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Nigeria: Press focuses on screening of 19 local firms for production of Covid-19 drugs, others

The screening of 19 Nigerian firms for the production of herbal drugs that can cure Covid-19 and the call by some global business leaders and African presidents on policymakers in the continent to look inward and adopt measures to create enabling environment for businesses to thrive in post-COVID-19 pandemic are some of the trending stories in Nigerian newspapers on Tuesday.

The Punch reports that Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Health is screening 19 local firms for the production of herbal drugs that can possibly treat or cure COVID-19.

The report explained that the firms made many claims ranging from the outright cure for COVID-19 to the treatment of the symptoms and that the 19 firms had met with the leadership of the ministry and the Department of Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

It added that the firms have been asked to submit their samples to the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control out of which three would be picked and recommended for funding.

The number of the nation’s power plants sitting idle increased by three on Monday to 10, prompting generation to tumble below 3,000 megawatts.

The newspaper also said that total power generation in Nigeria t fell to 2,626.9MW as of 6am on Monday from 3,738MW the previous day, according to the Nigerian Electricity System Operator.

 Twenty-two power plants generated 3862.8MW as of 6am on Saturday as five plants were idle. According to the report, the shutdown of the power plants was attributed to gas constraint, low load demand by the distribution companies, maintenance, frequency response and rupturing of gas pipeline.

ThisDay newspaper says that some global business leaders and African presidents have stressed the need for policymakers in the continent to look inward and adopt measures to create enabling environment for businesses to thrive after COVID-19 pandemic.

This, according to them, is vital in rebuilding the African economy that has been damaged by the virus.
The leaders and experts made the call yesterday at the United Bank for Africa’s (UBA) 2020 Africa Day Conversations, with the theme: “Growth, Jobs, and Sustainable Development Amidst a global Pandemic,” that was moderated by the Chairman of the bank, Mr. Tony Elumelu.

Some of the panelists included President of Senegal, Mr. Macky Sall; President of Liberia, Mr. George Weah; United States Senator, Mr. Chris Coons; President, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Mr. Peter Maurer; President and Founder, Africa CEO Forum, Amir Ben Yahmed; Donald Kaberuka.

The Vanguard reports that the call by the United States government for a fresh and in-depth investigation into the allegations against the President of African Development Bank, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, after he was cleared of all allegations of impropriety and fraud by the ethics committee recently, is seen as a plan to destabilise the bank.

The report noted that on May 5, the ethics committee of the continental bank, headed by Takuji Yano, said in its report that Dr. Adesina was not guilty on all counts.

Mr. Yano is a Japanese executive director charged with the responsibility of investigating allegations by some concerned employees against the official and that the committee described the allegations that Dr. Adesina) violated the code of conduct of the institution as “spurious and unfounded”.

The Vanguard says that MTN and Dangote have emerged the most admired African brands at the 10th Brand Africa 100, Africa’s Top Brands anniversary.

In the sub-survey focused on financial services, GTBank re-claimed the #1 spot after falling out of the top 5 in 2019 return to the top spot with First Bank Nigeria (FBN) and Ecobank claiming the second and third positions respectively.

This year’s rankings included a strong presence of payment service brands PayPal, Western Union and Visa, as digitisation and digital-led economies are expected to accelerate more acutely because of the pandemic.

The Guardian reports that as the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to ravage economies globally and impacting businesses negatively, the National Pension Commission (PenCom), said that it was making plans with industry stakeholders to diversify the investment portfolio of pension assets, and deepen investment channels.

The report noted that as the regulator responsible for establishing rules, guidelines, and standards for pension fund investment by licensed Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs), the Commission said it was also reviewing its policies with a view to boosting pension fund investments post-Covid-19.

The Commission said it was making wide range stakeholder engagements with focus on development of Capital Market products, which includes hedging tools that would serve as buffer to safeguard pension assets, especially during volatile periods such as the current Covid-19 pandemic.

Published on 28.04.2020

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