Pregnancy: 15% of girls drop out of school , says FG

The Federal Government has expressed concern over the rate at which young girls drop out of school, especially in rural areas due to unwanted pregnancy.

The theme of the event was, ‘Advancing the role of women in nuclear energy and radiation applications.’

The acting Director, Women Development, Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, Mrs Funke Oladipo, on the sidelines of the inauguration of ‘Women in Nuclear,’ said an estimated at 10 to 15 per cent girls drop out of school in the country due to unwanted pregnancies.

She said, “Out-of-school girls constitute between 10 and 15 per cent because of unwanted pregnancies, particularly in rural areas. If you look at the National Demographic Health Survey, the rate of drop-out for girls is one of the issues that were discussed, but we are improving.”

Oladipo added that one of the mandates of the Ministry of Women Affairs was to work with the Ministry of Education to ensure bring back out-of-school girls to classes.

The interim President of Women in Nuclear, Nigeria, Mrs Chigoziri Nwakanma, said the organisation would encourage young girls to take up courses in science and technology education.

LASU COVID-19 compliant

The Sub-Dean, Faculty of Education, Lagos State University, Dr Oludare Olufowobi, has commended the institution for complying with COVID-19 protocols.

Olufowobi, at a virtual training for members of staff on Tuesday, added that both students and staff of the university had imbibed the culture of hand washing, wearing face masks and observing physical distancing.

The don, while speaking on the topic, ‘Quality Assurance in Students’ Matters: Post-COVID-19 Pandemic’, said, “LASU has done well in ensuring compliance. The pandemic has thrown up a lot of challenges, the students have been at home for too long; so, they need counselling, new orientation. The lecturers need to be cautious in dealing with the students.

“Based on the directive of the Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, that the state-owned tertiary institutions should reopen for academic activities, our final year students last week Monday resumed classes and academic life has gradually returned to normalcy at the institution’s Ojo, Ikeja and Epe campuses.

“Lecturers must show more care for the students at this critical period. Most importantly, there is the need to continue to adhere strictly to the guidelines on COVID-19 as the virus is still with us.”

Trump, wife test positive for COVID-19

US President Donald Trump on Friday said he had tested positive for COVID-19 and would quarantine inside the White House during his recovery, cancelling upcoming appearances on the campaign trail ahead of a bitterly fought election.

President Donald Trump has tested positive for COVID-19, upending the already chaotic US election, but was described by his doctor on Friday as feeling “well” and able to perform his duties while quarantining

Trump first announced on Twitter that he and First Lady Melania Trump had tested positive for the virus.

“We will get through this TOGETHER!” he wrote.

But the extraordinary setback for Trump had immediate political consequences just 32 days before election day.

His challenger, Democrat Joe Biden, is well ahead in the polls and is making criticism of the Republican’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic a key plank in his campaign.

FG inaugurates survival fund for 333,000 artisans, transporters

The Federal Government, on Thursday, formally inaugurated the artisans and transport sector track of the N75bn MSME Survival Fund and Guaranteed Off-take Stimulus Scheme.

A total of 333,000 artisans and transporters across the country are to benefit from grants provided by the scheme.

The Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Miriam Katagum, who flagged off the scheme in Abuja, said 9,009 beneficiaries each from the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory would benefit from the scheme.

She said the scheme would leverage duly registered and recognised associations so that members of the bodies would attest to the transparency and effectiveness of the exercise.

She explained that the artisans and transport support scheme was designed to provide 333,000 artisans and transport business operators with a N30,000 operations grant.

Katagum said the grant would help reduce the effect of income loss during the COVID-19 pandemic and its resultant lockdown.

FG orders Unity Schools to reopen Oct 12

The Federal Government on Friday announced that all Unity Schools in Nigeria should resume with effect from October 12.

The Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, stated this during a press conference in Abuja.

According to the minister, schools across the country, are at liberty to fix resumption dates and ensure adequate safety measures.

Adamu warned that schools who fail to adhere to outlined COVID-19 safety protocols, risk closure if there is an outbreak from such institutions.

He said, “We have consulted widely with all stakeholders in the education sector. Our eyes and ears are opened to the international media.

“I’m glad to report that there has not been any single case of COVID-19 in all Unity Schools. No single fatality among the students.

NLC strike: Governors to hold emergency meeting Thursday

Governors of the 36 states of the federation under the aegis of the Nigeria Governors Forum will on Thursday hold an emergency virtual conference to find a solution to the looming industrial action by the Nigeria Labour Congress over the recent increase in the pump price of petrol.

This was contained in a terse press statement titled “NGF Emergency Virtual Teleconference, issued by NGFs Head, Media and Public Affairs, Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo, in Abuja, on Wednesday.

The statement read “Ahead of the threat by the Nigeria Labour Congress to resort to an industrial action to force the Federal Government to rescind its decision to hike oil and electricity prices in the country.

“The Nigeria Governors’ Forum is holding an emergency meeting of all the governors to seek ways of settling the rift and finding a mutually agreed soft landing on amicable grounds.

Issues in ensuring COVID-19 vaccine compliance

An effective COVID-19 vaccine could help us emerge from isolation and end the social distancing required during this pandemic; but it will only work if people are willing to be vaccinated.

We conducted a survey in June 2020 that addressed whether people’s willingness to use a COVID-19 vaccine and adopt other preventive healthcare measures was associated with trust.  The survey was conducted in nine countries: China, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Africa, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States. A thousand individuals were surveyed in each country, and the responses were weighted to the most recent census data.

While an average of 86% of the respondents had increased the number of times they washed their hands in April and May 2020, an average of 21% said that they would not get vaccinated. These figures were highest in Sweden (31%) and South Africa (30.6%), but were not much better in the United States (28%) and Italy (23%). Unfortunately, many of these levels barely reach the cusp of vaccine coverage needed to achieve population-wide herd immunity against COVID-19.

Sources show that the public is most concerned with vaccine effectiveness and the risk of vaccine side effects. Worry about side effects has historically had a big influence on vaccine acceptance. In the UK, concern about reported neurological complications from common childhood vaccines lowered the vaccination rate from 81% in 1974 to 31% in 1980, leading to a resurgence of pertussis that resulted in over 100,000 cases. In 2018, 20% of respondents to the Wellcome Global Monitor survey in the UK said they believed that the risk of vaccine side effects was fairly high or very high.

Hard-hit sectors need attention for COVID-19 recovery’

An accountancy global body, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, has recommended that Nigeria should focus on the hard-hit industries as part of efforts to recover from the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ACCA made the recommendation in a statement on Monday entitled ‘ACCA unveils post COVID-19 economic recovery road map.’

According to the statement, the ACCA researched and outlined the road map post-COVID-19 economic recovery for Ghana, Nigeria and the entire West Africa.

The plan was revealed during a webinar organised by ACCA with the theme, ‘The road to recovery’.

It recommended that “focus must be on the hard-hit industries, the role of digital, the technological aspect of doing business, how accounting firms would play a key role, government intervention and the future of work and employability.”

The report presented by the ACCA Global Head of Business, Jamie Lyon, showed that both Ghana and Nigeria had similar challenges in certain sectors, and their responses also revealed that both countries were adapting by being creative.