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Press focuses on arrival of 4m doses of Modena vaccines donated by US, others

The arrival of four million doses of Modena vaccines donated by the US Government in Nigeria and the alarm raised by the government over the spread of Delta variant of the virus across five states and Abuja are some of the trending stories in Nigerian newspapers on Tuesday.The Guardian reports that the Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), yesterday, said that the four million doses of the Modena vaccine donated by the U.S. Government would undergo National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control’s (NAFDAC) efficacy test and evaluation before being administered to Nigerians.

According to the organisation, it would take up to 48 hours for the results to be out.

The Federal Government, on Sunday, received the four million and eighty doses (4,000,080) of the jab from the United States.

Speaking while inspecting the ultra-cold chain storage facility in Abuja, NPHCDA’s Executive Director, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, pointed out that the vaccines would assist in stepping up efforts to battle the third wave of the novel coronavirus.

He explained that the donation was part of President Joe Biden’s promise to give 500 million vaccines to the world by the end of 2022.

Shuaib, who observed that effective cold chain management of any COVID-19 vaccine was key to ensuring the success of the national vaccination programme, stated that Nigeria has storage facilities that could store jabs, adding that the current administration recently acquired additional 60 ultra-cold freezers that would accommodate both the Modena and Pfizer vaccines.

The Vanguard says that the Nigerian government, yesterday, urged Nigerians to ensure strict compliance with COVID-19 safety protocol, following the spread of Delta variant of the virus across states of Lagos, Akwa Ibom, Oyo, Rivers, Plateau and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.

Speaking at a media briefing, Chairman of Presidential Steering, PSC, Committee on COVID-19 and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, expressed concern over the rising cases in recent times, noting that the country’s test positivity ratio had also increased to about six percent.

He said the PSC had been meeting to deliberate on the rising number of COVID-19 cases and proffer ways to prevent the spread of infections.

“The world has added about four million cases and under 100,000 deaths in the last one week. All countries in West African are beginning to see the third wave, while Nigeria is recording about 500 cases daily in the last seven days.

“Our test positivity ratio has increased to about six percent. This is worrisome and shows that we are not out of the woods yet. It is no more news that the Delta variant has made its way into Nigeria.

‘’The PSC is particularly concerned about the situation in Lagos, Akwa Ibom, Oyo, Rivers, FCT and Plateau states as this variant has made way into these states and accounts for the rising cases in these states and across the nation. Lagos alone accounts for over 50 percent of the number of cases. This development calls for great caution because the virus is very virulent and raging in so many other countries,” he said.

ThisDay reports that the former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega, has said Nigeria cannot continue to lag behind as the whole world has started to adopt electronic transfer of election results as a veritable way of deepening electoral democracy.

In another development, Jega, has declared his membership of a new political party, Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) and advised Nigerians not to vote for the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 elections.

But both the ruling and opposition parties have responded to the statement credited to Jega. While the APC thought Jega’s outburst was wrong and untenable, the PDP insisted the ruling party and its president, Muhammadu Buhari failed the country.

Speaking on a television programme, Monday in Abuja, Jena said, “Increasing use of technology is global best practice in order to improve the integrity of elections. In Nigeria, we have tried to introduce the use of technology on an incremental basis.

“Most countries of the world are trying to improve the integrity of election, because the integrity of elections is key to deepening democracy and sustainable development,” Jega said.

“We started with the issuance of the smartcard readers and voters card. Then, it was upgraded to the use of the smartcard for verification. Clearly, the logical next step is to improve the integrity of the transmission of the results.”

The Punch reports that the Central Bank of Nigeria has assured members of the public that it has implemented monitoring mechanisms to ensure that deposit money banks fulfill the legitimate foreign exchange demands of customers.

This follows the apex bank’s directive to commercial banks to commence the sale of forex to customers for invisibles such as basic travel allowance, personal travel allowance and medical and tuition fees. The assurance was given by the apex bank’s acting Director in charge of Corporate Communications, Osita Nwanisobi, on Monday in a statement issued by the bank.

Speaking with business correspondents in Abuja on Monday, Nwanisobi disclosed that the CBN had put in place monitoring mechanism to guarantee the seamless sale of forex to customers who supported their requests with relevant documentation.

He added that the CBN had received the commitment of the banks, through their chief executive officers, that customers with legitimate requests would not be turned back.

He dismissed rumours making the rounds that the CBN planned to convert the forex in the domiciliary accounts of customers into naira to check purported shortage of availability of dollars.

The Nation reports that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has integrated job creation in all its major policies, projects and programmes to prioritise employment generation.

The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), stated this during the presentation of the research report of Course 29 of the National Defence College, entitled: “Creating Jobs & Opportunities for Africa’s Largest Youth Population”, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

According to a statement by Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice President, Mr Laolu Akande, Osinbajo said the administration is determined to create more opportunities for Nigerians and close the unemployment gap in the country.

“If you recall, when the President was speaking concerning the budget in 2019, he mentioned that one of the critical things to do, concerning every Minister, is that, with every policy, we must state how many jobs to create.

“So, the key question that we ask regarding any government policy is how many jobs will this bring about, how many jobs it will create. And aside from that, there have also been several engagements with different policy bodies and ideas concerning job creation,”Osinbajo said.



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Published on 10.02.2021

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