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Press highlights assurance by govt. that COVID-19 vaccines won’t be hijacked or diverted, others

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The assurance by the Nigerian government that COVID-19 vaccines will not be hijacked or diverted by any group outside the distribution plan and the drop in newly confirmed cases of Covid-19 on Sunday to 964 and two deaths are some of the trending stories in Nigerian newspapers on Monday.

 

ThisDay reports that the Nigerian government has assured Nigerians that COVID-19 vaccines will not be hijacked or diverted by any group outside the distribution plan.

There has been growing concerns that politicians may hijack the COVID-19 vaccines, billed to arrive the country next month.

Recent announcement of the formula for the distribution of the expected 100,000 doses of vaccines has also sparked off apprehension amongst Nigerians over a possible hijack or diversion of the vaccines.

The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), however, said it is important to douse the anxiety amongst the people over how government will be deploying the initial few quantities of vaccines.

The NPHCDA, at a webinar press briefing, had released the sharing formula for the 100,000 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

The newspaper says that Nigeria’s newly confirmed cases of Covid-19 on Sunday reduced to 964 and the number of deaths dropped to two within the same period.

A daily statistics of newly confirmed cases of Covid-19 posted by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) showed that on Sunday, January 24, 2021, 964 new confirmed cases and two deaths were recorded in Nigeria.

The report showed that till date, 121,566 cases have been confirmed, 97,228 cases discharged, with 1,504 deaths in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The 964 new cases are reported from 19 states — Lagos (360), FCT (88) Ogun (73), Imo (72), Kaduna (67), Plateau (57), Abia (41), Osun (41), Rivers (32), Kano (26), Niger (24), Benue (23), Edo (20), Cross River (20), Akwa Ibom (8), Nasarawa (6), Zamfara (6), Ekiti (6) and Jigawa (4).

The Punch reports that the Nigerian Government is to partly fund six rail projects connecting virtually all regions of the country with a counterpart funding of N71.15bn this year.

Also, N15.1bn will be spent on the development of safety and security critical projects, airport certification, runway construction, terminal building, among others in the aviation sector in 2021.

A report on selected projects in the 2021 budget obtained by our correspondent from the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning in Abuja showed that in the rail sector, the government had mapped out six projects that it would partly fund this year.

The government stated that the N71.15bn would serve as counterpart funding for railway projects including the Lagos-Kano rail line (ongoing), Calabar-Lagos (ongoing), and Ajaokuta-Itakpe-Aladja (Warri), which was also described as an ongoing project. Others are the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri railway, the new Kano-Katsina-Jibiya-Maradi line in Niger Republic and the Abuja-Itakpe and Aladja-Warri Port and refinery/Warri new harbour.

Construction work is currently ongoing on some of the rail projects, while others are new projects, as physical construction work had yet to start on them.

The Sun says that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has again warned International Money transfer operators (IMTOs) and unlicensed companies to stop facilitating diaspora remittances into the country in Naira.

The apex bank, in a statement released on Friday signed by Dr. Ozoemena Nnaji, its director of Trade & Exchange of CBN, noted that all diaspora remittances should be received by beneficiaries in foreign currency only (cash and/or transfers to domiciliary accounts of recipients).

“Only licensed IMTOs are permitted to carry on the business of facilitating diaspora remittances into the country,” the statement read.

“IMTOs are not permitted, under any circumstances, to disburse diaspora remittances in naira (either in cash or by electronic transfers) be it through naira remittance settlement accounts (which had been earlier directed to be closed), third party accounts or via any other payment platform within and/or around the Nigerian financial system.”

The apex bank noted that the measures were intended to promote transparency, grow diaspora remittances and significantly improve foreign exchange inflows into Nigeria.

It warned that strict sanctions, including withdrawal of operating licenses, shall be imposed on individuals and/or institutions found to be aiding, abetting or directly contravening the guidelines.

                 


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Published on 10.02.2021

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