City Voice Newspaper - Lagos News, Nigeria News and world news Wed, 01 Apr 2020 19:48:36 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Organisers cancel 2020 Wimbledon grand slam tournament Wed, 01 Apr 2020 19:48:36 +0000 This summer’s Wimbledon 2020 tennis Grand Slam tournament has been officially canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) announced on Wednesday.

The 134th Wimbledon Championships was due to take place from June 29 to July 12 but will instead now be held from June 28 to July 11, 2021.

“It is with regret that the main board of the All England Club and the committee of management of the championships have today decided that The Championships 2020 will be cancelled due to public health concerns linked to the coronavirus epidemic,” the AELTC said in a statement.

Uppermost in our mind has been the health and safety of all of those who come together to make Wimbledon happen – the public in the UK and visitors from around the world, our players, guests, members, staff, volunteers, partners, contractors, and local residents – as well as our broader responsibility to society’s efforts to tackle this global challenge to our way of life.”

It is the first time in 75 years the tournament has been canceled; The Second World War prevented organizers from staging the grass court tournament from 1940-1945.

12 Cote d’Ivoire returnees test positive to Coronavirus in Osun Wed, 01 Apr 2020 19:05:27 +0000 Twelve of the 127 Osun State indigenes who returned to the state last week have tested positive to coronavirus, with state officials saying the figure is likely to increase as 80 other results are being expected.

Seven buses brought the 127 Nigerians from Abidjan, Cote d’voire and they were intercepted by the Ogun State government, which notified its Osun State counterpart.

The Osun state government promptly quarantined and started testing them. As at Tuesday, 27 of them were tested and three came out positive. Today, more were tested, with 9 being positive.

“The numbers would go up until they’re all tested. They are all in isolation. Let’s pray for their speedy recovery. While it is good to spread information, it is equally instructive to set the records straight,’ a state official said.

“Few days ago, those buses coming from Abidjan, heading to Ejigbo were stopped in Ogun State. Fortunately, the Ogun state government was responsible enough, they contacted the government of Osun about it, Osun Government quickly went there to bring them to the state. They put all of them in compulsory hotel in Ejigbo and they tested them all, 127 in total, 9 came back positive.”

Saudi authorities could cancel Hajj 2020 because of coronavirus Wed, 01 Apr 2020 18:56:01 +0000 The biggest occasion in the Islamic calendar, the annual hajj pilgrimage, has become the latest global event to be jeopardised by coronavirus, with Saudi authorities advising travellers to making delay plans to visit Mecca in late July.

The last such closure took place more than 200 years ago.

“The kingdom of Saudi Arabia is prepared to secure the safety of all Muslims and nationals,” the Saudi hajj and umrah minister, Muhammad Saleh bin Taher Banten, told state television on Wednesday. “That’s why we have requested from all Muslims around the world to hold onto signing any agreements until we have a clear vision.”

Mecca and Medina, the two holy cities that are hubs of the pilgrimage, have both been closed to visitors for the past month, a step that was not taken during the 1918 flu pandemic.

Saudi officials have sealed the country’s borders to foreigners and imposed widespread restrictions on movement inside the kingdom, partly in the hope of eradicating the disease before the hajj.

The country has recorded about 1,500 cases of coronavirus and 10 deaths. There have been almost 72,000 cases in the Middle East, many of which have stemmed from the region’s biggest outbreak, in the Iranian religious city of Qom.

The hajj, the annual timing of which is dictated by the lunar calendar, is last thought to have been cancelled in 1798. It has not gone ahead on about 40 other occasions because of disease and conflict. The looming cancellation this year has led some observers to suggest an end-of-days prophecy was drawing near.

The Islamic faith requires all able Muslims to perform the ritual once in their lifetime. It is seen as a purifying period in a worshipper’s life. Saudi Arabia draws much of its global legitimacy from protecting the two holy shrines and hosting the annual event, which draws up to 3 million pilgrims each year to the two sprawling sites in the south of the country.

In addition to the possible cancellation, the Tokyo Olympics, also scheduled for July, have been delayed by 12 months and an axe is hanging over this year’s Wimbledon tournament, which is set for late May. Formula One grands prix in Bahrain and Monaco have also been scrapped, while football competitions across Europe have been put on ice.

Living Faith Church donates ambulance, protective gears to Ogun to combat COVID-19 Wed, 01 Apr 2020 18:51:29 +0000 By Michael Adesanya/ Abeokuta

The Living Faith Church International, popularly known as Winners’ Chapel, on Wednesday donated an Ambulance and personal protective gears (PPE) to the Ogun state government to help in the fight against the spread of Coronavirus in the state.

Presenting the items to the State government at the Governor’s office, Oke-mosan, Abeokuta, the state capital, the Presiding Bishop of the Church, Bishop David Oyedepo, said the gesture was part of the Church’s commitment towards ending the scourge of Coronavirus in the state.

Bishop Oyedepo, who was represented by his son who is also a Senior Pastor in the Church, Pastor David Oyedepo Junior, commended the efforts of the Governor Dapo Abiodun-led administration in curtailing the spread of the pandemic.

The items donated to the state are: a Toyata Ambulance, 10 cartons of latex hand gloves, five cartons of disposable hand gloves, 20 units of infrared thermometers and 250 units of personal protective devices.

Others are: 10 units of pulse reading metre, 10 units of blood pressure monitor, 2 units of multi-parameter monitor and 850 bottles of hand sanitisers.

The cleric expressed optimism that Coronavirus would soon be a thing of the past on the country, saying: “I’m confident with the prayers of the saints across the nations of the earth and particularly in Nigeria that God will bring a sudden end to the scourge of Coronavirus.

“As a nation, we remain committed to partnering with the government in this fight to bring an end to the threat to humanity. To this end, we are extending the following material support to boost the management and tackling of COVID-19 menace in Ogun State.

“We have come for the purpose of demonstrating our solidarity to the Ogun state government in the battle against COVID-19 which has been a global pandemic. We are all in the same fight together in driving towards victory and we trust God that at the end of the day we will have a song of victory.

“We have come today to present some items to help in this fight against this pandemic and we are rest assured that not only as we take steps medically and professionally but as we also take steps spiritually, that the victory is secured in the name of Jesus.”

Receiving the items on behalf of the state, the Deputy Governor, Mrs. Noimot Salako-Oyedele commended the Church for the generous donation and reiterated the government’s commitment to partnering religious organisation and individuals in the curtailing the spread of the virus.

She called on other private individuals, religious leaders and other well meaning Nigerians to support the government in its effort to rid the state of the virus.

The Deputy Governor noted that the items would go a long way in helping the state in the fight against COVID-19.

COVID-19: Total lockdown of state our last option – Edo govt Wed, 01 Apr 2020 18:48:07 +0000 By Peterson Ibi

As various states governments now engage stringent measures to check the spread of coronavirus in their respective jurisdictions, Edo state government says it will declare total lockdown only when it becomes absolutely necessary.

The State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Patrick Okundia, disclosed this on Wednesday after conducting journalists round the isolation centre in Benin, the State capital.

Okundia said the state government has considered a total lockdown for the state as the last option.

“The government of Edo state has reviewed this issue over and over again. What we have currently is partial lockdown, but when it becomes absolutely necessary, we may take that decision for a complete lockdown.

“Knowing fully well that Edo state is bordered by several states, if Anambra puts a lockdown on its borders, they have also blocked Edo state border, if Delta State blocks their border, they have also helped us block our borders.

“If the other states block their borders, we are already protected. But, when it becomes absolutely necessary, our state government will take that decision,” he said.

Commenting on the preparedness of the state to combat coronavirus, the Commissioner disclosed that the 12-bed capacity isolation centre is ready and fully equipped with ventilators and other necessary things.

“This has been ready for function for about three or four weeks now. The only thing is that no patient is here yet and currently, all the personnel are undergoing facility training. This place is ready to handle any case of coronavirus disease.

“This is a small facility, it has a capacity of six males, six females bed capacity, and the reason why the Governor decides to expand a bigger facility there. The new isolation centre boasts of 28-bed capacity, with two large wards and up to about four private wards,” he said.

Dr. Okundia also explained that not all who tested positive to the virus needed to be hospitalised at the isolation centre, except those who’s conditions are already critical.

“There are guidelines and protocol. But until the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), they will be the one to inform us, then we will trace all the contacts.

“There are guidelines about the case management. If you see a patient who does not have any symptoms at all and the rest result comes out positive, such a patient is not for isolation centre. There is what we call holding centre, which we already have in this Stella Obasanjo Hospital and Ogbe Nursing Home.

“The regulation says if the patient has a private facility where he can be held, all he needs to do is apply the infection prevention and control measures, preventing him from getting in contact with anybody, the patient can stay in that private facility while our surveillance team going to him everyday to monitor him.

“It’s only when he starts to develop symptoms that we start to give him treatment. And if the symptoms get worse and is now requiring hospitalisation, where you now need a ventilator, the patient will now be moved to the critical care unit. That’s how it’s being managed.

“There are some cases who are stable and if you take them to the hospital, the environment alone will make them sick. So, it’s all building confidence in the patient; as long as the symptoms are not there, the only wish the patient has is the risk of transmitting the infection to others. So, we keep the patient from every other persons,” he said.

Amosun donates N25million to Ogun State to fight coronavirus Wed, 01 Apr 2020 18:38:15 +0000 By Michael Adesanya/ Abeokuta

Former Governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun has donated the sum of N25 million to support the State Government in the fight against deadly coronavirus.

Amosun announced this in a letter personally signed by him, and addressed to his successor, Governor Dapo Abiodun and made available to journalists on Wednesday.

The former Governor added that he had transferred the money to the specially opened state government account, ” Access bank account number 1384210113,Ogun State Coalition against Covid-19″.

The letter reads in part “Please be notified that the sum of N25m(twenty-five million naira) has been transferred and cleared into the Access bank account number 1384210113,Ogun State Coalition against Covid-19,as my personal contribution for the management of Covid-19 challenges in Ogun State”.

He said, “I am also in constant touch with federal agencies in and outside Ogun State with a view to offering maximum assistance to our people in these trying times”.

” Arrangements are also in place to assist in ameliorating the challenges arising from the Covid-19 lockdown in Ogun State within this period by supporting N25,000 households across the state.

It is my fervent prayer that Almighty God will see our people in Ogun State and indeed Nigeria through the Covid-19 pandemic”, Amosun concluded.

African finance ministers: urgent need for $100bn immediate emergency financing for COVID-19 Wed, 01 Apr 2020 13:02:35 +0000 African Ministers of Finance held a second virtual meeting Tuesday, against the backdrop of rising COVID-19 cases in Africa. The meeting was hosted by Vera Songwe, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa, and co-chaired by Ministers Tito Mboweni of South Africa and Ken Ofori-Atta of Ghana.

Countries shared their experiences and also discussed opportunities for mutual support. While acknowledging the commendable policy measures taken by governments, the Ministers underscored that Africa’s economy is facing a deep and synchronized slow down and could take up to three years to turn the corner.

They stressed the need to take “all possible actions to slow down and bring the spread of COVID19 under control in the short term but acknowledged this is an uphill battle.

The Ministers agreed on the following key issues:

The immediate focus must remain on the health and humanitarian front. There is a need to continue the awareness raising, testing, social distancing. Many ministers joined the meetings with masks.

Ministers called for Debt relief from bilateral, multilateral and commercial partners with the support of the multilateral and bilateral financial institutions such as the IMF, THE WBG, The EU, to ensure that African countries get fiscal space required to deal with the COVID19 crisis. The call for debt relief it was emphasised should be for all of Africa and should be undertaken in a coordinated and collaborative way. They called for a special purpose vehicle to be created to deal with all sovereign debt obligations.  Substantial drops in revenue from commodity price drops coupled with increasing costs of imports is pitting pressures on both inflation and the exchange rate.

The need for longer period for debt relief. Given that the global economy has entered a period of a synchronized slow down, with recovery only expected after about 24 to 36 months, development partners should consider debt relief and forbearance of interest payments over a 2 to 3-year period for all African countries, LICs and MICs alike.

The Ministers acknowledged the importance of the private sector for job creation and for the recovery effort.  Called on DFIs to support private sector in this difficult time. In addition, since Africa is a net importer of pharmaceutical products, enabling local continental production could serve to protect some jobs and guarantee supply of essential medicines during the crisis. Over 54 countries have banned exports of pharmaceutical products. Ministers called for an end to these procedures. Ministers called for joint protocols on border closures to allow for trade and humanitarian corridors. There is a need liquidity facilities, refinancing and guarantee facilities to support the private sector.

The Ministers discussed the enormous losses being incurred in the airline and hospitality industry. They called for the protection and preservation of the African airline, logistics tourism industry. Including by advocating for a stay on interest, lease and debt payments. This is an important job creating sector for millions of Africans and must be protected. The Ministers agreed to set up a meeting for countries affected by transport and tourism losses due to the pandemic, in order to better plan on policies to combat the losses.

The Ministers welcomed the use of technology such as mobile phones to support awareness raising, identify communities in need and create accountability and governance mechanisms around the use of the stimulus. They asked ECA to work with the telecommunications company to design a system to support these objectives.

LIRS extends deadline for filing of annual reports to May 31, 2020 Wed, 01 Apr 2020 12:59:03 +0000 In view of the coronavirus pandemic altering socio-economic activities around the world and as part of the on-going efforts to mitigate the effect on businesses and taxpayers, the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) has extended the deadline for filing of Annual Returns for Individual taxpayers, including self employed persons for two (2) months from April 1 to May 31, 2020.

Statutorily, the filing of annual returns expires on the March 31st of every fiscal year, and attracts stiff penalties for defaulters. With this extension as announced by LIRS, taxpayers are given a breather.

According to the Chairman of Lagos State Internal Revenue Service Mr. Ayodele Subair, the extension of deadline of the Annual Returns is in response to appeals made by taxpayers as well as a policy shift by the agency to assuage the effect of COVID-19 on the taxpayers and residents of Lagos State.

“We implore the taxpayers to access our eTax platform for all tax operations and administration matters, including filing of annual returns from the comfort of their homes and offices. They can do this, by simply logging on to the eTax platform via or calling our Customer Care Centre on 0700 CALL LIRS (070022555477)’’  he said.

While further updates on business operations and alternative payment platforms of the service can be obtained by visiting the LIRS website, (, and its various social media handles, the management and staff of LIRS appeal to the residents of Lagos State to support the efforts of the Lagos State Government ably led by Mr. Babajide Sanwoolu by adhering strictly to the COVID-19 safety guidelines as issued by relevant health authorities.

COVID-19: Ondo first lady organises training for town criers in Owerri West Wed, 01 Apr 2020 09:24:50 +0000 As part of her efforts to raise awareness on Coronavirus, the Ondo State First Lady, who is also the Ada Emeabiam II of Emeabiam Autonomous Community, Owerri West LGA, Imo State, Mrs. Betty Anyanwu- Akeredolu, has organized a training for town criers within the old Mbato autonomous community, now five autonomous communities namely: Emeabiam, Umuokpo, Eziobodo, Eziokele and Okolochi autonomous communities.

The training was necessitated by the low awareness of the deadly nature of COVID-19 at the rural areas, which exposes a lot of lives to danger.

Speaking at Ahannanyereugo Villa, Umuikea Emeabiam, venue of the training, Mrs. Akeredolu emphasized that there was need for town criers, who are foot soldiers and information custodians, to be rightly informed on the outbreak, mode of transmission and the do’s and don’ts, to remain safe during this pandemic.

She further added that her effort is to compliment government’s efforts for the citizens to be well informed with the right information to curtail the spread of the deadly virus.

The commissioned town criers, who were trained in their local dialect, expressed enthusaiasm to carry out their duties effectively as it concerns the outbreak in order to save lives in their communities.

The training proffered preventive measures such as social distancing, that is avoiding crowded places like church, mosque, wedding, burial, naming ceremony, market etc that it is safer to stay at home, regular washing of hands with soap, the use of hand sanitizers, avoiding handshakes, avoiding overloading of passengers both by motorists and motorcyclists, and adopting respiratory hygiene, among others, as the main content of the information dissemination by the town criers.

The town criers were later encouraged to periodically raise the awareness in their various communities in the local dialect.

Street shops are not affected by statewide lockdown – Lagos police Tue, 31 Mar 2020 16:24:27 +0000 Operators of retail shops located on streets are free to open up for business as long as they respect the social distancing and crowd control directives, the Lagos State Police Command have clarified.

The police gave this clarification following reports of partial compliance by petty traders whose businesses are not located in open markets.

The command’s spokesman, Bala Elkana stated that such persons, even if they do not sell essential and life saving items, were excluded from the shutdown.

Citing an example, Elkana said a hairdressing saloon located in a street was free to open as long as it does not accommodate more than 25 people at a go and also strictly prevented body contacts among people.

Elkana also said policemen on duty have been charged to show compassion and sympathy while enforcing the orders because no one prepared for such situation.

“Well, let me start by saying that this is not a conventional situation. The primary mandate of the police is to protect lives and properties and I am not sure we have found ourselves in this kind of situation where we need to enforce not the conventional law, but how to stop the spread of the virus.

“So, this is a new one that requires new approach. It requires more of compassion, sympathy and you know something that is new also needs more time for people to get used to it.

“So, that is why the commissioner of police is leading the enforcement. We go round together, meet people and also look at what the police are doing. We also gave out dedicated lines for people to call and register their complainants.

“The complaints we have received so far have been minimal and they are addressed as they come in.

“Since this situation also affected physical meetings between the Commissioner of Police and officers and men across the state, more of radio communication is being used and so, once a complaint is received, the CP addresses it through the radio.

“The policemen have been given clearance that the shutdown basically affects markets and these are markets where they do not sell essential commodities.

“This does not include isolated shops on the streets. Only markets because markets attract a large number of people.

“Life must continue, we are not shutting down Lagos completely. The order did not shut down Lagos.

“The order is saying that markets that attract crowd to them should remain closed because they have high risk of spreading the virus.

“That is the clearance he (CP) gave yesterday very well to all the policemen and he made sure they all acknowledged and they understood it. He gave room for them to ask questions through the walkie-talkie on areas they needed clarification.

“Even if the shops on the streets do not deal in essential commodities, they are free to open up.

“The condition there is that crowd must not gather there. The shop owner must not have more than 25 persons at a time gathering there and if people are coming into the shop, he should make sure that they have space.

“If you have a small shop, do not let it get congested, let some people wait outside while you attend to some. There has to be space so that there is no body contacts. All these are guidelines to help us stop the spread of the virus,” Elkana said.