takes Measures To Prevent Cholera Outbreak In Schools



Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun

The Ogun State Government has directed school heads to ensure good health and safety of all learners and staff to prevent the spread of cholera within the school communities.

Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Prof. Abayomi Arigbabu, in a statement on Wednesday, said preventive measures have been put in place to control the spread of the disease in schools in the state.

According to him, the measures take effect from Wednesday, 19th June, 2024 as schools resumed from the mid-term break and the Eid-el-kabir holiday.

Some of the measures include comprehensive health talks on cholera prevention among learners and staff, including information on symptoms, transmission routes, proper hand hygiene, and safe drinking water practices;

Ensure availability of clean water and soap for hand washing ni school premises;

Encourage regular handwashing, especially before eating and after using the restroom;

Promote the use of hand sanitisers with at least 60% alcohol content as a support to hand washing;

Regularly inspect and maintain water sources within school premises to ensure that they are safe for drinking;

Instruct learners and staff to consume only boiled or chlorinated water and avoid consuming raw or unwashed fruits and vegetables;

Maintain clean and hygienic school environments, including proper disposal of waste and regular cleaning of toilets and common areas;

Collaborate closely with local health authorities and follow their guidelines for cholera prevention and control measures;

Ensure safe food preparation by making sure that they are properly cooked and covered when not consumed immediately;

Monitor closely the food vendors and ensure that they collect letters from health facilities certifying their fitness for the job;

Designate Health Officers within the school to monitor learners and staff for any symptoms of cholera (like frequent watery stooling, etc) and report any suspected cases immediately to the nearest Health Care Centre and ot the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.

“By adhering strictly to these preventive measures and maintaining a high level of vigilance, we can collectively safeguard our health and well-being during this critical period,” the statement added.

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BREAKING: Finidi George Quits As Coach After Super Eagles’ Defeat



Finidi George

Days after the defeat of the Super Eagles in the 2026 World Cup qualifiers, their coach Finidi George has quit.

This was made known by ex-Super Eagles media officer, Toyin Ibitoye in a post on on Saturday.

He wrote, “News just in. Finidi George #FinidiGeorge_FG has resigned from his #NGSuperEagles manager position.”

The resignation follows the Nigeria Football Federation’s (NFF) decision to appoint a foreign coach to oversee him, despite his recent appointment in May.

George, 53, took the reins after Jose Peseiro’s contract ended in February, having served as his assistant for 20 months. However, the team’s disappointing performance in the 2026 World Cup qualifiers against South Africa and Benin led to his demotion.

As a result, George’s one-year contract will be downgraded, and his reported monthly salary of 15 million Naira will be reduced to 5 million Naira. His handpicked assistants will also be replaced by the new foreign coach’s staff.

In a meeting with Sports Minister John Enoh, George expressed his frustration with the lack of support from the NFF and questioned the commitment of Nigeria’s top players in the crucial World Cup qualifiers.

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