The Japanese government announced on Tuesday the decision to allocate 6.3 billion dollars (671.4 billion yen) to purchase 280 million doses vaccines against the coronavirus disease.
Japanese Health Minister Kato Katsunobu said this during a news conference in Tokyo.
“Following a cabinet meeting, Japan has decided to buy 120 million doses of a vaccine being developed by the United States pharmaceutical giant, Pfizer, and another 120 million doses from the UK’s AstraZeneca.
“In addition, negotiations are underway to purchase another batch of 40 million doses from the United States Company Moderna.”
All the three are conducting phase three clinical trials.
The funds will be allocated from the country’s emergency budget reserves of 11.5 trillion yen, included in two packages of additional economic measures to combat the coronavirus.
Japanese Health Minister Kato Katsunobu said during a news conference that “once the negotiations are over, we will try to provide everyone with the vaccine by the first half of next year.’’
Japan has so far confirmed 71,856 COVID-19 cases and 1,363 related fatalities, according to the World Health Organisation’s data.
Edited By: Fatima Sule/Maharazu Ahmed
Again, Buhari challenges Kaduna indigenes on peace, harmony
President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday in Abuja urged Kaduna State indigenes to cooperate with government and security agencies to secure peace and harmony in the state.
The president made the call at the virtual opening of the Fifth Kaduna Economic and Investment Summit, with the theme KADInvest 5.0, Infrastructure, Industrialisation and Innovation.
According to him, development will only take place when energies are collectively channelled to building, instead of destruction of lives and property.
He said: “We must live together as brothers and sisters because without peace, development cannot take place.
“I wish to commend the efforts of the Kaduna State Government to establish its credentials as one of the new investment destinations of choice in Nigeria.
“These efforts have received just recognition in the response of the business community which has put in new investments in the state.
“This is a further affirmation of the ranking of the state as Number One for Ease of Doing Business by the World Bank’s Doing Business Report 2018.
“I call on the Kaduna State Government to keep up these laudable efforts and surpass the impressive results already attained.’’
He noted that the success of state governments in attracting investments, creating jobs and increasing their internally generated revenues would be critical to the development of the entire country.
“Therefore, I am impressed that the Kaduna State Government has from inception used KADInvest as a serious platform for showcasing its investment potentials.
“The state’s commitment to consistent implementation of the Ease of Doing Business Charter is exemplary, including its ability to increase its Internally Generated Revenue to N44bn in 2019 from N13bn in 2015 without hiking tax rates. This is very laudable.’’
The president congratulated the Kaduna State government for making KADInvest a regular fixture on the investment calendar, held annually since 2016.
“It is a fitting statement of the resilience of the Kaduna State Government that it is able to host the 2020 edition amidst the severe disruptions to the normal order caused by Covid-19.
“This is the sort of determined focus that can help the country to navigate the challenging consequences of the pandemic.
“It was my pleasure to commission the Olam Hatchery and Feed Mill project in 2017, about 18 months after the ground-breaking was done at the first edition of KADInvest in 2016.
“It is commendable that investors like Tomato Jos are creating jobs in the agribusiness sector, taking advantage of Kaduna State’s prioritisation of agriculture.
“I also note with delight the success of new investments in renewable energy like Blue Camel and tractor assembly and the revitalisation of poultry farms across the state.’’
Buhari commended the ongoing development of iron mining and steel processing capacity in the state through investments by African Natural Resources and Mines Limited.
He said the federal government would continue to support efforts to attract job-creating investments.
“We believe that much can be done at the sub-national level to drive human capital development and expand economic opportunity.
“I note with delight the massive investments in infrastructure upgrade Kaduna State is executing through the urban renewal programmes in Kaduna, Kafanchan and Zaria.
“Given the track record since 2015, I have no doubt that the Kaduna State Government and its private sector partners will take full advantage of the economic windows that are being opened by Federal Government investments such as the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano gas pipeline.
“The state government should afford full cooperation and support to cross-border federal projects such as the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano pipeline and the Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano Highway,’’ he added.
Edited By: Sadiya Hamza
Man City’s Gundogan tests positive for COVID-19
Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan has tested positive for COVID-19, the Premier League club said on Monday.
Gundogan is the third player in the squad to return a positive test in recent weeks.
City winger Riyad Mahrez and defender Aymeric Laporte previously tested positive for the novel coronavirus earlier this month.
“Gundogan is now observing a 10-day period of self-isolation in accordance with Premier League and UK Government protocol on quarantine,” the club said in a statement.
Gundogan is likely to miss three matches for City while he self-isolates, including Monday’s league clash against Wolverhampton Wanderers, Thursday’s League Cup tie against Bournemouth and Sunday’s league game against Leicester City.
Both Mahrez and Laporte returned to training last week but City boss Pep Guardiola said only the Algerian winger would be available against Wolves — City’s opening game of the season.
Edited By: Maharazu Ahmed
Edited By: Joseph Edeh
Tokyo 2020 consulting firm paid around $370,000 to Diack’s son – report
A consulting firm for Tokyo’s Olympic bid committee paid around $370,000 to the son of Lamine Diack, once one of the world’s most powerful sports officials, around the time Japan was picked to host the 2020 Games, Kyodo News reported on Monday.
The report comes amid French investigations into the former head of Tokyo’s bid committee, Tsunekazu Takeda, for approving around $2 million in payments to Black Tidings, a now-defunct consulting firm in Singapore.
The report said the findings, based on a review of financial documents as well as reporting by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and several media organisations including Kyodo, may shed light on what happened to the $2 million.
Black Tidings made multiple transfers to Diack’s son, Papa Massata Diack, including some paid into a personal account and others transferred to his company, the report said.
The combined total was around $370,000, it said.
Papa Massata Diack told Kyodo that the payments were not related to the Tokyo Olympics. He declined further comment in an e-mail to Reuters.
French prosecutors had been looking into whether Black Tidings paid the younger Diack to influence the father, who was a member of the International Olympic Committee and believed to control votes among African members.
Takeda resigned last year due to the scandal, admitting to the payments while denying wrongdoing.
The Kyodo report said he denied any knowledge of money transfers from Black Tidings.
“At the time, I did not know anything that happened after (making the payment to the consulting firm),” he said.
Reuters could not immediately contact Takeda for comment.
The older Diack, former head of world athletics’ governing body, was convicted in France on Wednesday for corruption in relation to a Russian doping scandal.
The Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics have been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, with the government planning to host the games next year instead.
Edited By: Emmanuel Okara)
Environmentalist harps on mitigation of climate change effects
An environmentalist, Mr Adewole Taiwo, on Monday listed tree planting, use of alternative energy sources, and proper waste sorting as some strategies to mitigate climate change effects.
Taiwo, a Director at Recyclepoints, made the recommendations in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Monday in Lagos.
He said it was imperative for Nigerians to clean up their environment and address climate change issues with more commitment.
“We must all take responsibility for our immediate environment, clear our drainages, bag our waste properly and sort recyclables.
“Some people still do not believe in the impacts of climate change just like some do not believe that the COVID-19 pandemic is real.
“However, the impacts of climate change are getting more glaring every day, for example the flooding we currently experience can testify that climate change is real and we need to carry out more awareness about it.
“The major challenge in sensitising Nigerians on the negative impacts of climate change effects has to do with lack of information, education and proper enlightenment among the people,” he said.
Taiwo urged Nigerians to practice sustainable lifestyles and habits to help curb the negative realities of climate change effects in the country.
He also encouraged the imitation and replication of developed countries strategies of mitigating climate change effects in their environment.
“To mitigate climate change effects, we can start by reducing our carbon footprint generation by making use of alternative sources of energy and fuel.
“We can also reduce the emission of green house gases into the environment when we live sustainably by walking where necessary instead of riding a car or vehicle.
“We need to plant more trees and reduce waste generation to curb the increasing greenhouse gas emission into the environment.
“We are imitating more developed countries in adoption of their strategies to mitigate climate change effects by observing some of these international events, already we have so many organisations that are now into renewable energy.
“We commend the German delegation in Nigeria doing everything possible to promote renewable and alternative energy sources in the country.
“We also have many non-government organisations embarking on tree planting and clean up with support from these developed countries,” Taiwo said.
According to the environmentalist, the government at all levels can play a vital role in curbing climate change impacts on the environment through policy implementation.
“We have lots of environmental policies out there but the problem has to do with government implementation.
“An important point to note here is that the world’s worst polluters are human beings and not plastics,” he said.
Edited By: Abiemwense Moru/Chinyere Joel-Nwokeoma