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UK Adds Nigeria to Red List Over Omicron Variant

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The United Kingdom has added Nigeria to its red list in an effort to restrict the spread of Omicron, a variant of Coronavirus.

A statement from UK Consulate in Nigeria, said that “from 4am on Monday 6 December, UK and Irish citizens and residents arriving from Nigeria must isolate in a Government-approved managed quarantine facility for 10 days, and receive two negative PCR tests, as further precautionary action is taken against the Omicron variant.

“Currently, the majority of cases in the UK have clear links to overseas travel from South Africa and Nigeria, and over the past week 21 reported Omicron cases in England originating from Nigeria.

“A temporary travel ban will therefore be introduced for all non-UK and non-Irish citizens and residents who have been in Nigeria in the last 10 days, meaning they will be refused entry into the UK.

This does not apply to those who have stayed airside and only transited through Nigeria while changing flights.

“Travellers from Nigeria are still able to transit English airports, provided they have the necessary transit visa. For more information about transiting through the UK from a red list country please visit: www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-air-travel-guidance-for-passengers

Speaking about the decision Catriona Laing, British High Commissioner to Nigeria, said: “I know that this decision will have a significant impact on people in both our countries, particularly at this time of year.

“This decision is a precautionary measure to protect public health in the UK, whilst we try to understand this new variant.

“We continue to work very closely with the Nigerian authorities in tackling the pandemic and commend their ongoing work.”

These additional measures, the statement further stated, are “vital to delay the import of additional cases and slow the rise in cases within the UK. However, as the Prime Minister set out on 27 November, the UK Government will review all temporary measures after three weeks to ensure that they remain necessary and proportionate, and this will take place on 20 December.

“Last weekend, 10 countries were added to the red list and it was announced that all vaccinated passengers arriving in the UK must take a day 2 PCR test and self-isolate until they receive a negative result. Since then, the geographical spread of Omicron has increased considerably, with 37 countries around the world now reporting Omicron cases and over 134 cases identified in the UK.

“New analysis conducted by the UK Health and Security Agency (UKHSA) indicates that the window between infection and infectiousness may be shorter for the Omicron variant, which increases the efficacy of pre-departure testing as it is more likely to identify positive cases before travel.

“The UKHSA continues to monitor the situation closely, in partnership with scientific and public health organisations across the world, and Government is working collaboratively with the WHO and countries around the world to better understand the new variant and possible mitigations.

“Given the reduced incubation period of the Omicron variant, passengers are advised to take the pre-departure test as close as possible to their scheduled departure to the UK and no earlier than 48 hours before travelling.

“Anyone arriving from Nigeria before 4am Monday 6 December, will be advised and strongly encouraged to isolate at home for 10 days from the beginning of their arrival in England. Their household should also self-isolate for 10 days with them. Affected individuals will be contacted and offered free PCR tests to be taken on day 8 after their arrival.

Travellers should not attempt to travel to the UK from a red list country without a Managed Quarantine Service (MQS) booking, as they will not be able to board a flight and could be subject to a Fixed Penalty Notice at the UK border.

“You must book your managed quarantine package before you travel to England using the booking portal administered by Corporate Travel Management (CTM). A link to the CTM booking portal can be found on: www.gov.uk/guidance/booking-and-staying-in-a-quarantine-hotel-when-you-arrive-in-england.

“The Managed Quarantine Service has contracted several new hotels to enter service this week, in response to the likely numbers of UK residents who will want to travel from Nigeria before Christmas.

“Our advice is to keep checking the CTM website as there are significant number of cancellations happening which will free up rooms”.


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Ugo Onwuaso is an ICT enthusiast. He believes technology should be used for general good. He holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from the Lagos state University. Dear Reader, Your support matters. But we believe that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. That is why, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and finance and how they affect lives. Our incisive and analytical view of how technology news affects the daily life help individuals and organizations make up their minds. Quality journalism costs money. Today, we're asking that you support us to do more. Kindly support our effort to deliver technology and finance journalism to everyone in the world. Donate as little as N1,000. Bank transfers can be made to: UBA Plc 1017156876 Communication Week Media Ltd

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Under my Watch, NBC will Follow Due Process- New DG

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Charles Ebuebu, new director general, National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), has promised to follow due process in the regulation of broadcast stations in the country.

Under my Watch, NBC will Follow Due Process- New DG

The new NBC boss made this known in an exclusive interview with Channels Television on Monday after a meeting with Dr John Momoh, chairman, Channels Media Group.

Ebuebu, who replaced Balarabe Illelah as director-general of NBC last October following his appointment by President Bola Tinubu, promised to end any arbitrary sanction on media stations in the country while not sparing consistent wrongs by defaulters.

He said the NBC Code will be reviewed to facilitate an enabling industry that allows operators thrive.

Ebuebu said, “There are two sides to a coin: one one hand, there is a perception that the NBC has been overreaching in the applications of sanctions. It’s been said that we did not follow due process and all of that.

“Basically, the takeaway for me is that, it has been an arbitrary process. Now, part of my training as a lawyer is the fact that we will definietly put together a transparent process. I don’t want to particular details. It’s still in process but I can assure you (that) there is going to be a change in that perception, it’s going to be transparent so much so people will be allowed to speak, they will be allowed to defend themselves.

“The issues will be analysed based on the code. We are going to have a code review where all inputs will be taken in and that will address that perception.

“Now, on the other side of it, it’s sort of strange to have a policeman who cannot issue a fine. of course, the case is in court and I can talk about its legality or otherwise.”


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How New UK Funding for Tech Entrepreneurs will Boost Livelihoods in Developing Countries

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Andrew Mitchell, UK’s Development Minister has announced new UK funding for innovative mobile phone technology will help change lives in developing countries around the world.

He noted that harnessing AI technology to provide real-time agricultural advice to farmers in Nigeria and pay-as-you-go solar powered fridges are just some of the ways UK-funded mobile technology is improving livelihoods globally.

At a speech at Mobile World Congress last week, Minister Mitchell announced the UK is providing £37.3 million of new support for the Mobile for Development Programme, to help more people access mobile and digital technologies to find new opportunities and boost their livelihoods.

The programme, which the UK funds in partnership with UK-based mobile industry association GSMA and the private sector, has already benefitted more than 94 million people and focuses on women and girls, climate change mitigation, adaptation and resilience and scaling up innovative solutions.

Minister for Development and Africa, Andrew Mitchell said: “Mobile technology has the potential to revolutionise the lives of the poor by helping tackle the effects of climate change, creating jobs and boosting opportunities for women.

“The Mobile for Development programme has already benefitted more than 100 million people, and the UK’s new announcement aims to up the ambition, reaching 110 million additional people, including 60 million women.

“Together the worlds of development and mobile tech giants can be a powerful force to unlock opportunities and prosperity and meet the UN Global Goals.”

UK funding has previously helped scale up a digital hub in Pakistan, BaKhabar Kissan (BKK), which provides accurate weather forecasting data to farmers to help them make critical farming decisions such as the timing of seed sowing, irrigation, and fertilisation. With the help of this programme, BKK has almost doubled users from 6.6 million to 12.4 million.

Another innovative business, Ensibuuko, is providing digital skills training to help community saving groups in rural Uganda keep up with the latest digital products and services where previously they relied on paper record-keeping. Since gaining funding, Ensibuuko has benefited over 236,000 members of rural savings groups, 60% of whom are women, providing them with digital skills training.

John Giusti, President of the GSMA Mobile for Development Foundation, said:”For more than a decade, the FCDO and the GSMA Mobile for Development Foundation have worked closely in partnership to drive socio-economic and climate impact for the most underserved populations through digital innovation, and to date our partnership has improved the lives of more than 127 million people.

“Today’s renewal of our partnership will further amplify our joint impact by leveraging the power of digital and emerging technologies to support innovation, improve access to opportunities for women, and tackle the effects of climate change for the most vulnerable.”

With the increase in climate crises around the world, the need for new solutions to help vulnerable countries adapt is growing and mobile technology can make a big difference to people’s lives.

At Mobile World Congress, GSMA also announced the grantees for its Climate Resilience and Adaptation Fund which is funded by the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. This fund is designed to test and scale up new technology to combat the effects of climate change in countries throughout Africa and Asia.

Some of the projects being funded include one using AI-powered satellite imagery to help smallholder farmers increase their yields and another to reduce food waste via an online grocery platform.


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Omniverse Summit 2024: Climate Action Africa Reiterates Commitment to Climate Innovation Agenda

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Climate Action Africa (CAA), a leading social enterprise focused on environmental sustainability, reaffirmed its commitment to fostering an inclusive climate action ecosystem at the ongoing Omniverse Summit 2024.

Alice Eze, Chief Operating Officer of Climate Action Africa and Olatubosun Alake and Commissioner, Innovation, Science and Technology, Lagos State at the Omniverse Summit 2024 that held in Lagos, Nigeria.

Co-founded by Innovation Support Network (ISN Hubs) with support from GIZ/Digital Transformation Center Nigeria (GIZ/DTC Nigeria), the Omniverse serves as a meeting point for diverse stakeholders across sectors, including development partners, public entities, regulatory agencies, academia, startups, finance professionals, media, and the creative industries.

As a key participant at the four-day event, Climate Action Africa has reaffirmed its commitment to being at the forefront of driving climate innovation for a sustainable future. The organization emphasized the need to integrate environmental sustainability models, technology, and community-driven innovation to address climate change challenges.

Emphasizing the pivotal role of innovation in identifying and scaling solutions to address the imminent climate crisis in Nigeria and Africa as a whole, Alice Eze, Chief Operating Officer of Climate Action Africa, said: “Our participation at The Omniverse Summit 2024 reflects our conviction that fostering innovation is crucial in discovering and amplifying solutions to address the imminent climate crisis, not only in Africa but also globally.”

Climate Action Africa’s participation includes thought-provoking discussions on offering climate-resilient solutions, engaging exhibitions, active involvement in deal room discussions, and cultivating strategic partnerships towards the upcoming Climate Action Africa Forum 2024, among others.

Climate Action Africa remains dedicated to engaging with critical stakeholders and advocating for a multi-stakeholder approach to addressing climate change challenges. The organization’s presence at The Omniverse Summit 2024 reflects its commitment to this collaborative approach, which is essential for knowledge exchange and shared solutions to navigate the complex climate challenges facing the African continent and its communities.

L-R: Alice Eze, Chief Operating Officer of Climate Action Africa and Olatubosun Alake, Commissioner, Innovation, Science and Technology, Lagos State at the Omniverse Summit 2024 that was held in Lagos, Nigeria.

 

 


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