Governor Nyesom Wike

Okafor Ofiebor

The Rivers State Executive Council has approved the reopening of schools in the State with effect from Monday, October 5, 2020.

The Council took the decision at an emergency session presided over by the State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike on Friday, September 25, 2020, at Government House, Port Harcourt.

The Commissioner for Education, Professor Kaniye Ebeku announced this while briefing journalists at the end of the meeting.

According to him, all Secondary Schools, Vocational Schools, Universities and other Tertiary Institutions are to comply with the directive.

He however stated that Council did not approve the reopening of primary schools based on expert medical advice.

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Professor Ebeku added that the Council also approved the setting up of a Seven-man Taskforce to monitor and enforce the compliance of COVID-19 protocols in the various schools.

The Taskforce, he said, has the Administrator of Greater Port Harcourt, Ambassador Desmond Akawor as Chairman while Mr. Rufus Godwins, Head of the State Civil Service, Commissioner for Health, Professor Princewill Chike, Commissioner for Social Welfare, Mrs. Inime Aguma, Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mrs. Ifeyinwa Nwankpa and Commissioner for Information and Communications, Paulinus Nsirim are to serve as members.

The Commissioner for Education, Professor Kaniye Ebeku is to serve as Secretary.

Also speaking, the Commissioner for Information and Communications, Paulinus Nsirim also announced the reopening of public places such as parks, cinemas and restaurants that would operate within the hours of 6am to 9pm daily.

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Nsirim stated that nightclubs and bars as well as Oil Mill Market and Slaughter Market, Oginigba remain closed.

He noted that all the reopened public places must adhere strictly to the COVID-19 protocols or face severe sanctions.