FG considers reopening of schools morning and afternoon
Federal Government has disclosed that it is thinking of sectionalising classes for primary, secondary, and tertiary institutions in the country ahead of school reopening amid the pandemic. This disclosure was made by the Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba on Wednesday during a briefing by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 in Abuja. While faulting reports that schools would reopen in the country on June 8, the Minister said the government could not afford to take any costly risk, especially as it regards the safety of pupils and students in the country. He said, “Until we are sure these children can go to school, return safely and not bring up with them COVID-19 and infect people who are more susceptible than they are, then we are running a huge risk and God forbid, in our hurry, something happens to our children, I am not sure how anybody will be able to retrieve what has been lost.” Nwajiuba said the ministry is being guided by the advice of experts as well as those of the World Health Organisation, noting that the decision to reopen schools in the country would be carefully arrived at because education is on the concurrent list of the Nigerian Constitution. He appealed to private owners of schools in the country to co-operate with the government in ensuring the safe reopening of schools in the country. “We are going to publish a specification on what we expect COVID-19 or post-COVID-19 reopening to look like. We are not talking about coping with COVID-19 but in spite of COVID-19, we expect that we will adapt. “For a country that has over 115,000 primary schools, you will understand that 35,000 of these who are private must agree to set up the same standard in other to allow children to go in. “We may have classes in the morning and classes in the afternoon so that we will have the whole of the infrastructure divided provided they can serve us. I am not sure we will have classes at night. But we can do with morning and afternoon for now,” he explained.
Tola Johnson, Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Micro Small and Medium and Medium Enterprises(MSMEs), says 100,000 small businesses will get N50,000 each.
NAN reports that the gesture is part of COVID-19 economic stimulus.
The presidential aide made the announcement at the inauguration of the Implementation of Survival Fund and Guaranteed Off-Take Stimulus Schemes for MSMEs on Thursday in Abuja.
Johnson, the Project Coordinator, said that the schemes were part of the Economic Sustainability Plan drafted by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo-led committee and approved by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“The Payroll Support targets 100,000 businesses. However, the number of individuals who will benefit from this is 500,000. What the government has done is to say that there a lot of MSMEs that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.
“Afterward, there is a CAC (Corporate Affairs Commission) free registration; it is free for the MSMEs but the government is paying the CAC for this. What the government has done is to say to the CAC, you do this regularly to the MSMEs at about N12,000 or thereabout; give it to us at half price, we will give it to the MSMEs free.’’
Johnson added that under the National MSMEs Clinic, Osinbajo and the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment went to no fewer than 26 states.
He said it was discovered that very creative businesses were not registered.
“They will tell you they don’t have N10,000 to N12,000 to register their businesses. The government had promised that at some point, we will do and I think the opportunity has come now; the opportunity cannot be better than now.’’
The official also announced that under the Survival Fund, the last strap would be the Transport and Artisans Support.
At least 333,000 beneficiaries will get a one-off N30,000 grant, Johnson said.
He added that the government will work with associations, individuals and the Ministry of Transportation to implement the scheme.