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Times Journalism Alumni Association Mourns Pa Dele Odebiyi - ITREALMS

ITREALMS :  The Times Journalism Alumni Association (TJAA), today, joins the journalism fraternity to mourn the passing into eternal glo...

Monday, March 30, 2020

Times Journalism Alumni Association Mourns Pa Dele Odebiyi - ITREALMS

The Times Journalism Alumni Association (TJAA), today, joins the journalism fraternity to mourn the passing into eternal glory, on Saturday of consummate journalist, administrator and unionist, Pa Dele Odebiyi, aged 80, reports ITREALMS.

Pa Odebiyi passed on at a Lagos hospital, after a brief illness. Odebiyi was the editor of the widely circulated but defunct title Lagos Weekend as well as a lecturer at the prestigious Times Journalism Institute(TJI), where he taught so many students, who themselves, rose through the ranks to become editors, Newsman’s English.

TJAA chairman, Mr. Clifford Agugoesi, described Odebiyi’s demise, as a tragedy at this time, which “came to us at TJAA, as a rude shock, as he was one of the resource persons penciled down to help us in our efforts at strengthening our association and revive our alma mater. “

A press statement from TJAA Public Relations Officer, Mr. Emma Udodinma, made available to 
ITREALMSquoted Agugoesi also saying that as an editor to many editors, Pa Odebiyi did not only pass through the Daily Times nay Times Journalism Institute but allowed both institutions to pass through him.

“Our hearts and thoughts go to his immediate and extended families, who have been suddenly thrown into a mourning when they had looked forward to being with him for many more years to come.

“We pray God to grant him eternal rest and his friends and well-wishers, the fortitude to mourn his loss,” he said.

Assuring that TJAA, will continue to keep in constant touch with the immediate family of Pa Odebiyi as a mark of respect and appreciation to him as one who genuinely and sincerely worked tirelessly for everything that typifies what both Daily Times of old and our alma mater -the Times Journalism Institute, stand for.

Ayo Midele/Editor

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Sunday, March 29, 2020

Abule Ado fire explosion victims need food, materials says LACMON president, applauds Sanwo-Olu - ITREALMS

The President, Lagos Archdiocese Catholic Men Organization of Nigeria (LACMON) Barrister Vincent Otiono has applauded the efforts of the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu on the efforts of his administration over the relief package for Abule Ado victims, reports ITREALMS.

Otiono gave this applause to the governor, saying he has exhibited a high sense of character and qualitative leadership whose job rating is well appreciated by Lagosians. 

He equally expressed thanks to the Governor on the handling of the Abule Ado fire explosions and asked him not to forget the suffering masses who lost their homes in the aftermath of the disaster.

In addition, Otiono pleaded with the Governor to as a matter of priority establish the food bank and other palliative measures in the Abule Ado area of Lagos where the recent explosion incident occurred which is now a semblance of the Syrian town Aleppo. 

Pointing out that the Abule Ado people are battling with twin disaster namely Explosions and Coronavirus Pandemic.

He prayed that "Christ Our leader" will continue to guide Mr Governor and grant him good health of mind and body to be able to tackle the enormous task confronting the state at this period of our existence. 

Barrister Otiono went in to say that about 40 of his members lost their properties and means of livelihood as a result of the explosions.

The Abule Ado victims need food and humanitarian materials urgently so that they would not suffer server lockdown in Lagos.

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ChineseVirus-19: Nigerians berate 43 Ministers for donating N3.6m – ITREALMSChineseVirus-19: Nigerians berate 43 Ministers for donating N3.6m – ITREALMS

ITREALMS:


Nigerians have berated 43 cabinet Ministers of the current administration of President Mohammadu Buhari for donating the total sum of N3,630,633.19, as part of contributions to gather support for fight over Chinese-Virus-19, reports ITREALMS.

The ministers, ITREALMS recalls had agreed to donated 50 per cent of their March 2020 salaries to support the Federal Government’s efforts to combat the ChineseVirus-19 also known as Covid-19 pandemic which have ravaged the world including Nigeria.

Although it was not pronounced, but investigations by ITREALMS showed that the annual basic salary of a substantive minister is ₦2,026,400 (₦168,866:66 per month) exclusion of allowances which runs into millions.

ITREALMS gathered that by working with the sum of N84,433.33 as 50% of the monthly salaries of 43 cabinet Ministers amounts to N3,630,633.19 (Three Million, Six Hundred and Thirty Thousand, Six Hundred and Thirty-Three Naira, Nineteen Kobo only).

These figure, did not go down well with a few Nigerians who spoke on the matter.

While some said that the Ministers should have donated full salary, others expressed surprise over the amount, saying its too meagre for a “whole 43 ministers.”

According to some of the respondents who asked for anonymity, if the likes of 2Baba (2Face) a musician can donate N10m, he does not see why the collective member of cabinet ministers cannot raise upto at least N10m.

ITREALMS recalls that



However, according to MySalaryScale.com on “Salaries of Federal Ministers” the annual basic salary of a substantive minister is N2,026,400 which equals to about N168,866:66 per month.

Also, ITREALMS gathered that each of the ministers is entitled to N6,079,200 as furniture allowance, which is paid once in four years, in addition to N8,105,600 motor vehicle allowance.

Though, the motor vehicle allowance is a loan repayable by the end of the tenure of the minister. Further investigations showed that other allowances include;

· Motor vehicle fueling and maintenance allowance of N1,519,800 (annual value).

· Domestic staff – N911,880 annually

· Entertainment – N607,920

· Utilities – N405,280

· Monitoring allowances – N303,960

· Personal Assistant allowances – N506,000

· Newspaper allowances – N303,960

· Leave allowance – N202,640

· Tour duty – N35,000

· Estacode allowance – $900 per night

· Housing allowance – N4,052,800

The summation of these annual allowances is N13,374,240 for each minister excluding the optional vehicle allowance.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, ITREALMS gathered, quoted the Minister of State for Transportation, Senator Gbemisola Saraki, who coordinated the donation, as saying it was a gesture of solidarity and support for the Federal Government's efforts to tackle the disease.

''This global virus outbreak will require nations, continents and smaller communities to pull together to contribute their resources and support one another. This will facilitate an early resolution of the problem,'' Alhaji Mohammed further quoted Senator Saraki as saying.

However, according to MySalaryScale.com on “Salaries of Federal Ministers” the annual basic salary of a substantive minister is N2,026,400 which equals to about N168,866:66 per month.

Also, ITREALMS gathered that each of the ministers is entitled to N6,079,200 as furniture allowance, which is paid once in four years, in addition to N8,105,600 motor vehicle allowance.

The donations from our wealthy men and organisations to support fight against #Covid19 in Nigeria.

This is really commendable.

1. Aliko Dangote -1Billion.

2. Abdulsamad Rabiu - 1Billion.

3. Femi Otedola -1Billion.

4. Tony O. Elumelu -1Billion.

5. Herbert O. Wigwe - 1Billion.

6. Segun Agbaje - 1Billion.

7. Jim Ovia - 1Billion.

8. Access Bank - 1Billion.

9. GT Bank -1Billion.

10. Zenith Banks -1Billion.

11. Atiku Abubakar -50million.

12. UBA. - 2.5 Billion

13. NNPC. - 11 Billion
14. TuFace Idibia.     - 10million naira
15.Barr. Robinson Ozomma Akpua 10M

16. Chief Obiorah Okonkwo-200M

17. Idris Garuba -170M

18. Babatunde Oshinowo-500M

19. Engr. Arthur Eze-500M

20.Igwe Mac-Anthony Okonkwo, Igwe Alor -40M

21.Mrs Bola Adabisi -70m

22.Chief Victor Nwaribeaku Akwa UGO-100m

23.Onyeka Uwadiegwu, okugbalu azu-100m.

24.Obi obiwulu-okwuoma-100m

25.Chief Monday Akunna,Egbejiejeogu 100m by

26.Ofoigbo Chinedu Nweke, Afunwa 10m.

27.Uzokanmma ndi Anambra Org.100m

28.High Chief Azubuike Ekweozor, IDE-120m

29.Chief Evans Metuh, Amuruonyenego 100m.

30. Arthur Frank 10m

31: Ike Na Aguluezechukwu 1 —100m

Uboshe Uboshe/Editor

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Saturday, March 28, 2020

Why Ministers donated 50% of March salary to Covid-19 efforts - ITREALMS

Indications have emerged on why Nigeria's 43 cabinet Ministers decided to donate 50 per cent of their March 2020 salaries to support the Federal Government's efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic in the country, reports ITREALMS.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, ITREALMS gathered, quoted the Minister of State for Transportation, Senator Gbemisola Saraki, who coordinated the donation, as saying it was a gesture of solidarity and support for the Federal Government's efforts to tackle the disease.

''This global virus outbreak will require nations, continents and smaller communities to pull together to contribute their resources and support one another. This will facilitate an early resolution of the problem,'' Alhaji Mohammed further quoted Senator Saraki as saying.

The Ministers also commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his leadership role in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria.

Uboshe Uboshe/Editor

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ChineseVirus-19 lockdown: FirstBank says 'We're open nationwide' - ITREALMS

First Bank of Nigeria Limited has declared that despite lockdown in some states of the federation over the ChineseVirus-19 also known as Covid-19, its branches are opened nationwide for skeletal services, reports ITREALMS.

Group Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Folake Ani-Mumuney, confirmed this to 
ITREALMS, pointing out that following the directives for partial lockdown in several States across the country, "we will be offering skeletal services in some of our branches across the nation."

These branches, she said, would be open from 9:00am to 2:00pm, Monday to Friday.

"We have implemented all necessary health and safety measures across these branches to keep you safe at all our locations," she assured.

Ani-Mumuney urged customers to check out list of branches, here.

She also said that First Bank's alternative channels are available for customers 24/7 during this period.

Chuks Egbune/DoP

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Chinese Virus-19: No curfew in Lagos says Gov. Sanwo-Olu - ITREALMS

The Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, may have after-all dropped the idea of imposing a curfew in the state meant to allow the fumigation exercise of public space, reports ITREALMS.

Latest from the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Sanwo-Olu, Mr. Gboyega Akosile, disclosed to 
ITREALMS that relying on experts advice, the Governor said the disinfectant is non toxic, noting that the exercise has commenced.

"I am pleased to note that we have taken possession of over 200 disinfecting machines, and starting today, we will be disinfecting all major highways, bus stops, markets, parks and other public areas," Sanwo-Olu was quoted as saying in press statement available to 
ITREALMS.

Also, the Governor had said during a live press conference that if there is a need for curfew, government will not hesitate to impose it.

"For now, everything remains the way they are," he declared.

Ayo Midele/Editor

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ChineseVirus-19: IPC seeks measures to protect journalists, urges caution

The Lagos-based International Press Centre (IPC), has called on media proprietors to provide journalists covering the ChineseVirus-19 also known as Covid-19 health crisis in Nigeria with necessary protective gadgets and medications where required, reports ITREALMS.
Executive Director of IPC, Mr. Lanre Arogundade, said journalists are among professionals who are always on duty during crisis situations as we currently have and their safety should therefore be accorded very high priority.

"From provision with protective wears and adequate supply of basics such as hand sanitizers, nothing can be too much to do for journalists on the field at this moment", Mr. Arogundade said in a statement today.

According to him, journalists covering Covid-19 also deserve to be placed on a special insurance package.

The IPC Director also advised journalists to avail themselves of all the health tips on avoiding Covid-19 infection especially as outlined by global health bodies and national health institutions.

"Journalists should apply necessary caution so as not to expose themselves to avoidable health risk in the understandable urge to cover breaking stories on the pandemic," he stressed.

Mr. Arogundade also charged journalists and other media professionals to exercise professional restraint and ensure that all supposed breaking stories on Covid-19 are fact-checked to mitigate the spread of false or misleading information.

Ayo Midele/Editor

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Friday, March 27, 2020

Davido confirms 'wife' Chioma, is Corona positive - ITREALMS

Music sensation, Davido, has confirmed that his 'wife' Chioma has contracted Coronavirus after returning to the country, reports ITREALMS.

Confirming this in a tweet, Davido wrote:

"Hey everyone ! I came back recently from America after cancelling tour. My fiance Chioma also came back from London recently with our baby. We had no symptoms and still both feel perfectly fine but because of our recent travel history we decided to take ourselves and our all close associates we’ve come in recent contact with for the COVID-19 test on the 25th of March."

According to him, "Unfortunately, my fiancĂ©’s results came back positive while all 31 others tested have come back negative including our baby. We are however doing perfectly fine and she is even still...yet to show any symptoms whatsoever. She is now being quarantined and I have also gone into full self isolation for the minimum 14 days."

Davido also assured that they are doing very well and used the opportunity to thank "you all for your endless love and prayers in advance and to urge everyone to please stay at home as ...."

Uj. N. Dominic/Editor

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NNPC, partners boost Covid-19 fight with N11b donation - ITREALMS

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has made an intervention of $30 million (about N11 billion) to help combat the Coronavirus pandemic and its attendant impact on the Nigerian economy, reports ITREALMS.

The Group Managing Director, NNPC, Mele Kyari, disclosed this intervention initiative to 
ITREALMS on Friday in Abuja and said it was done in collaboration with its partners in the oil and gas industry, and in line with the Federal Government’s ongoing efforts to curb COVID-19 spread in the country.

Kyari also said in a press statement available to 
ITREALMS that the intervention was aimed at supporting the country’s healthcare delivery facilities and would cover three major areas: Provision of medical consumables; deployment of logistics and in-patient support system; and delivery of medical infrastructure.

“The three thematic support initiatives amount to a total of $30 million (N11 billion) and will be delivered in phases, starting today.

“To address the increasing demand of medical services, we are immediately providing medical consumables covering testing kits, medical protective suits and ambulances to the highly impacted areas across the federation.

“This will be followed, in the next few days, with the deployment of ventilators, beds and temporary intensive care facilities across the geopolitical zones of the federation,” he said.

ITREALMS equally gathered that some of the industry players that partnered with the NNPC to make the intervention possible include the Niger Delta Petroleum Resources Limited, Oando Oil Limited, Oriental Energy Resources Limited, Pilar Oil Limited, Platform Petroleum Limited, SEPLAT Petroleum Development Company Plc and Shoreline Natural Resources.

In addition, were Suntrust Oil Company Nigeria Limited, Vertex Energy Limited, Waltersmith Petroleum Oil Limited and Yinka Folawiyo Petroleum Limited.

Chuks Egbune/DoP

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COVID-19: 2bn-man prayer to be led by Pastors Chris, Benny Hinn worldwide - ITREALMS

Over 2 billion faithful have confirmed participation for the joint two-hour Global Day of Prayer event to be hosted by President, Loveworld Incorporated Rev. (Dr.) Chris Oyakhilome, and Pastor Benny Hinn, today Friday March 27, 2020, from 7pm to 9pm GMT+1, reports ITREALMS.

The two men of God, ITREALMS gathered, had declared this special prayer programme that will be broadcast LIVE on all LoveWorld TV networks, Ceflix, @PastorChrisLive super User handle on Kingschat, terrestrial TV stations, various Radio stations across the globe and also on various Internet and social media platforms.

This is a timely instruction of the Holy Ghost poised to change the narrative and free the world from the devastating effects caused by the Coronavirus pandemic. These God's generals will also be bringing a special message to the world during this program.

To this end, Christians around the world, irrespective of denominations, are now preparing to take a stand in unity against the forces of darkness causing panic and perplexity in the world today, as they observe this Global Day of Prayer. This is a special call to prayer according to the inspiration of God’s Spirit.

It is a faith response to restore hope amidst the growing fear and confusion expressed by different governments of the world in the wake of the Coronavirus epidemic. Through effective prayers, there is an assurance that the nations will be liberated from the siege of this pandemic.

In the featured video, Pastor Chris and Pastor Benny unveil deep truths about the events being witnessed across the world today in relation to Bible prophecies. They emphasize the need for the body Christ to unite in prayers and put a stop to the devil’s schemes as the Church is the only hope for the world.

Over Two billion people are expected to participate in the #GlobalDayofPrayer with Pastor Chris and Pastor Benny Hinn as the publicity for the programme has reached top gear. According to Pastor Chris, “Over 2 billion people have already indicated they will join what tonight may be the largest prayer meeting ever.”

Some of the local Television Stations that will broadcast this global event live today from 7pm include Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), AIT, TVC, STV, SuperScreen, MiTV, LTV, Galaxy TV, NTA2 Lagos, NTA10 Lagos, Wazobia TV, ITV, RSTV among others.

It will be recalled that LoveWorld President Pastor Chris Oyakhilome on March 1, 2020, during his Monthly Global Service and Communion prayed for the entire world going through anxiety as a result of a global pestilence that has been raging since late last year.

He prayed: “Father, in the name of Jesus Christ…thank you for your word that has been given to us. Lord you told us that in the last days, there will be perplexity of nations. Men’s heart failing them from fear because of the things they will see…because of the terrible experiences in the nations of the world,”

“Right now Lord, many are afraid because of this deadly virus orchestrated by the devil, but you gave us power over every unclean spirits…to cast them out and cure diseases. In the name of our Lord Jesus, we come against the Corona virus from the very cause of it…from the very root of it. And we come against the devils, the demons that spearheaded this project.

“You devils of sickness and disease…you evil spirit behind the Corona virus, it is said that your work started in China, but wherever you started from and whatever nations you have gone, we break your influence now in the name of Jesus and we command you to stop your operations and your maneuvers over the governments of the world.

“In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, every demon of darkness that is involved in this wicked onslaught against the nations of the world. You devils of darkness that are responsible for destroying lives and economies of nations through fear of the Corona virus, we bind you; we break your influence in the name of Jesus.

“We command you now to stop in your tracks in the name of Jesus Christ. Your works are now frustrated. We dispatch angels of God to go forth and cause the vaccines to be made available; to come into operation; solution to come to men in their various nations; the cure to be available and cheap by the wisdom of God, be released into the nations now. In the name of Jesus, there is an answer and there is cure right now in the name of Jesus Christ. And there will be no more fear of it by the power of the Holy Ghost in the name of Jesus Christ.”

Ayo Midele/Editor

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Chinese Virus: Nigerian govt lacks citizens cooperation, blames religious leaders - ITREALMS

Nigerian Government has lamented that citizens are not cooperating at this moment in combating the Chinese virus also known as Coronavirus or Covid-19, reports ITREALMS.

This is coming as the most populous nation on the continent is on the verge of community spread of this scourge.

The Federal Government through the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed gave these indications on Thursday in Abuja, blaming some Nigerians for not complying with relevant government directives at this time, especially religious leaders.

“The government is not getting the kind of cooperation that this moment deserves from Nigerians,” he decried.

In addition, he said some Nigerians defied orders to stay away from large gatherings while some religious leaders willfully flouted the directives to ensure social distancing.

As said by Lai Mohammed, the government is doing its best but Nigerians equally need to do their best as well.

“We need the citizens to do their best too,” he said.

Emphasising that Nigeria has now gone past the stage of persuasion, unto to “time for strong enforcement,” the Minister maintained.

Nigerians, he insisted, need to support the authorities in this regard.

“We are on the verge of reaching the level of community spread,” Lai Mohammed warned.
As at 10:28pm on Thursday, March 26, 2020, ITREALMS gathered that Nigeria has recorded 65 cases across 8 states; 14 new cases of #COVID19 have been confirmed in Nigeria: 1 in Federal Capital Territory (FCT), 1 in Bauchi and 12 in Lagos.

According to NCDC update available to 
ITREALMS, “of the 14, 6 were detected on a vessel, 3 are returning travelers and 2 are close contacts of confirmed cases.

Chuks Egbune/Editor

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Anambra to close market by Monday, March 30, 2020 - ITREALMS

The Anambra State Government has directed the closure of markets across the state for 14 days with effect ‪from Monday, 30th March, 2020‬, reports ITREALMS.

Secretary to Anambra State Government, Professor Solo Chukwulobelu, disclosed this Thursday to 
ITREALMS, saying that the decision was part of ongoing measures by Anambra state government to stop the spread of Coronavirus, "All markets in Anambra State will be closed ‪from Monday, 30th March, 2020‬ for 14 days."

In addition, he directed that "Only businesses selling food items and medicines are authorised to stay open during the closure. Such businesses should however observe social distance protocols and other coronavirus health advisory already in place in Anambra State.

"During the 14-day period also, traders should stay at home and not move about.

"This directive will be reviewed at the end of the 14-day period and further directives will be communicated.

"The executive and members of Anambra State Market Traders Association (ASMATA), executive and members of various market associations, market men and women are hereby directed to strictly comply with this directive.

"Members of Anambra State Covid-19 Task Force, the police and other security agencies should strictly enforce this directive.

"This is in the best interest of all of us. Please help us to fight this Pandemic," he pleaded.

Ozo Nweke Ozo/Editor

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Thursday, March 26, 2020

Covid-19: FG declares 4,370 persons wanted, suspects filling false addresses, phone numbers - ITREALMS

The Federal Government (FG) has declared some 4,370 persons wanted for Coronavirus-related cases. Reports ITREALMS.

This came as Nigeria, Thursday recorded 65 cases across 8 states, while those who flew into the country lately, filled false information including non-existing addresses and phone numbers respectively.

The Minister for Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, made these revelations to 
ITREALMS in Abuja, saying that some 4,370 persons are on high-case tracing by the authorities.

“We have 4,370 people of interest whom we are tracing. We urge those who have had contact with suspected cases to immediately report to the authorities,” he declared.

He urged Nigerians to support the authorities in this regard, stressing that “We are on the verge of reaching the level of community spread.”

This, he said, the country must stop immediately or “we will record exponential cases in the days ahead. There is no better way to say this.”

The Minister also lamented that the government is not getting the kind of cooperation that this moment deserves from Nigerians.

“Many are busy engaging in meaningless criticisms instead of complying with the stipulated directives to keep people safe.

“Some Nigerians who flew into the country from overseas filled wrong addresses and phone numbers in their forms, making it difficult to trace them when the need arises

“Some Nigerians defied orders to stay away from large gatherings while some religious leaders willfully flouted the directives to ensure social distancing.

According to him, the government is doing its best but Nigerians need to do their best too.

“We need the citizens to do their best too. We have now gone past the stage of persuasion. It's time for strong enforcement,” Mohammed said.

Chuks Egbune/Editor

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NCC rolls out measures to deal with COVID-19 - ITREALMS

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has revealed measures being put in place by the telecom regulator to deal with the scourge of COVID-19, reports ITREALMS.

The Commission said its working in conjunction with industry players and all other government agencies to reduce the frequency of physical meetings all through the period of the coronavirus outbreak and consider alternative electronic meeting platforms, in order to reduce person to person contact that may arise from travels or meetings.

Departments within the Commission that interface with customers have developed e-platforms where all licensing requests, consumer complaints and BTS investigation requests could be channeled or provide designated e-mail addresses to be used for such requests throughout the pandemic period.

The Commission has also approved resource sharing by operators throughout the period of coronavirus. These include fibre optics cables and other resources in the event of cable cuts and other unforeseen developments during the period of coronavirus outbreak.

The Commission has also directed Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) to ensure that their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programmes are in tandem with government initiatives to curtail the COVID-19 pandemic in order to provide safety and support aid materials that will protect the public against coronavirus.

All social and official visits to the Commission have been cancelled immediately and visitors advised to use relevant online platforms and or telephone services in accessing the Commission’s services.

For those who may be affected, we implore them to take advantage of the Emergency Communications Centres (ECC) by dialing the toll free number 112.

The NCC supports Right of Passage (RoP) for all telecommunications members for easy movement in the event of a total lockdown and or restriction of movement.

The regulator is also in support of RoP for suppliers that are involved in supplies of fuels, foods and other support services to telecom operators, to allow for free movement in the event of partial or total lockdown as a result of the coronavirus.

We are in touch with Law Enforcement Agencies to constantly protect telecom infrastructure nationwide.

We will come out from time to time with enlightenment information on the dangers of the virus so that consumers can be guided accordingly.

Since we are in this together, no effort would be spared to bring this deadly disease to an end.

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Paradigm Initiative releases 'Violation Reloaded' on Digital Rights - ITREALMS

A pan-African social enterprise working to advance digital rights and inclusion in Africa, the Paradigm Initiative, has released the 2019 Digital Rights in Africa (DRA) report, ITREALMS can confirm.

Building on previous reports published since 2016, the Digital Rights in Africa Report 2019, 
ITREALMS gathered, gives an in-depth analysis of the state of digital rights in Africa, and examines violations such as Internet disruptions, illegal surveillance, arrest of bloggers and the passage of hurtful legislation, amongst others.

According to Babatunde Okunoye, Research Officer at Paradigm Initiative, “the 2019 Digital Rights in Africa Report, titled, ‘Violations Reloaded: Government Overreach Persists Despite Increased Civil Society Advocacy’ takes a critical look at the state of digital rights in 13 African countries – Benin, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Malawi, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Speaking about the findings of the report, Emmanuel Vitus, Communications Officer at Paradigm Initiative said, “African countries are now adopting repressive models of Informational controls borrowed from authoritarian regimes such as Russia and China — a worrying signal which forebodes ill for the future of open and inclusive societies in Africa.” He continued: “This happens through a motley of targeted shutdowns, surveillance, arbitrary legislation to silence digital users. African nations are becoming adept at controlling information both inside and outside their borders”.

“In addition to the publication of the 2019 Digital Rights in Africa Report, we are currently working with a media company to convert the report into a short movie. This will be followed by regional media briefings that will discuss our findings from the report, across Paradigm Initiative’s offices in Accra, Abuja, Arusha, Lagos, Lusaka and YaoundĂ©, later in the year. The report is available for download, via Paradigm Initiative’s website, in English and French,” said Adeboye Adegoke, Digital Rights Program Manager at Paradigm Initiative.

Bulanda Nkhowani, Paradigm Initiative’s Digital Rights Program Officer for Southern Africa, and a report contributor, stated, “Digital rights have become increasingly contested in Africa, with rights-limiting legislation, Internet shutdowns and other violations regularly headlining international media reporting. The 2019 Digital Rights in Africa Report investigates and documents these violations, serving as a body of evidence for advocacy for greater digital rights. In the fight against digital rights violations in Africa, civil society must persevere and use all the tools at their disposal, including research, to ensure that digital rights become respected and upheld.’’

Paradigm Initiative wishes to express a profound appreciation to the Netherlands Embassy, Ford Foundation and OSIWA for their support in producing this report. Their continued support for digital rights programs in Nigeria, and the rest of Africa, has been pivotal to ensuring that human rights in the digital age remains a priority.

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