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FG begins disinfection of public schools, airports ahead of resumption

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Says private schools owners can engage own contractors for disinfection

By Joseph Erunke

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Port Harcourt Airport

ABUJA–THE federal government said it had begun disinfection of public schools across the country preparatory to resumption after months of shutdown following the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic in the country.

Also, the government said ahead of the resumption of activities in the aviation sector, it had concluded arrangements with aircraft owners on the suitable disinfectant it would adopt on the aircraft and the nation’s airport.

But government while it may not focus on the private schools in the ongoing project, for now, owners of private schools can engage registered and licensed firms to disinfect their schools.

Minister of Environment, Dr. Mohammad Abubakar, told Vanguard on the sideline of a news conference he held to mark the 2020 World Environment Day, on Thursday that disinfection of public schools was ongoing already.

But he said the ministry was waiting for the additional response to accelerate the disinfection of schools.

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“We have started disinfection of schools. We have our presence in all the six geopolitical zones of the country. We are waiting for the additional response to accelerate the disinfection of schools,” he said.

Asked if the project would cover private schools, the minister responded: “Usually, the first mandate is on the public schools.”

He, however, added:” We will continue the disinfection exercise”, saying, ” I know many will hire people to do their decontamination and disinfection.”

According to him, “We are very okay with that but the only caveat is that they have to hire people that are registered and licensed by the Federal Ministry of Environment under the Environmental Health Officers Registration Council of Nigeria.”

He explained that “Government, as you all know, can not do everything at once but we are starting and we will move forward as we continue.”

Also, commenting on the disinfection of airports ahead of activities in the aviation industry, he said the ministry had concluded arrangements with aircraft owners in that regard.

“For the airports, we have just concluded arrangements with the aircraft owners. Why we took that step is that aviation is a very sensitive sector where everything must be 100 percent,200 percent, and even 400 percent before aviation people can function. That is why you see some aircraft that have up to four engines so that when one stops, the others can function because up there, there is no parking space.

” So we are working with them and they have chosen the chemicals that they believe can work well and not cause any safety breaches if the chemicals are applied to the aircraft and other certain areas.”

He said the government was also going to disinfect motor parks, train stations, and other areas that attract a large crowd of people.

“We are going to disinfect parks, train stations, markets but for now these are the areas that we consider high-risk,” he said.

“The ministry is working towards all these because there are so many places to be contaminated.

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