Coronavirus: Lagos extends resumption date for public servants

Following the rising cases of coronavirus infection in Lagos State, the state government has announced an extension of the work-at-home order for public servants.

Following the rising cases of coronavirus infection in Lagos State, the state government has announced an extension of the work-at-home order for public servants.

In a statement signed by the Head of Service, Hakeem Muri-Okunola, public servants will now resume on February 1, as against the earlier communicated date, January 18.

Mr Muri-Okunola said the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, in a bid to curtail the spread of the virus, approved the further extension of the work-from-home order to all State Public Servants on Grade Levels 14 and below.

The Head of Service said the directive excludes staff on essential duty as well as First Responders across the state.

Meanwhile, the Federal Ministry of Education has announced January 18 as the resumption date for schools across the country, amidst the increasing number of COVID-19 infection.

According to the ministry’s spokesperson, Ben Goong, the decision was made “after extensive consultations with relevant stakeholders, including State Governors, Commissioners of Education, Proprietors and heads of institutions, staff unions and students, the consensus of opinion is that the resumption date of 18th January should remain, while parents and respective institutions must ensure full compliance with COVID-19 protocols.”

With the directive that public servants in Lagos should remain at home, it is unclear how it would affect public school teachers when schools resume on January 18.

The governor urged public servants to stay safe and ensure continued observance of all COVID-19 protocols for physical distancing, use of face masks, regular washing of hands with soap and running water as well as the use of hand sanitisers.

Mr Muri-Okunola added that weekly duty rosters for public servants will be maintained for effective service delivery by Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the State Government.

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A press statement by the Embassy on Friday, said: “During the visit, Townsend met with the Nigerian President’s Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Gambari, and National Security Adviser, Babagan Monguno, to discuss regional security issues and to express the command’s gratitude for the assistance provided during a hostage rescue operation last year.

“When we asked for their help, the Nigerian government answered the call. Our hostage recovery mission in October would have been impossible without their support.

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Townsend also met with senior military officials, including the Minister of Defence, Bashir Salihi Magash, and the Chief of Defence Staff, General Leo Irabor, to talk about on-going cooperation in the region and greater maritime security and threat mitigation.

Nigeria is a key partner in countering violent extremist organizations throughout the Lake Chad Basin.

Townsend said furthermore: “The bilateral relationship between Nigeria and the U.S. is built on several pillars including security cooperation.

“U.S. Africa Command will do our part to advance the security cooperation pillar, so that Nigerians can enjoy the more secure future they all deserve.”

As close partners, the U.S. and Nigeria have worked at ensuring the collaborative relationship continues to grow to include a commitment to interoperability. Nigeria purchased 12 A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft, which will be delivered later this year.

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Leonard said: “General Townsend’s visit to Nigeria demonstrates the strategic importance the United States places on our bilateral relationship with Nigeria.

“Our security cooperation partnership with Nigeria’s military will strengthen the country’s capabilities to secure land and sea borders, enhance overall security, and combat terrorism in the North East.”

As part of the visit, Townsend participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Nigeria Military National Cemetery to honour those who have given their lives in the service of their nation.

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