CSOs urge Nigeria, other countries to raise $18m to tackle Malaria, others CSOs urge Nigeria, other countries to raise $18m to tackle Malaria, others Fund By Justina Auta Abuja, Aug. 31, 20222 AIDS Health Care Foundation (AHF) and other Civil Society Organisations in the country, on Wednesday urged Nigeria and other countries to contribute to the Global Fund to tackle HIV, TB and Malaria.
The Global Fund is targeting to raise $18 million dollars to tackle the scourge of HIV, TB and Malaria globally.
The CSOs made the call on Wednesday in Abuja at a Forum ahead of the 7th Global Fund Replenishment Conference, slated for Sept. 7, in New York, United States.
The CSOs are Network of People living with in Nigeria, Association of Women Living with in Nigeria, Association of Positive Youths in Nigeria and Civil Society for in Nigeria, among others.
The News Agency of Nigeria , reports that the conference, hosted by AHF Nigeria, has the theme: `FUND THE FUND, #Fight for What Counts’.
The CSOs said the call was aimed at galvanising support at country, regional and global level on the need for world leaders to provide the needed funding.
Mr Dozie Ezechukwu, Executive Secretary, Country Coordinating Mechanism for the Global Fund Nigeria, said the global fund support to Nigeria has made indelible mark in the HIV, TB and Malaria sectors.
“From inception in 2002 till date, cumulatively Nigeria has received close to four billion dollars from Global Fund. “In the current circle of three years from 2021 to 2023 our total grant for HIV, TB, Malaria and COVID-19 is around 1.2 billion dollars, which we are still using and supporting health system programmes in the country.
“Our warehouses in Lagos and Abuja were built to international standard by global fund support and U.
“And we are investing in similar warehouses in 12 states and additional nine states,’’ Ezechukwu said.
According to him, the warehouses would be used to hold stocks without compromising quality and standard and for proper management of the states’ national product supply chain.
Ezechukwu, however, said Nigeria was not just a recipient, but also a contributor to the global fund.
He added that President Muhammadu Buhari had redeemed the 12 million dollar pledged to the Fund by Nigeria during the 6th conference.
He however urged the Nigeria government to show more commitment as one of the highest recipients of global fund, because of its impact on the health for its citizens.
Ms Kemi Gbadamosi, AHF Director of Advocacy, Policy and Marketing, African Breau, said the Foundation had rolled out series of advocacy programmes ahead of the 7th Global Fund replenishment conference.
“At AHF, it is significant for us because we have seen the impact with global fund overtime.
“We have seen millions of lives it has saved on HIV, Tuberculosis (TB) and Malaria, which are three diseases that continue to affect a lot of people in heavy burdened countries like Nigeria.
“We have seen that the global fund was able to expand beyond the three diseases to support COVID-19 response in different countries.
“This demonstrate that with the right support and funding, the global fund is able to do more for communities, and without the funds we cannot build on the gains of HIV, TB and Malaria,’’ she said.
Gbadamosi, however, appreciated the Nigerian government for fulfilling its pledge to the 6th global fund, and appealed for more support for the coming one.
“Global Fund is one of the best funding mechanisms because it works on the basis of transparency, accountability and with countries, to respond to diseases.
“When you put resources in such mechanism, it shows, because it is able to trickle down to the communities so that more people can benefit from it,’’ she added.
Also speaking, Ms Judith Gbagidi, Head of Programmes, Education As A Vaccine, an NGO, said CSOs play vital role in advocating for support to the global fund replenishment.
She said though there have been tangible improvements, accountability should be prioritised by government and the CSOs. “It is vital that organisations engage different CSOs handling various thematic areas, so they can reach out to the key populations in various projects and programmes,’’ Gbagidi added.
The Miners Association of Nigeria has called on the Federal Government to check the activities of Chinese nationals scavanging mining sites for Lithium mineral.
Mr Dele Ayanleke, the National Secretary of the association made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Wednesday in Abuja.
He said that the rate at which Chinese had invaded mining sites searching for lithium mineral was alarming.
According to him, lithium is one of the main materials for producing batteries used in powering electric cars and the whole world is clamouring to go green leaving fossil fuel behind.
“Chinese are moving from mining sites to mining sites scavenging and mopping our raw lithium mineral at cheap rate to develop their industries and economy.
“This is not good for the future of our economy, what this means is that Nigeria will end up buying electric batteries from them.
“Government should safeguard our lithium and revive all the moribund companies producing batteries in Nigeria and start using the lithium to produce electric batteries,” he said.
He said that government should withdraw 100 per cent ownership of mineral mined accorded to foreign miners operating in Nigeria.
“Allowing Chinese to have 100 per cent mining assets is not good enough for the indigenous mining investors.
” Allowing Chinese to enter into every mining site is one of the reasons kidnapping is on the increase in Nigeria because they are the major target for kidnappers.
The Founder of the Love of Christ Church (LOC) Lagos, Rev. Esther Ajayi, said that 182 students were enjoying the scholarship programme of the Church.
Ajayi, a philanthropist and gospel preacher, disclosed this to newsmen on Wednesday in Lagos.
She addressed the media on plans for the 15th anniversary of the Church and first anniversary of the inauguration of its Cathedral in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that both anniversaries, tagged “And it Shall Turn to You a Testimony”, would be held at the LOC’s headquarters in Lagos.
It would feature the former President Olusegun Obasanjo, as guest preacher, the cream of gospel musicians, praises, worship and deliverance.
Ajayi, unfolding some strides the Church had made, said it was sponsoring 182 students in mostly private universities in Nigeria.
She said it was part of youth development and corporate social responsibility.
The preacher said that expression of love to others remained a focal point of the Church.
She said she had been a beneficiary of God’s grace and love, changing from a homeless person in London to a person to reckon with in the society.
Ajayi said that extending such love to the indigent in the society was to her a tradition.
“It pains to see others in school while one drops out for lack of resources.
“Today, we have some under our care; these ones will come out tomorrow and become useful to the family and society.
“We are going to increase the number through the Esther Ajayi Foundation, to ensure not one is left behind, and refocus the direction of the younger ones toward nation-building,” she said.
Ajayi expressed dismay over the prolonged Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) industrial action that has kept students at home since Feb. 14. She appealed to the parties involved to reach a compromise and end the strike, to allow students to return to school.
Nigeria’s digital economy has continued to play a very critical role in building resilience against disruptions from risks, pandemics, and natural disasters.
Dr. Olawale Cole, the President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industries (LCCI), said this at the eight edition of the yearly Information Communication Technology and Telecommunication (ICTEL) EXPO on Wednesday in Lagos.
The theme of the EXPO is: “Ensuring Efficient Digital Infrastructure in Nigeria”.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the EXPO was organised by the Trade Promotion Board of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industries.
Cole said that the EXPO created a platform for key players and stakeholders in the Nigerian ICTEL industry to share perspectives on emerging issues and trends in the digital economy.
According to him, the theme suggests that this year, the ICTEL EXPO will not end at the close of the event tomorrow.
”We are determined this year to follow the theme through and ensure follow up initiatives that would make the communiqué from our robust interaction at this event a working manual for relevant stakeholders,” Cole said.
The president said that by means of innovation, the ICT sector or the digital economy powers many sectors today, driving competitiveness, cost-efficiency, and resilience in supply chains.
He said that innovative disruptions are emerging in agric-tech, health-tech, edu-tech, and e-government among others.
Cole said that the digital economy had become more relevant in many spheres of our lives.
“With sound regulations, policies and governance, the digital economy can create new possibilities and economic opportunities for businesses and investors.
“Governments and organisations must leverage technology for innovation, competitiveness, and resilience in the face of risks and uncertainties.
“As an advocacy pressure group and a lead promoter of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), we appreciate the significance of this sector to business growth and sustainability.
“And we are ready to lend necessary support to the actualisation of the goals set out by the government to build and sustain a robust and supportive digital economy.
“We have assembled together eminent speakers whom we are confident will do justice to various issues as they reflect on the theme of this great event and the expectations of all of us,” Cole said.
According to him, the digital economy is evolving and impacting more areas of life and business because of its multifaceted and dynamic nature and due to the transformational power of digital technologies.
He said that the digital economy or the internet economy enables and supports various businesses, social and government activities through electronic commerce, lifestyle apps, and e-government platforms, respectively.
He said that the digital economy was considered the single most important driver of innovation, competitiveness, and growth.
“The digital economy has continued to play a very critical role in building resilience against disruptions from risks, pandemics, and natural disasters.
“The ICT sector, for instance, remains one of the most resilient sectors that thrive even in economic recessions and disruptions,” Cole said.
He said that the Federal Government had announced a target of 40 billion dollars private capital investment in digital infrastructure by 2025, besides facilitating about one billion dollars in private equity.
“And just last week, the Federal Government inaugurated the National Council on Infrastructure, with a plan of doubling Nigeria’s infrastructure stock of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from the prevailing 35 per cent to about 70 per cent,” Cole said.
The president of the chamber said that the issue had always not been with good initiatives, but in their implementation.
“That remains a big concern to us as a Chamber, hence the desire to make a difference with the 2022 ICTEL EXPO,” Cole said.
He said that data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed that the ICT sector in the second quarter of 2022 recorded a growth rate of 6.55 per cent in real terms, year-on-year.
He said that the figure was higher by 0.99 per cent over the corresponding quarter of 2021. “Quarter-on-Quarter, the sector exhibited a growth of 13.41 per cent in real terms.
“Of total real GDP, the sector contributed 18.44 per cent in Q2 of 2022, higher than in the same quarter of the previous year.
“In which it represented 17.92 per cent and higher than the preceding quarter in which it represented 16.20 per cent.
“The non-oil sector was driven in the second quarter of 2022 mainly by Information and Communication (Telecommunication); Trade; Financial and Insurance (Financial Institutions) among others,” Cole said.
He expressed gratitude to sponsors, partners and speakers for identifying with the chamber at the 2022 ICTEL EXPO.
Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Sambo, has expressed optimism that within 90 days the ministry will secure accommodation to enable the take off of the Regional Maritime Development Bank(RMDB) .
Sambo said this in a statement by the ministry’s Director of Media and Public Relations, Mr Eric Ojiekwe in Abuja on Wednesday.
He made this known when he received the Secretary-General, Maritime Organisation of West and Central Africa, (MOWCA ), Dr Paul Adalikwuat the ministry.
Sambo said: “When I resumed here, I realised immediately that the Regional Maritime Bank is one of the lowest hanging fruits that we can achieve within a very short time.
Infact 90 days is too long.
”I observed that all efforts towards getting accommodation via the Central Bank of Nigeria has not yielded any outcomes.
”So I will approach the Attorney General of the Federation to see if one of the forfeited properties can be allocated to the bank.
”Sambo encouraged the Secretary-General, to leverage on MOWCA as a regional organisation to push for Nigeria’s intent of becoming member of Category C in International Maritime Organisation( IMO).
Speaking earlier, the Secretary-General of MOWCA, Adalikwu, stated that the idea of RMDB was conceived 11 years ago.
He said it was meant to facilitate single digit interest loans to provide leeway to key players in the sector and enable them compete favourably with their international counterparts.
Adalikwu said:” Eight countries have signed the Charter as required in the document establishing the bank.
”Two weeks ago, DRC Congo also signed making it nine countries.
One above the threshold required for the establishment of the Act.”The organogram of RMDB as adopted by council members has positions of President of the body, Company Secretary and a seat on the board ceded to Nigeria.
” Cameroun is to produce the Vice President 1, and Ivory Coast, Vice President 2, while other member countries are to provide board members for the maritime bank.
”The Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Dr Magdalene Ajani, commended Adalikwu on the forthcoming regional meeting scheduled for Abuja in November.
Ajani said during the meeting, the Secretary-General of IMO, Kitlack Lim, would seek to prevail on the 25 member states to adopt the Suppression of Piracy and Other Maritime Offences (SPOMO) Act.She explained that the Act would enable the trial of piracy cases within the MOWCA sub-region, irrespective of whichever sub-region the crime was committed.
The meeting was attended by the Minister of State for Transportation, Prince Ademola Adegoroye, Director, Maritime Services, Babatunde Bombata, Deputy Director, Cabotage and Shipping, Rita Zoaka and others.
Police in Zamfara paraded a suspected gunrunner on Wednesday in Gusau.
The suspected gunrunner, Sa’idu Lawal, 41, was a lance corporal in the Nigerian Army. He was arrested on the Abuja-Kaduna Highway in possession of two rifles, a cache of ammunition and eight empty magazines while heading to deliver the items to a “customer’’ in Gusau.
Police spokesman in Zamfara, SP Mohammed Shehu, told newsmen that Lawal is notorious kidnapper, armed robber and a gunrunner.
He said one AK-47 rifle, one AK-49 rifle, 200 rounds of 7.6mm live ammunition, 501 rounds of 7.62x51mm ammunition and eight empty magazines were recovered from Lawal.
SP Shehu told newsmen that Lawal was intercepted in a Pontiac Vibe vehicle with Lagos registration number KRD 686 CY on the Abuja-Kaduna Highway on his way to Zamfara.
“During interrogation, the suspect confessed that he was conveying the exhibits from Loko Local Government Area of Nasarawa State to his customer, one Dogo Hamza, in Bacha village in Tsafe Local Government Area of Zamfara.
“He also confessed that he had previously supplied similar consignment to other customers in Kaduna, Katsina, Niger and Kebbi states,’’ Shehu said.
Shehu added that police had opened investigation and efforts were on to arrest Lawal’s accomplices.
The eco.business Fund (www.ecobusiness.Fund), an impact investment fund advised by Finance in Motion, has made its first investment in Ghana, extending $15 million to Fidelity Bank. The main loan will be lent back to a wide range of agribusinesses covering the entire value chain, from food production to logistics and supply chains through domestic staples and export crops, while promoting practices of production and consumption that contribute to the sustainable use of natural resources.
conservation of resources and biodiversity.
The partnership will allow both parties to work together to build agribusiness capacity directly in key value chains.
The partners will strive to promote market linkages, sustainable and climate-resilient agricultural practices, and will also provide technical support and training to agribusinesses and bank staff.
As a major player in the banking and finance space in Ghana, Fidelity Bank demonstrates its leadership in supporting the growth of the agricultural sector, not only because of the trade and business opportunities it presents, but more importantly because of the direct impact it has on job creation.
, food security, improved livelihoods and gender inclusion.
The bank provides tailored solutions for agribusinesses across most value chains with a focus on tree crops, nuts, cereals, livestock production, roots and tubers, as well as agrochemical and input supplies.
The bank's strong commitment to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), financial inclusion and sustainability makes it an ideal partner for the fund.
A country with rich biodiversity and a large share of agriculture in its GDP and employment, Ghana strives to be food self-sufficient in the coming years.
The country has taken active steps towards sustainability and food security through the adoption of sustainability standards within the agribusiness sector, a focus on domestic production and key export products.
The partnership between Fidelity Bank and the eco.business Fund confirms the mutual commitment of both parties to deliver on this agenda.
Dr. Jens Mackensen, Chairman of the Board of the eco.business Fund, said: “We are proud to join forces with Fidelity Bank to support the entire agri-food value chain across export and domestic crops.
The fund's investment not only provides much-needed patient capital to agribusinesses, but will also have a positive impact on maintaining employment, improving sustainable farming practices and national food security."
Commenting on the partnership, Fidelity Bank Ghana Managing Director, Mr. Julian Opuni, said: “We are happy to forge this strong partnership with the eco.business Fund which will drive growth in the agricultural sector.
This reinforces Fidelity Bank's continued support for the growth of agribusiness in the country.
In addition to financing, we will also provide capacity building to clients in the agribusiness value chain.
As an indigenous bank that embodies Ghanaian excellence, we see this partnership as a catalyst for the growth of the SME sector as it will increase our ability to support more SMEs in the agribusiness space.”
APM Terminals Apapa on Wednesday said the construction of the new standard gauge by the Federal Government would make its supply chain eco-friendly.
The Terminal Manager, Mr Steen Knudsen, said with the standard gauge, the terminal would be able to move more cargoes in one go, provide a cost-efficient means of moving cargoes inland from the port.
Knudsen, who made this known during an interactive session with journalists in Lagos on Wednesday, noted that this was also part of efforts of the terminal to support the Nigerian economy.
According to Knudsen, APM Terminals is a global terminal operator that has deployed international best practices in facilitating trade in Nigeria.
“While a narrow-gauge railway line connecting Kano is in operation at the terminal, the construction of the new standard gauge line by the Federal Government will further enhance the delivery of cargoes through the rail.
“Once the Standard Gauge becomes operational, we are hopeful that a lot more cargoes will move on the rail, which will also help our green agenda because moving cargoes on rail is much more environmentally friendly than by trucks,” Knudsen said.
He pointed out that the terminal in the past year had made much effort to incorporate environmentally friendly policies in its operations.
“A few months ago, it had collaborated with Freee Recycle Ltd., to recycle the terminals’ worn-out tyres into paving tiles.
“Its latest environmentally friendly venture is the conversion of single used plastic into reflective coveralls,” he said.
Knudsen said some of the terminals’ investments were also in the area of trade facilitation.
“We are using global best practices to introduce digitalised products to ensure that importers and exporters enjoy a seamless service at the terminal.
“A berthing window has also been provided at the terminal for both deep sea vessels as well as barges, to help create more efficient flows of containers, thereby removing costs and waste from the supply chain.
“In addition to that, we continue to expand our barging traffic so we can also penetrate the areas both east and west of the terminal and ensure that our customers can take possession of their cargoes in areas that are closer to their warehouses,” he said.
Knudsen, while describing the terminal as world class facility said it meant that shipping lines that came into the country got a consistent and cost-efficient service.
“For the Nigerian importers and exporters, it means our efficiency on the waterfront allows us to be very cost efficient in terms of facilitating their trade into the market.
“It is also important for the terminal to continuously focus on customer-centricity and to continuously focus on creating a consistent and safe environment.
“For our employees, being a world-class facility means we are the preferred employer; we continuously offer best facilities and safe operations to ensure they have long-term employment with us; develop themselves and go home safely at the end of the day,” he said.
He added that aside its investment in equipment, APM Terminals Apapa was also investing heavily in its people, its workforce, in terms of training, career progression and also in terms of expanding the business.
The total expenditure on Research and Development (R&D) of China’s telecommunication giant Huawei amounted to 79.063 billion Yuan in the first half of 2022.This represents an increase by 6.205 billion Yuan from the same period of 2021.This is contained in the company’s half-year report released on the website of Shanghai Clearing House on Tuesday.
The report said that from January to June, the company’s operating revenue stood at 298.68 billion Yuan from 317.286 billion Yuan in the same period of 2021.Huawei saw its net profit reach 14.629 billion Yuan during the period, compared with 31.264 billion Yuan in the same period of 2021.
The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has announced the arrest of 13 suspected illegal miners in Kwara.
The suspects were allegedly operating in Kakafu village, Pategi Local Government Area of the state.
A statement issued on Wednesday in Ilorin by Mr Ayeni Olasunkanmi, Public Relation Officer (PRO) of NSCDC in the state, said five trucks conveying assorted mineral resources were also impounded.
Olasunkanmi said that the suspects were arrested on Tuesday by a team of operatives of the NSCDC and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), as well as officials of the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development.
He added that the operation followed credible intelligence report received by the EFCC over some suspected illegal miners operating in the area.
According to him, preliminary investigations revealed that the suspects have not been paying royalties to the Federal Government as required by law.
Olasunkanmi said that the suspects would soon be charged to court upon conclusion of the ongoing investigation.
NAN reports that the NSCDC and EFCC Commands in Kwara have intensified joint efforts to tackle illegal mining activities in the state.