Abuja, July 23, 2020 The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) says it is working hard to ensure that Nigerians have access to the coronavirus vaccines when available.
Ihekweazu said that the centre was working with the global community to ensure this access.
He informed that data on research and development of a vaccine against COVID-19 by the global scientific community showed that results on a possible vaccine were expected in the fourth quarter of 2020.
The DG, while noting that a vaccine was the best weapon in taming the virus, however, stressed that equitable access was key.
He added that the health agency was working together with other colleagues around the continent, through the Africa CDC, to start advocating for some of the trials to be done with African institutions in the short term.
“To do this, we have to build capacity, gather sufficient data and include African institutions in these efforts.
“We have to start preparing Nigerian population for vaccine delivery when it becomes available.
“Access is a very key issue when it comes to vaccines; that a vaccine is developed do not necessarily translate to being available to those that need it the most.
“So, through the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, the World Health Organisation (WHO) is working with GAVI to ensure that vaccines are available to countries regardless of their ability to pay.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that GAVI is an international organisation – a global Vaccine Alliance, bringing together public and private sectors with the shared goal of creating equal access to new and underused vaccines for children living in the world’s poorest countries.
He also said that it was important to involve the private sector and academia in vaccination manufacturing.
Ihekweazu hinted that the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) would lead the distribution and planning.
The DG pointed out that campaign to enlighten Nigerians on the benefit of the vaccine was important.
This, according to him, is because a small part of the population resisted vaccines for different reasons.
“So, the time to start the risk communication about the benefits of the vaccine is now.
“As soon as a vaccine becomes available, it’s our collective responsibility to prepare Nigerians for the implementation of the vaccination campaign for whatever form they take.
“So, it’s important that we start thinking about this,’’ the DG said.
Ihekweazu stressed that a vaccine was the biggest weapon to get the virus under control and by far the most important medical tool known in history.
“Vaccine development normally takes 10-20 years, but we’ve made incredible development in the last six months,’’ he said.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN) https://nnn.ng/were-working-to-ensure-nigerians-have-access-to-covid-19-vaccines-when-available-ncdc/
FG seeks collaboration with Agric stakeholders to curb post-harvest losses
The Federal Government on Saturday urged stakeholders in the Agricultural Sector to collaborate with governments at all levels to minimise the incidence of post-harvest losses of farm produce being recorded in the country.
Dr Muazu AbdulKadir, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, made the call in llorin, the Kwara capital, when he paid a visit to the Nigerian Stored Products Research institute (NSPRl), llorin.
AbdulKadir, while addressing the management of NSPRl, noted that Nigeria was losing billions of naira annually to post harvest losses of various farm produce due to lack of well-equipped storage facilities.
“Over sixty per cent of tomatoes, onions, cashew, mangoes, oranges and water melon, among others harvested in Nigeria are lost after harvesting.
“The Federal Government is working round the clock to address the problem, to allow the country maintain food sufficiency.
“I, hereby, call on stakeholders in the Agricultural Sector to collaborate with the government by coming up with modern scientific approaches on curbing post-harvest losses.’’
AbdulKadir praised the foresight of NSPRl in the preservation of farm produce, fabrication of farm implements, storage facilities and ensuring reduction of post-harvest losses of farm produce, as a priority.
He said the Ministry would continue to give necessary assistance within the available resources to NSPRl, to meet its mandate in farm produce storage and other agricultural activities.
The Executive Director of NSPRl, Dr Patricia Pessu, in her remarks, told the permanent secretary of several interventions currently being embarked upon by the institute, aimed at curbing post-harvest losses of farm produce.
Pessu appealed to the Ministry to assist the institute in the realisation of its objective at curbing post-harvest losses, to create employment for the teeming unemployed, and further boost the national economy.
She called on the Federal Government to allow NSPRl be represented in the intervention committee related to food security.
The NSPRI boss requested that the Ministry give intellectual property rights to agricultural researchers, as a way of encouraging them to do more at ensuring food preservation.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the permanent secretary later inspected the laboratories of the institute and its fabricated farm implements with storage faculties.
Edited By: Oluyinka Fadare/Idonije Obakhedo
Lawyer advocates leadership training for youths
An Ilorin based legal practitioner, Mr Suleiman Ahmed, has advocated the need for the training of youths on leadership skills to help reposition Nigeria’s future.
Ahmed, who spoke in Ilorin on Saturday during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria , agreed that youth’s development remain critic in nation building.
He said it has become necessary for Nigeria youths to be equipped with leadership skills in order to do things differently from the past.
“Bad leadership in the past has put Nigeria in a serious mess. Our youths should be shown the way to manage the God’s given abundant resources at hand.
“Nigeria is blessed, but we have people in the past, who lacked those leadership skills in the corridors of power.
“With proper orientation and leadership training for the youths, we can get it right and place the country on the right path.
“We cannot afford to make the same mistakes of our past leaders. We cannot claim to be giant of Africa and see our people dying of hunger and poverty,”he said.
The legal practitioner however called on NGOs and the three tiers of governments to ensure leadership training were organised for the youths.
He advised that the future of the country is at stake if the youths are left out and not well prepared and equipped for leadership position.
“We cannot allow the youths to emulate the past trend. We want them to do things differently and safe the future of the country,”he said.
He also advised Nigerian leaders to stop being selfish, show love and care for the people for them to be proud of their country.
3-storey school building collapses in Lagos
A three-storey building of the Excell College, a private school in Ejigbo, Lagos, collapsed on Saturday, two days to reopening of secondary and private schools in the state.
The building is located at No. 15, Ansarudeen St., by Ile Epo Bus stop, Iyana Ejigbo.
Lagos State-owned tertiary institutions re-opened on Sept. 14.
The Director-General of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Dr Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu, told newsmen that no person was trapped in the collapsed building.
He noted that the school had been under lock and key since March due to the COVID-19-induced restrictions.
According to the LASEMA director-general, the building, which collapsed at 8:15 a.m. on Saturday, is part of a conjoined (twin) three-storey building.
He said that the collapse was attributable to “visible distress”, adding that the collapsed portion affected the second wing, as shown by visible cracks on the walls, pillars and decking of the second portion.
“Distress calls received established that the building collapsed at about 8:15a.m.
“Information gathered from some officials of the school revealed that the building had previously shown signs of distress and the school was planning to renovate and refortify the structure.
“The three-storey building has two wings; the wing that collapsed seriously affected the second wing, as visible cracks can be seen on the walls, pillars and decking.
“Fortunately, nobody was trapped.
“Responders to the incident are LASEMA, Lagos State Building Collapse Agency and the police,” he said.
Edited By: Chinyere Nwachukwu/Ijeoma Popoola
Edo poll: Gov. Obaseki faults INEC preparations
Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo, said he expected better preparations from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the Saturday’s governorship poll, after queueing for over an hour before voting.
Obaseki, who is the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the election, stated this, shortly after he cast his vote at 11:48a.m, having joinied the queue for hand washing at 10:24a.m.
According to him, to wait for one and half hours on the queue before exercising his franchise is a bit disappointing.
“Given that this is a sole day election, I expected a bit more planning and preparation, and resources should have been put into this election.
“During the last presidential election in my polling unit, there were two polling points which helped the body on voters. You all are witnesses of how long this has taken.
“The card reader is working very slowly, and this is the situation in all the major voting centers in Oredo Local Government Area of the state as I speak.
“In Garrick Memorial Secondary School, I understand that over 500 voters are already stranded because they can’t vote because of the slow processing of the card readers.
“One would have expected that INEC will have deployed more card readers and more voting points in highly numbered polling centers,” he said.
On the issue of vote buying at polling units, the governor said that the security agencies were not doing what they assured Edo people and Nigerians of, before the election.
“The security agencies assured us that they won’t allow anybody who don’t have business of voting in a particular place to be there, but they are working on the contrary to what they promised us.
“You can see cars parked with a lot of cash being disbursed to people and it seems to be normal practice, but we are not perturbed. People know what to do; cash can’t buy their future,” he added.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Ejike Obeta