FG: Yellow fever responsible for ‘strange deaths’ in states

The federal government has attributed recent ‘strange deaths’ in some states of the federation, including Delta and Enugu, to an outbreak of yellow fever.

Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, gave the clarification on Wednesday while addressing State House Correspondents after the week’s virtual Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, which was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The Minister, who was responding to a question over the development, however, said that the case is still being investigated as samples had been collected and being researched so accurate details could soon be provided over how it all happened.

“Yes, there was an outbreak that started in Delta and was found in Enugu and then two other states making it a total of four states. The analysis we have done so far shows it is yellow fever. So the response has been going on from the National Center for Disease (NCDC), vaccination is going on in all these areas.

“A few days ago, there was also a report from a member of the National Assembly saying that in his constituency there are unexplained illnesses and deaths and that alarm also immediately triggered a response, the Nigeria Center for Disease Control has been directed to go and carry out an investigation.

“As we speak they have to collect samples, do tests, and do some laboratory investigations before we are sure exactly what it is and what the cause is. So the response is going on automatically and we shall get results very soon,” he said.

Enugu State has been battling to contain the outbreak of the disease in two communities – Ette Uno and Umuopu – in Igbo-Eze North Local Government Area of the state but it has now spread to the third, Nsukka, Isi-Uzo.

Delta State had recently reported that no fewer than 22 deaths have been recorded in Ika North East Local Government Area of the state due to the outbreak of the disease.

Meanwhile, the federal government has highlighted a series of interventions it had made in the housing sector to make the process of house ownership easier for Nigerians.

Speaking at the media briefing that followed the FEC meeting, Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fasola, said the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) had since inception delivered 45,000 housing units in 81 estates across the country, added that the agency delivers no fewer than 1,000 housing units every year.

According to him, various housing projects are ongoing in different parts of the country with 186 housing units already completed, while 2,300 others are still under construction.

He further said any worker who contributes to the National Housing Fund (NHF) domiciled in the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria for six months is qualified to access the fund to buy houses of their choice.

The minister who said the ministry had also made the process of obtaining Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) easier for those who prefer to build their own houses, disclosed that a total of 3,290 C of Os have been given out in recent times.

He said for those who want to obtain a loan to build their houses, it is very important that their landed property must-have titles.

He also said a major reason physical assets are not allowed as collateral for accessing loans to buy or build houses is that anyone who desires to access the NHF must be a certified contributor to the housing fund.

He also said the process of accessing the loan is a little bit difficult, resulting in delays for some months because some investigations need to be carried out after applications have been submitted to ensure that claims made by applicants are genuine.

Meanwhile, Ehanire and his counterpart in the Ministry of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu briefed Council on their interface with stakeholders in their respective states as regards #ENDSARS protests.

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