Nigerian govt issues strong warning to church leaders
The federal government has warned church leaders, Christians and other Nigerians over “reckless confidence” towards the efficacy of COVID-19.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, stated this on Sunday, while speaking at the interdenominational church prayer service against COVID-19 held at the National Ecumenical Centre, Abuja.
Mustapha bemoaned the disregard to COVID-19 prevention guidelines/protocols especially at various worship centres.
“You can see that this virus has confounded and confused the entire world,” Mustapha said.
“It has brought the democracies and economies that existed for the last 300 years to their knees. It has overwhelmed them and what makes you think that it cannot overwhelm us?
“The Church should stop the exhibition of reckless confidence and tell their congregations to do the proper thing which stays safe for themselves, their families and the body of Christ,” he said.
The service was attended by church leaders and Christians from different denominations, as well as officials of the Nigerian Government led by the SGF.
There are currently 28,617 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Nigeria.
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.