Press highlights roll out of phase two of vaccination programme, others

The rollout of the phase two of vaccination programme in Nigeria with 4,000,080 Moderna vaccines donated by the United States…

The rollout of the phase two of vaccination programme in Nigeria with 4,000,080 Moderna vaccines donated by the United States of America (USA), and the alarm raised by the World Health Organisation of the falsified COVISHIELD Coronavirus vaccine in circulation is one of the trending stories in Nigerian newspapers on Tuesday.The Guardian reports that as Nigeria commences rollout of the phase two of vaccination programme with 4,000,080 Moderna vaccines donated by the United States of America (USA), the World Health Organisation (WHO), yesterday, alerted of the falsified COVISHIELD Coronavirus vaccine (Recombinant) in circulation.

The falsified products were reported to WHO in July and August. The genuine manufacturer of COVISHIELD (Serum Institute of India Pvt. Ltd.) confirmed that the falsified products were first reported at the patient level in Uganda and India.

According to a statement by WHO, falsified COVID-19 vaccines pose a serious risk to global public health and place an additional burden on vulnerable populations and health systems.

The United Nations apex health body said it is important to detect and remove these falsified products from circulation to prevent harm to patients. WHO also called for increased vigilance within the supply chains of countries and regions likely to be affected by these falsified products.

It noted: “Increased vigilance should include hospitals, clinics, health centers, wholesalers, distributors, pharmacies, and any other suppliers of medical products. All medical products must be obtained from authorized/licensed suppliers. The products’ authenticity and physical condition should be carefully checked.”

The newspaper says that the Petroleum Industry Act provides legal, governance, regulatory and fiscal framework for the Nigerian petroleum industry, development of host communities, and related matters.

The Senate had passed the Bill on July 15, 2021, while the House of Representatives did same on July 16, thus, ending a long wait for regulation of the sector since early 2000.

By assenting, the President possibly aligned with positions of the National Assembly, which proposes a 30 per cent revenue allocation for the development of frontier inland basins that are mainly in the North, dismal allocation to host communities, possible duopoly in the downstream sector, a 10 percent management fee and other issues on Production Sharing Contract (PSC) as well as Joint Venture obligations.

In a letter to President Buhari, the Secretary-General of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Mohammad Barkindo, commended the signing, stating that the law will enhance the Nigerian petroleum industry’s reputation, open the door to new investment, and ultimately strengthen its position to meet the world’s growing demand for energy.

The new legislation, despite the gaps, however, provide needed clarity on laws guiding the operations of the oil and gas sector, and equally tests the capacity of the government to implement its laws, especially as it relates to downstream deregulation, particularly, subsidy removal.

Having been in limbo for over 20 years, non-passage of the legislation has cost the country an estimated $200 billion revenue loss.

ThisDay reports that the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has said that 23 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have reported suspected cholera cases since January 2021.

The affected states are Benue,
Delta, Zamfara, Gombe, Bayelsa, Kogi, Sokoto, Bauchi, Kano, Kaduna, Plateau, Kebbi, Cross River, Nasarawa, Niger, Jigawa, Yobe, Kwara, Adamawa, Enugu, Katsina, Borno, Taraba and Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

An epidemic report issued on Monday by the NCDC showed that there were 30 deaths from Niger (10), Katsina (8), Jigawa (6), Kebbi (2), Kogi (2), Sokoto (1) and Zamfara (1) States with CFR of 3.9 percent.

It said that in the reporting week, 10 states reported 774 suspected cases – Zamfara (218), Jigawa (136), Kebbi (100), Niger (99), Katsina (97), Yobe (60), Sokoto (43), Kano (15), Kogi (4) and
Adamawa (2).

Of this, there were 16 confirmed cases from Yobe (14), Niger (1) and Kebbi

The NCDC also said that a total of 770 suspected cases were reported this week representing a 34 percent decrease compared to 1,162 suspected cases recorded in week 30.

The newspaper says that the Nigerian government has told people of the Niger Delta region to expect more intervention projects in 2022, declaring that it was passionately seeking better and faster ways of delivering dividends to the people of the region.

The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio stated this during the commissioning/handing over of the youth corps members’ lodge and viewing centre constructed by his ministry in Koroma Tai Community, Tai Local Government of Rivers State.

Akpabio, who was represented by a management staff in Housing and Urban Development Department of the ministry, Mr. Ephraim Brigid, urged the community to be dedicated to the protection and maintenance of the facilities in their area as government compliments the effort.

A statement issued by the Director, Press/PR in the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Patricia Deworitshe, quoted the minister as describing the lodge/viewing centre as one of the gains and achievements recorded under the ‘change agenda’ of President Muhammadu Buhari.

He urged the Niger Delta region to expect more intervention projects as soon as the 2022 appropriation bill is passed.

The Punch reports that the Nigerian government has said it plans to borrow more to fund its budget for 2022, while it will spend more to service the growing debts as a result.

The Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, the Debt Management Office and the Budget Office of the Federation gave the indication at a public hearing organised by the House of Representatives’ Committee on Finance in Abuja on Monday.

The committee had organised the stakeholders’ meeting on the 2022-2024 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper, with which the 2022 Appropriation Bill would be designed.

The Director-General, DMO, Patience Oniha, while explaining some of the points in the presentation earlier made by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, noted that the debt stock would keep increasing as revenue is declining.

Oniha said, “I think one of the things that have come out from the presentation from the honourable minister is, much as we have been conservative in projecting revenues, we still see that we are underperforming in revenue. “So, it means that we are relying increasingly on borrowings to finance the activities of the government.

The Sun says that the Nigerian government has released a request for qualification for the concession of four International Airport terminals and other related services.

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Aviation, Mr Hassan Musa, made this announcement in a statement issued to newsmen in Lagos on Monday by the Director, Public Affairs of the ministry, Mr James Odaudu,

It quoted the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) report as saying that the four major commercial airports are Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja; Murtala Muhammed Internatıonal Aırport, Lagos; Malam Amınu Kano Internatıonal Aırport, Kano and Port Harcourt Internatıonal Aırport.

Musa said that the ministry released the request in compliance with the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) and National Policy on Public-Private Partnership (N4P).

He said the airports’ surrounding communities were intended to develop into efficient, profitable, self-sustaining commercial hubs, which would create more jobs and develop local industries through a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement.

“The Federal Government through the Ministry of Aviation is inviting bids from reputable airport developers/operators/financiers/consortia for pre-qualification for the concession of selected airports terminals under a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement.

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