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EFCC turns back unvaccinated staff over Covid-19 cases

By Esther Kalu

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has turned back unvaccinated staff members from entering its headquarters in Abuja over Covid-19 cases.

The exercise was said to have started at about 7 a.m. and saw the staff of the anti-graft agency without COVID-19 vaccine cards or evidence of being vaccinated being asked to go home from the agency’s headquarters.

Addressing newsmen on the reason for the enforcement, the secretary of the Commission, George Ekpungu stated that the exercise was necessitated by the reports on the emergence of Omicron variant in the country, adding that only those who were able to provide the evidence of vaccination were allowed into their offices.

He noted that the Chairman of EFCC, Abdulrasheed Bawa had given the directive for the enforcement to ensure all staff was being vaccinated.

Ekpungu said that the Chairman felt that as the leading anti-corruption agency, they needed to also lead the part in the enforcement of this new directive and compliance.

“You will agree with me that the cases of COVID-19 are on the increase worldwide and we must be on the lookout in order to ensure that our staff is safe.We have been sensitising staff internally but felt the need to make it public to encourage others to copy from us,’’ he said.

He further disclosed that the Chairman and management of EFCC have promised to decide on measures to be taken about those who have refused to be vaccinated.

“The COVID-19 protocols were not instituted by the EFCC. They are international and national protocols. For those who said they will not take the vaccine, they will continue to stay locked out until they make a decision. We also have the vaccine at our clinic here for those who are interested,’’ he said.

Before now, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) had disclosed that three cases of the variant have been confirmed in the country which were discovered through genomic sequencing and linked to three passengers from South Africa.

In the same vein, the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 had earlier given a directive mandating all Federal Civil Servants to be vaccinated or present evidence of negative PCR test for COVID-19, effective from Dec. 1, 2021.

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