Violators of Covid-19 protocols during marriages and burials in Rivers state are now liable to a fine of one hundred million naira (N100,000,000) according to new guidelines and penalties stipulated by the state government.
The latest fiat was the outcome of Friday’s Emergency Executive Council Meeting in which the Rivers State Government also approved reopening of schools in the State from Monday 5 October 2020, except for nursery and primaries schools still pending.
Highlights of the council meeting captured in a statement by Commissioner for Information and Communication, Paulinus Nsirim, quoted his counterpart on Social Welfare, Mrs. Inime Aguma as saying that, “Government reviewed compliance of citizens as it relates to Executive Order 16 on conduct of marriages in the State.
“Henceforth, applications for marriages must be accompanied with an affidavit stating that there would be no reception. A fine of One Hundred Million Naira awaits defaulters of the Extant Regulations. Local Government chairmen are to be held responsible if they fail to monitor compliance in their various areas.”
On the reviewed requirements for public burials during the COVID-19 period, Commissioner for Health, Prof Princewill Chike said, “All public burials in Rivers are to be conducted in line with the Official Gazette of the State which stipulates not more 50 persons allowed at such ceremonies.
“Henceforth, families applying for burials must provide death certificates and an affidavit that they must adhere strictly with all COVID-19 protocols. Defaulters would be liable to a fine of One Hundred Million Naira while LG Chairmen are to ensure that the directives are complied within their various areas.”
On reopening of schools, Commissioner for Education, Prof Kaniye Ebeku announced that all Secondary Schools, Vocational Schools, Universities and other Tertiary Institutions were affected by the 5 October resumption directive.
Ebeku clarified that Council did not approve reopening of primary schools based on expert medical advice while a seven-man Taskforce to monitor and enforce compliance of COVID-19 protocols in the various schools has also been set up.
The Taskforce, has Administrator of Greater Port Harcourt Development Authority, Ambassador Desmond Akawor who also chairs Rivers Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as Chairman while Mr. Rufus Godwins, Head of the State Civil Service and Commissioner for Health, Prof Princewill Chike are among members.
Also to serves as members are Commissioner for Social Welfare, Mrs. Inime Aguma, Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mrs. Ifeyinwa Nwankpa and Commissioner for Information and Communications, Nsirim with the Commissioner for Education, Prof Kaniye Ebeku as Secretary.