City Voice Newspaper - Lagos News, Nigeria News and world news Tue, 07 Jul 2020 21:49:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Adisa Logun, Chief of Staff to Kwara State Governor, dies of COVID19 Tue, 07 Jul 2020 20:08:26 +0000 Alh. Adisa Logun, the Chief of Staff to the Kwara State Governor, Alh. Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq is dead.

Logun died Tuesday of complications from. Covid-19 at the Kwara State Isolation centre, Alagbado where he was rushed to after showing serious signs of coronavirus Monday night.

The governor confirmed the death in a tweet on Tuesday.

The late Logun, an experienced administrator, was appointed Chief of Staff to the Kwara State Governor in 2019, few weeks after swearing-in of Abdulrazaq.

A statement by the state government regarding the death reads:

‘With total submission to the will of the Almighty Allah, we wish to announce the passing of the governor’s Chief of Staff, Aminu Adisa Logun (mni).
“Logun, an industrialist, a public intellectual, and an elder statesman, died Tuesday evening from COVID-19 complications.
“He died only a few hours after his test results returned positive.
“The entire government and the people of Kwara state have lost an outstanding public servant who diligently served the state at various times, including as Chief of Staff to the Governor from June 7, 2019 until he returned to his Lord.
“The Governor has declared seven-day mourning in honour of the late Chief of Staff.
The Governor commiserates with the family of the late Chief of Staff and the entire Ilorin Emirate for this tragic development.
“We pray the Almighty Allah to grant him Al-Jannah Firdaus and give the family the fortitude to bear the huge loss.
“Details about his janazah will be made public by the family and the government in due course.”

Police arrests pastor raping his daughter since 2015 and forcing three abortions on her Tue, 07 Jul 2020 18:27:00 +0000 By Michael Adesanya/Abeokuta
A 44 – year-old Pastor of the Christ Apostolic Church, Ogo Oluwa parish, Owode-Egbado area, Oluwafemi Oyebola have been arrested by men of the Ogun State police Command for repeated rape of his own biological daughter (name withheld).
The pastor was arrested following a complaint by his daughter, who reported at Owode-Egbado divisional headquarters that her father has been forcefully having sex with her since 2015 when she was 19 -year- old, shortly after the demise of her mother.
According to a statement issued by the Command’s Spokesman, Abimbola Oyeyemi in Abeokuta, the victim reported that she got pregnant for her father three times and her father took her to a nurse where those pregnancies were aborted.
After the third abortion, the suspect forced his daughter to undertake a family planning procedure, so as not to get pregnant any longer.
Oyeyemi stated that the victim having realized that her father is all out to ruin her life,  ran away from the house and reported to an NGO ,  Advocacy For Children and Vulnerable Persons Network consequent upon which she was taken  to Owode-Egbado police station to complain.
Upon the report, the Police Spokesman said the DPO Owode-Egbado division, Olabisi Elebute led her detectives to the pastor’s house where he was promptly arrested.
On interrogation, the suspect made confessional statement that what his daughter said was nothing but the whole truth.
The state Commissioner of Police, Kenneth Ebrimson has ordered the immediate transfer of the suspect to anti human trafficking and child labor unit of the state criminal investigation and intelligence department for further investigation and prosecution.
UN writes Sanwo-Olu on dire situation of access to clean water in Lagos Tue, 07 Jul 2020 18:15:43 +0000 The United Nations has expressed grave concern about the Lagos government’s renewed plans to privatise important parts of its water system despite widespread public opposition.

In a letter sent to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on January 15, 2020, which only came to light last week, the UN cautioned against the privatization plans which, it said, would have negative impacts on the human rights of lower income Lagosians.

The letter, which the Lagos government is yet to acknowledge, was signed by the trio of Philip Alston – Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights (whose tenure just ended); Leilani Farha – Special Rapporteur on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, and on the right to non-discrimination in this context, and Leo Heller – Special Rapporteur on the right to safe drinking water and sanitation.

They listed privatisation of water services and lack of transparency and public participation among the key factors that make water unavailable for the largest segment of Lagos population.

“As Lagos continues to grow, residents’ access to water and sanitation is worsening. Current estimates suggest that only 10% of the population has access to water supplied by the Lagos Water Corporation (LWC)..Rather than seek to implement a combination of improved policies that would ensure adequate access to water for all, the State Government has focused only on the possibilities flowing from privatization, through public private partnerships”, the letter reads.

It added: “Despite the urging of many civil society groups, the Government has failed to ensure their right to participate in the relevant decision-making process concerning water supply”.

The UN special rapporteurs listed several efforts they made to seek information about the plans of the Lagos government which were not acknowledged, including the Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe water’s December 22, 2016 expression of fear on the vulnerability which many millions of Lagos people are exposed to due to the water crisis.

They said they are deeply concerned about the impact the planned forms of privatization will have on the enjoyment by all of the human right to water, especially for lower income communities.

They also demanded, among others:

·         Measures Sanwo-Olu’s government has taken to ensure that the principles of meaningful participation, transparency and access to information are respected in terms of planning for provision of water to all residents of Lagos

·         Undertaking of human rights impact assessment of the LWC’s Strategic Business Plan 2019-2024 including impact of the principles of equality and non-discrimination and the human rights to water and sanitation

·         Overview of proposed privatization and PPP projects planned for the water sector in Lagos.

Govt seeks motorists cooperation during six months Third Mainland Bridge repair Tue, 07 Jul 2020 18:10:01 +0000 The Federal and Lagos State Government have appealed to motorists and Lagos residents to cooperate with government and appropriate agencies during the six months partial closure of the Third Mainland Bridge for maintenance work, which is expected to commence on July 24.

Speaking during a press conference jointly addressed by the Federal Controller of Works in Lagos, Engr. Olukayode Popoola; Lagos State Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Frederic Oladeinde and Special Adviser to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Works, Engr. Aramide Adeyoye, on Tuesday at Alausa in Ikeja, they assured Lagosians that necessary measures would be put in place to reduce gridlocks during partial closure of the bridge.

Popoola said there would be diversion of traffic in two phases during the partial closure of the bridge between Friday July 24, 2020 and January 24, 2021.

He said the Phase One of the diversion, which will last for three months for repairs of the Oworonsoki bound lane of the Third Mainland Bridge, would be for morning traffic from 12:00am to 1:00pm from Oworonshoki to Lagos Island on the Lagos Island bound lane, while the afternoon traffic from 1:00pm to 12:00am would be from Lagos Island to Oworonsoki on the Lagos Island bound lane.

Popoola said the Phase Two of the diversion, which would last also for three months for repairs of the Lagos Island bound lane of the Third Mainland Bridge, would be for morning traffic from 12:00am to 1:00pm from Oworonsoki to Lagos Island on the Oworonsoki bound lane, while the afternoon traffic from 1:00pm to 12:00am would be from Lagos Island to Oworonsoki on the Oworonsoki bound lane.

The Federal Controller of Works in Lagos while speaking on the inconveniences the maintenance of the bridge might cause motorists said the Federal Government and Lagos State Government will work with appropriate agencies for traffic control to direct and help traffic movement in the affected areas and alternative routes.

“Motorists are advised to also ply these alternative routes: First, from Carter Bridge through Iddo through Oyingbo to join Adekunle ramp inward Oworonsoki. Secondly, from Ijora Olopa through Western Avenue to Ikorodu Road.”

The Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Oladeinde said priority will be given to those driving from Mainland to the Island in morning and afternoon to use the Third Mainland while those driving against traffic will use the alternative routes.

Dr. Oladeinde assured motorists that Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) will work with Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in all the alternative routes to ensure that motorists have a smooth journey during the partial closure of the bridge.

The commissioner while stressing the need for reduction of vehicles on the road during the partial closure of the bridge advised that those who don’t have any genuine reason to be on the road to stay at home.

He said there would be increase in number of public vehicles for people to leave there vehicles at home to make the road less congested, adding that the public vehicles would be available and affordable for road users.

He said: “If you don’t have to travel, I will advice that you stay at home so that we can minimise the number of vehicles on the road. If you can work at home, please do. But if you can’t, we will ensure will be on the road for you to get to your destination as quickly as possible,”

Dr. Oladeinde also advised people of Lagos State to use alternative transport such as ferries. He said there will be increase in number of fleets by the Lagos Ferry Services in the morning for people from Ikorodu and Mile 2 as alternative transportation.

Also speaking, Engr. Adeyoye appreciated the Federal Government for bringing the repair of Third Mainland Bridge on board.

She said Lagos State Government has commenced necessary preparatory works on all the alternative routes in the state to make them motorable for the commuters.

Adeyoye said the state will do its best within two works to work on all the roads that may likely cause gridlocks to be free of potholes.

She also warned trucks and vehicles that are not road worthy or serviceable to stay away from Lagos roads.


Breaking: Buhari suspends EFCC chairman, Ibrahim Magu Tue, 07 Jul 2020 14:37:46 +0000 President Muhammadu Buhari has suspended the acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, the BBC Hausa Service has said, quoting unnamed presidency source.
Magu spent last night in police cell at the Force Criminal Investigation Department Headquarters in Area 10, Garki, Abuja, after he was quizzed on Monday for about six hours by a Presidential panel led by a former President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Salami.
The media aide of the anti-graft boss, Tony Amokedo, told the Daily Trust that he is not aware of the suspension of his boss.
The panel was constituted by President Muhammadu Buhari to probe various allegations levelled against Magu following a petition by the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, and the Department of State Service (DSS). Malami’s memo allegedly accused Magu of diversion of recovered loot.
The memo was said to contain 22 allegations against the embattled EFCC chairman. But Malami, through his spokesman, Dr Umar Gwandu, said he had no knowledge of Magu’s arrest. “
The Presidency yesterday said Magu was not arrested but rather invited so that he can respond to issues as they arise. Senior Special Assistant to the president on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, in a text message in response to Daily Trust enquiries, said Magu’s attention was “immediately” needed as the presidential panel investigating the disposal of recovered assets began its sitting.
“There is a presidential panel that has begun sitting, investigating the disposal of recovered assets and the EFCC chairman is responding to their questions.
“I will not call it arrest per se, as many have suggested, but they need him to be immediately available to them so that he can respond to issues as they arise,” he said.

NBC’s proposed regulatory code is economic sabotage of creative industries – Wole Soyinka Tue, 07 Jul 2020 14:27:35 +0000 Professor Wole Soyinka has lent his weighty voice to the chorus os condemnation trailing the proposed regulatory code about to be introduced by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC.)

Soyinka, in a statement titled: That NBC REGULATORY CODE, said the new law was nothing short of economic sabotage against Broadcasting professionals.

The statement reads:

“It is economic sabotage writ large, directed against thousands of practitioners. Regulatory? This is strangulatory in effect!”

I think it is about time the government come out openly and admit that it has declared war against the Arts and its producers, instead of its present tactics of piecemeal attrition.

Just when we were reeling from the action of the Ministry of Youth and Development in joining hands with book pirates by providing a free-loading portal for the works of Nigerian authors, among others, along comes a new regulatory hit against the cinema and video enterprise, and its operators.

Let me quickly utilise the opening of this new flank to commend the Director-General of the Nigerian Copyright Commission for his prompt attention to the complaint by Nigerian authors.

And now it is the turn of a sister industry to be placed under siege! I have just read excerpts of the newly proposed NBC broadcasting code and become aware of some potentially dangerous aspects of the code. Whilst one concedes that some of the regulations are well intentioned, I shudder to imagine unintended consequences such as backhanded censorship in the age of digital media.

These restrict intellectual property rights and their scope of exploitation with whomsoever one chooses to collaborate. It is economic sabotage writ large, directed against thousands of practitioners. Regulatory? This is strangulatory in effect!

Several practitioners’ voices have been raised in protest. For one such insider’s detailed and passionate exposition on the deleterious provisions of this Code, I shall draw particular attention of policy makers to Chris Ihidero’s Why Does the NBC Want to Kill Local Content in Nigeria? If I may invoke a contemporary tragic image to render graphically what Ihidero and others have pleaded on behalf of both creators and consumers of this artistic productivity:

Let government kindly take its knee off the neck of this industry. Please – let it breathe!

A.R.I Ijegba

UBA Group announces appointment of Deputy Managing Directors for Nigeria and Africa Tue, 07 Jul 2020 13:54:02 +0000 United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA), the leading pan-African financial services group, is pleased to announce the appointments of Ayoku Liadi and Oliver Alawuba as Deputy Managing Directors in charge of UBA’s Nigeria and Africa businesses, respectively.

The creation of the new positions, reporting to Group CEO, Kennedy Uzoka, represents further strategic recognition of the growth of UBA’s pan-African business, now representing in excess of 40% of Group revenue, and the critical importance of Nigeria, the Group’s largest market. Combined with UBA’s unique International Business, operating from New York, London and Paris, UBA Africa and Nigeria, offer an unparalleled service offering to clients across Africa and globally.

Commenting on the appointments, Group Chairman Tony O. Elumelu said:

“In 2005, we set out our pan-African vision. Fifteen years later, we are present in 20 African countries, serving over 20 million clients, leveraging our service culture and technology platform, to provide an integrated and seamless customer offering across the continent. In Africa, we lead in innovation and service, whilst our International Business, operating from New York, Paris and London, provides global and African clients access to treasury, trade finance and corporate banking products, uniquely tailored to the African opportunity. These senior appointments represent our commitment to optimise our management structure to best serve our clients and drive our business success.”

Oliver Alawuba has worked with the UBA Group for almost 20 years and was appointed in January 2020, CEO for the Group’s Africa operations. Oliver’s knowledge of UBA’s business in Africa is unrivalled. He previously held the role as CEO of UBA in Ghana and more recently, as Regional CEO for UBA in Anglophone Africa.

Ayo Liadi joined the UBA Group in 2014 and was appointed the Executive Director of Lagos and West bank in Nigeria, two years later. Ayo is widely recognised for his innovation in driving business development.

Also announced today by the UBA Group Board, was the retirement from the Board, with effect from August 01, 2020, of Dan Okeke who has been with the UBA Group for 22 years. Dan served on the board as an Executive Director for three terms and a total of nine years. According to the Group Chairman, ‘Dan was born for UBA. He has worked tirelessly for the Group and achieved so much in the past two decades. We will miss him, but he will still be very much around us’.

N700m fraud: Judge orders ‘sick’ Ize-Iyamu to appear in court July 14, rejects request for prolonged adjournment Tue, 07 Jul 2020 13:51:00 +0000 By Peterson lbi 

A Federal High court in Benin has ordered the candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the September 19, 2020 gubernatorial election in Edo State, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu to appear in court on Tuesday July 14, 2020, over the alleged N700m money laundering case that was preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Justice Mohammed Garba, who gave the order on Tuesday following the absence of Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, who is the first defendant in the suit No. FHC/BE21C/ 2016, however did not order the arrest of Ize-Iyamu, who was said to be indisposed.

But the judge held that the hearing of the pending motions challenging the jurisdiction of the court would be held on July 14, 2020, after rejecting the oral request for a prolonged adjournment of the case by the Counsel to Ize-Iyamu, who argued that his client will not disobey the order of court.

Justice Garba stated that the last time somebody was here, he (the judge) made an order for the accused person to appear in court or face arrest.

Earlier in his application to the court, counsel to the first defendant (Ize-Iyamu), Mr Charles Edosomwan (SAN) told the court that his client was sick and thereafter presented Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu’s medical certificate which was also admitted in court as evidence without any objection by the prosecution.

The accused persons including former Deputy Governor of Edo State, Mr Lucky Imasuen, Mr Efe Erimuoghae-Anthony and others are facing eight-count charge of money laundering to the tune of N700 million meant to prosecute the 2015 general elections.

Speaking during an interview with journalists, Mr. Pascal Ugbome, Counsel to the Second defendant, said “the case was adjourned due to the inability of the first defendant (Ize-Iyamu) who is sick to be present in court.

“And we were served with medical certificate to the effect that the first defendant is sick and he is unable to be in court because he was indisposed and then adjourned the case.

Also speaking, Mr. Charles Edosomwan, Counsel to Ize-Iyamu, said “the case couldn’t go on today. The court had to adjourn because the first defendant and the court in the circumstances, adjourned the matter to July 14, 2020 for hearing of pending motions. We have a motion challenging the jurisdiction of this court. That is what is to be held on July 14, 2020.

“The first defendant’s motion is not the only motion in the suit. Other defendants also have their own motions challenging the jurisdiction of the this honourable court.

“There was not threat of Ize-Iyamu’s arrest, but the judge said that we should be in court on July 14.

“He (Ize-Iyamu) has never missed a court date. Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu will come to court if the circumstances are correct. The laws provide him (Ize-Iyamu) protection as far as he is willing to face his trial.”

Responding to the court order, the EFCC Prosecution Counsel, Mr. Ahmed Imoovba, said the matter was adjourned consequent upon the application of the first defendant who is unavoidably absent in court. He is said to be sick. The judge ordered him (Ize-Iyamu) to appear on the next adjourned date.

Our Correspondent reports that unlike the previous hearing, security was relaxed around the court premises.

In a related development, the Federal High Court in Benin presided over by Justice Mohammed Garba on Tuesday adjourned the suit to determine the mode of Edo State All Progressives Congress Primary election to July 23, 2020, pending the determination of the pending motion of appeal at the Supreme Court in Abuja.

The court adjourned the suit, following an application of stay of execution by the Counsel to APC, Chief Henry Ogbodu, SAN at resumed hearing of the case.

The judge held that he will take a decision on the suit pending the outcome of the motion at the appellate court

Gboyega Ajayi: Fayemi’s quest for sustainable development in Ekiti Tue, 07 Jul 2020 13:36:49 +0000 By Gboyega Ajayi

In the pre- and post-independence era, Western Nigeria was the most civilized and prosperous region, not necessarily because it was the most endowed with mineral resources, but because of the vision and foresight of the leaders of the region then. Chief Obafemi Awolowo and his team were smart enough to capitalize on the comparative advantage of the western region by making agriculture the mainstay of the economy and maximizing the potential of cash crops like cocoa to develop the region. Cocoa was to the western Nigeria what oil is to Nigeria now. That was the golden era of economic development of the southwest before the introduction of the unitary-federal system of government we are currently running in Nigeria, which now makes most states to be dependent on federal allocation for survival.
“A good objective of leadership is to help those who are doing poorly to do well and to help those who are doing well to do even better” (-Jim Rohn). In his bid to encourage, motivate and strengthen established and new farmers in Ekiti State, the Kayode Fayemi led government has organized continuous trainings on technology driven commercial farming. Several farmers have been sponsored for trainings in the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Ibadan. The trainings of trainers (ToT) for the registration and biodata capturing for financial inclusion of farmers in Ekiti State is ongoing and about 50,000 farmers have been registered. Anchor borrowers training for-would-be beneficiaries along crops of comparative advantage to Ekiti State, is also ongoing. These are geared toward boosting rice, cassava, maize and other cash crops production in Ekiti State to service the agro-allied factories being built by renowned formidable companies. One of the hindrances to largescale commercial / mechanized farming is unavailability of required land space but this is not a problem in Ekiti State. To ensure massive production of farm produce, the Fayemi-led administration has also acquired land in all the Local Government Areas of Ekiti State to be made available for the use of interested and serious minded farmers.
The worthiest priced natural resources of Ekiti State are the vast arable lands and teeming hardworking population. Fayemi came back in 2018 with the sole intention of maximizing the potential of these valued, but grossly under-utilized natural resources to develop Ekiti State. Unlike what happened after his first term in office when the highly successful YCAD couldn’t survive after him, Governor Fayemi started his second term by focusing on how to attract renowned and successful agro-allied companies to establish factories in Ekiti State. Accessibility to market is very important to every business concern, especially greenfield business like those being built in Ekiti State. The absence of reliable and sustainable market for farm produce coupled with unfavourable government policies led to the demise of YCAD in Ekiti State. “A man must be big enough to admit his mistakes, smart enough to profit from them, and strong enough to correct them” (- John C. Maxwell). To mitigate such occurrences, the Kayode Fayemi led government is doing everything possible to have companies which survival depend on farm produce to establish factories in Ekiti State.
There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle, or the mirror that reflects it. The Kayode Fayemi government is making Ekiti the destination of choice for smart investors through the implementation of its ease of doing business policy. In a quest to promote and sustain commercial rice farming in the State, three renowned companies are building rice mills in Ekiti. Dangote Farms is establishing paddy aggregations, hulling and parboiling units with 160 metric tonnes per hour capacity with farm land already acquired at Ipao-Irele Ekiti axis. The company applied for a Rice Out-Grower Scheme in Ekiti State, whereby two (2) cropping seasons are expected per year. Stallion Rice has also identified potential rice plantation zones across the river belts and rice value chain communities particularly, Oke-Imesi, Ijero/Ikoro, Gbonyin Ekiti areas and a site along Erifun Poly road in Ado Ekiti has been approved for the processing plant. Jumlar Rice Limited has been allocated 3,000 hectares of land for rice production and 5.2 hectares of land for processing and storage facilities, also in Ipere and Ipao Ekiti areas.
In its quest to encourage, strengthen and empower the cassava growers, the State Government also attracted investors to establish Cassava Mills in Ekiti State. Promise Point already acquired 700 hectares of land around Iyemero-Ayede Ekiti axis for the cultivation of cassava, 38 hectares for company processing mills, 20 hectares of land for mini dam and 50 hectares of land for Trailers Park. It is projected/expected that the daily production of the mill is 400 tonnes. The company has out-growership arrangement for the cultivation of cassava, notable among them are Nigeria Cassava Growers Association and local farmers in the Iyemero Ekiti agricultural growth corridor. FMS Farms has also acquired 584 hectares of land in Iyemero-Ayede Ekiti axis. A pilot stage of out-growership with 100 farmers has commenced. The company has also established 25 greenhouses for production of various pepper, tomatoes and vegetable varieties.
Sequel to the aforementioned Rice and Cassava mills are Ikun Dairy Farm, several standard poultry farms, Maize Farms and other greenfield mechanized farms springing up across Ekiti State. Promasidor Nigeria Limited has effectively taken over Ikun Dairy Farm to enhance the maximization of its full potential and has since commenced production. The dairy farm will, in full capacity, produce 10,000 litres of milk per day. Ekiti State currently hosts one of the largest poultry farms in Nigeria, situated in Ijurin Ekiti with 100,000 birds. Poultry farms of similar magnitude and several agro-allied industries are in the making across the length and breadth of Ekiti State. Governor Kayode Fayemi is doing everything within his power, against all odds, to ensure that most of these factories, industries and farms blossom and stabilize before the end of his tenure in office.
This is necessary to ascertain that these legacy programmes and projects can survive on their own no matter who takes over from him. As tall as this dream seem, Kayode Fayemi believes it’s achievable and he is daily walking the talk. These legacy projects are in addition to various ongoing road projects across the state, building and renovation of schools, rehabilitation and upgrading of hospitals, completion of all inherited and previously abandoned building projects, and several new life-changing projects and programmes. These are no doubt giant strides to enhance the sustainable development of Ekiti State. Ekiti State is on a journey of self-discovery to reduce its dependence on Federal Allocation through sustainable development. As Governor Kayode Fayemi Governor Kayode Fayemi is unrelenting in his quest to transform the State through its comparative advantage. The importance of these legacy projects cannot be overemphasized as they are targeted at creating jobs for our teeming youths and boosting the IGR of Ekiti State, to reduce our dependence on federal allocation.

Adegboyega Ajayi writes from Ikoro Ekiti.

WASSCE 2020 to hold from August 3 – Sept 5, as WAEC releases guidelines on safety Tue, 07 Jul 2020 13:32:23 +0000 The much-awaited WASSCE for School Candidates 2020 will now hold between 3rd August and 5th September, 2020, covering a space of five (5) weeks.

The new date was announced today Mr. Patrick E. Areghan, Head of The Nigeria National Office of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC), at a press briefing held at the WAEC National Office, Yaba , Lagos.

Below is his speech:

“Gentlemen of the media, on behalf of the Registrar to Council, the Management and Staff of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC), Nigeria, I am delighted to welcome you to this press briefing, my first with you since assuming office as the Head of the Nigeria National Office of WAEC. We have invited you here today to acquaint you with our preparations and readiness for the conduct of the much-awaited WASSCE for School Candidates, 2020.

“As you are aware, the examination was earlier scheduled to take place between the 6th of April and 5th of June, 2020, but had to be postponed due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

” The examination will now hold between 3rd August and 5th September, 2020, covering a space of five (5) weeks. There is a novel development in this arrangement in the sense that the examination would be held from Monday through Saturday, in order to be able to achieve the five-week span. A total of One Million Five Hundred and Forty Nine Thousand Four Hundred and Sixty Three (1,549, 463) candidates have registered for the diet from 19,129 schools out of which 786,421 are males and 763,042 are females.

“The choice of the period (August 3rd to September 5th, 2020) for the conduct of the examination was not arbitrarily set. WAEC consulted extensively with the governments of all the five member countries before arriving at the period and duration of the examination.

“In deference to the Federal Government of Nigeria, the five-week arrangement was arrived at in order to make room for the other Examining Bodies to equally conduct their examinations in good time. The shortening of the period is also of advantage in terms of reducing the period of mass social interaction with its attendant consequences.

“During the waiting period, we continued to fine tune and perfect all arrangements for the smooth and successful conduct of the examination and I am happy to inform you that we are set to conduct the examination in Nigeria.

” In conducting the examination, we have taken due cognizance of the various measures/protocols rolled out by the Federal and State governments of Nigeria, aimed at checking the spread of the pandemic. We have encapsulated all these measures in a pamphlet which will be circulated to all stakeholders for their necessary guidance.

“For the sake of emphasis, schools must provide wash-hand buckets with running water, soaps, hand sanitizers and thermometer hand-gun to check the temperature of all concerned. All examination functionaries, including the Councils staff on distribution; Supervisors; Invigilators, Inspectors; candidates and school officials will be required to wear face masks, wash and sanitize their hands daily and throughout the duration of the examination.
“Let me assure you and the general public that we shall adhere strictly to social/physical distancing in the examination halls by making sure that candidates sit two (2) metres apart. This means that many more classrooms will be used and many more supervisors and invigilators will be required to conduct the examination. This has certainly raised the supervision fee to be paid to supervisors as well as the provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to staff, Supervisors and other examination officials.

“No doubt, all these measures have financial implications which were not contemplated at the time of drawing up the budget for the conduct of the examination. The big question looming now is how can this extra fund be raised?

” On this note, therefore, we are appealing to the governments at various levels to come to our aid. We equally call on Multi-National companies, corporate organizations and philanthropic individuals to donate these PPE to us. It is essential that all examination functionaries are well kitted to avoid the spread of the disease.

“May I also use this medium to escalate our challenge to the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Covid-19 and to humbly request for any possible assistance. WAEC has Zonal and Branch Offices all over the Federation. The various state governments can donate the required PPE to the WAEC offices in their states.

“Gentlemen of the media, these are no normal times. This examination is going to be conducted under a very unfriendly atmosphere and conditions. I will like to use this opportunity to advise all schools and candidates to make the best use of the situation in order to turn adversity into success.

“I must not fail to warn all schools and candidates to shun any form of examination malpractice. Lack of preparedness is not an excuse to cheat. For the benefit of doubt, standards already set remain sacrosanct. Do not delude yourself by thinking that they will be lowered due to the prevailing circumstances. Therefore, as usual, you get what you deserve.

“It will be a double tragedy for any candidate to write the examination under very difficult circumstances and not to have any result.
Schools and candidates must resist the temptation of patronizing dubious websites that claim or would claim to have examination questions at their disposal. We cannot claim not to know that they are right now strategizing on their evil machinations. They are fake and conscienceless destiny destroyers. Self-reliance is the sure key to success.

“The Final International Timetable has been sent to all the WAEC Zonal and Branch Offices for onward dispatch to schools and Federal and State Ministries of Education.”