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The Federal Government on Monday lifted the ban on religious gatherings across the country.

This was disclosed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Chairman of Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, at the daily media briefing in Abuja.

“The PTF submitted its recommendations and the PRESIDENT has approved the following for implementation over the next four weeks spanning 2nd – 29th June, 2020, subject to review-:

“Cautious advance into the Second Phase of the national response to COVID-19; application of science and data to guide the targeting of areas of on-going high transmission of COVID-19 in the country;

“Mobilisation of all resources at State and Local Government levels to create public awareness on COVID 19 and improve compliance with non-pharmaceutical interventions within communities; sustenance of key non-pharmaceutical interventions that would apply nationwide and include: ban of gatherings of more than 20 people outside of a workplace;

“Relaxation of restriction on places of Worship based on guidelines issued by the PTF and protocols agreed by state governments.”

Details shortly…

The Oyo State Government has disclosed its readiness to introduce an identification system for commercial motorcyclists operating within the state in order to check crimes and the influx of bad elements into the state.

This was as the state governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde, ordered the immediate reduction of the daily levy to be paid by commercial cyclists from N200 to N100 per day.

The State’s Commissioner for Public Works, Infrastructure and Transport, Prof Raphael Afonja, who made the disclosure while addressing newsmen in Ibadan on Thursday, added that Governor Makinde does not want to add to the burden of the people of the state.

The Commissioner stated that in order to control crimes being associated with motorcyclists and the influx of commercial motorcyclists into Oyo State, the government will, in due course, issue Riders’ Card to all registered commercial motorcyclists in the state.

He noted that this will enable the government to differentiate registered commercial motorcyclists from criminal elements, who are using motorcycles to operate.

He said: “We have concluded that, due to what happened in Lagos State, which has led to an influx of people moving from Lagos into Oyo State, there is a need to have Okada Riders’ Card to identify people coming into the state.

“So, in collaboration with the revenue collector for the state and FRSC and the unions, we will start this to gather information on those who are engaging in commercial or private cycling businesses in the state. This is possible through profiling. The security agencies are in need of these pieces of information.”

Afonja explained that the Riders’ Cards would afford the government the opportunity to have a database of the riders across the state, saying: “So, this registration of motorcyclists through the Riders’ Cards will be a database for us to know who is who; who owns what; who they are, where they live and the rest. We will also add their BVN to know who they really are.

“Recently, you may have heard about snatching of bikes and robberies using motorcycles. That is why we are trying to make sure that all motorcycles in Oyo State are properly registered. We will ensure they do what is needful to make sure they obey the law.

The commissioner added that Governor Makinde ordered the immediate reduction of the daily levy charge on commercial motorcyclists and tricyclists in the state from N200 to N100 to ameliorate the suffering of the riders.

He said: “This press conference is being held in response to the recent pronouncement by the Ministry of Finance and the Oyo State Board of Internal Revenue regarding the state revenue that we have been collecting from tricycles and motorcycle riders in the state.

“From the information that was passed down to us by the Ministry of Finance and BIR, we were told that it was agreed upon that the consultant was to collect 200 Naira as a daily collection from these commercial bikers including tricycles and motorcycles.

“Upon escalating this issue to the governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde, we found out he was not in support of this increase in the revenue collection from N100 to N200. So, I want to apologise to the unions and other stakeholders who are affected by the increment.

“The governor has instructed me to pass this information on that his goal is to ensure that people’s money remain in their pockets to take care of their families. So, he has gracefully reduced this fee from N200 to N100.

“He also believes that this change will trickle down to the people who are in the markets and will help people and their families.

“In addition to that, we have met with those in the quarries to include the union people. They are excited, understanding that the fact that the governor has listening ears. The governor met with them physically. He understands their cry and he has assured them.

Manchester City have vowed to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport after being hit with a two-season ban from European competition on Friday.

European football’s governing body, UEFA imposed the punishment on the English giants for breaches of their financial fair play rules.

City said in a statement they were “disappointed but not surprised” by the outcome of a “prejudicial process” and would now seek an “impartial judgment” by commencing CAS proceedings at “the earliest opportunity”.

NURTW National President, Alhaji Nojeem Yasin gave a word of assurance on Friday as indication emerges that Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State might lift the ban placed on the transport workers.

Alhaji Nojeem Yasin while addressing journalists after a meeting with the Governor at the Agodi Government Secretariat, Ibadan said Governor Makinde had assured the leadership of his willingness to lift the ban provided the members can assure on maintaining peace in the state.

The Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Taiwo Adisa confirmed the meeting between the governor and the transport workers, said the presence of the state security chiefs who at the meeting revealed the security situation of the union to the national president and his team made him agree that maintenance of peace and security is non-negotiable in the state.

Adisa further asserts the readiness of Governor Makinde to lift the proscription on the activities of the union provided they are ready to maintain peace among their members.

Naijaparry reported that the Oyo State governor had proscribed the Union on May 31st, two days after his inauguration as governor, following pockets of violence and leadership tussle between the members as a faction who claimed to be loyal to the government of the day insisted on a change of guard at the Unions state leadership levels immediately.

But the National President who had earlier on the twilight of the immediate past administration visited the state to inform the outgone government of the constitutional succession plan of the union which he claimed had always been through Congress and not guns and violence, as erroneously perceived in some quarters.