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Okowa signs two bills into law as DELSU, students disagree on COVID-19 levy

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• ‘63, 000 persons infected with HIV/AIDS in Delta’
Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, yesterday, signed the Bill to Eliminate Violence in Private and Public Life 2020 and the Delta State Local Content Agency Law 2020 into law.

He explained that both laws would create an atmosphere for peaceful co-existence in the state, noting that one of the laws sought to eliminate violence in private and public life, prohibit violence against persons, provide protection and effective remedies for victims and punish offenders.

The governor said the law was important to all families and to the government because it would ensure the protection of women, girls, children and men.

On the Local Content Agency Law 2020, Okowa said that it would provide opportunities for transfer of skills and technology to the people and warned host communities against taking the laws into their hands.

Earlier, Speaker of the House of Assembly, Sheriff Oborevwori, while presenting the Bills to the governor for assent, disclosed that the Bills passed through all due processes of law making.

BESIDES, the Delta State University (DELSU) and its student leaders have disagreed over the institution’s order that postgraduate and undergraduate students should pay N10000 and N5000 for COVID-19 facilities.

The payment applied to all students in Abraka, Oleh and Anwai campuses.

Reacting to the development, Commissioner for Information, Charles Anigwu, said government had intervened, saying N5000 and N3000 was ideal as the burden would not be too much on parents.

But the National Association of Delta State Students (NADESTTU) asked students not to pay the levy, describing it as a huge burden on parents and students who were sponsoring themselves.

MEANWHILE, Executive Secretary of the Delta State Agency for the Control of AIDS (SACA), Dr. John Osuyali, has disclosed that no fewer than 63,000 persons have been infected with Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) in the state.

Osuyali made this known in Asaba yesterday at the lunching of HIV self-testing service.

While commending Governor Ifeanyi Okowa for supporting the enrollment of 18,000 persons living with HIV (PLWHIV) in the state’s treatment scheme, Osuyali said: “From the aggregate data in all sites, over 41,000 PLWHIV are on treatment in the state.

“It took us 15 years to have 23,000 enrolled for treatment, but with Governor Okowa’s support and assistance, we have been able to double that number within 10 months.”

Okowa, who spoke through Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Chiedu Ebie, said the self-testing HIV was lunched to reduce stigmatisation associated with the HIV/AIDS, adding that the strategy was aimed at boosting the case finding for HIV/AIDS in the state.

Commissioner for Health, Dr. Mordi Ononye, stressed the need for the initiative to be driven to the grassroots.


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