COVID-19: EFCC turns back unvaccinated staff

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), yesterday, turned back unvaccinated staff from its headquarters.

The exercise, which started at about 7a.m., saw staff without COVID-19 vaccine cards or evidence of being vaccinated being turned back home.

Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 had given a directive mandating all federal civil servants to be vaccinated or present evidence of negative PCR test for COVID-19 from December 1.

The enforcement of the mandatory vaccination comes amid fears of the new Omicron variant.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) disclosed three cases of the variant have been confirmed in the country.

Addressing newsmen on the reason for the enforcement, EFCC Secretary, George Ekpungu, said the exercise was necessary since reports on the emergence of Omicron variant into the country.

He said EFCC Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, had given the directive for the enforcement to ensure all staff members were vaccinated.

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

“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 take a decision. We also have vaccine at our clinic here for those who are interested,’’ he said.

Meanwhile, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) said from January 2022, only fully vaccinated prospective corps members (PCMs) will be allowed to register and partake in the scheme.

“From the next orientation in, all incoming PCMs will show evidence of vaccination before they will be allowed into the camp for registration. We want to ensure we adhere strictly to the non-pharmaceutical safety protocols of COVID-19,’’ the Director General, Shuaibu Ibrahim, said in Abuja, yesterday.

He was addressing the 2021 Batch “C’’ Stream II set of corps members in a virtual meeting.

NYSC’s spokesman, Emeka Mgbemena, said in a statement that the director general gave the directive in the face of reported cases of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus in Nigeria.

Ibrahim said the scheme would not let down its guard of ensuring strict adherence to the COVID-19 safety protocols.

“I commend the Federal Government, the presidential steering committee on COVID-19, the NCDC, and other stakeholders for the success of the 2021 orientation course,’’ Ibrahim was quoted as saying.

The director general urged the Batch “C’’ Stream II set of corps members whose orientation course ends on December 14, to continue to build on the skills learned during the orientation course.

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