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COVID-19 creates opportunity for innovations – Osinbajo



Vice President Yemi Osinbajo
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo

Vice president, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, says that the COVID-19 pandemic has created opportunity for stakeholders in all sectors of the economy to embrace innovation and creativity.

Osinbajo made this known at the 14th Annual Conference of the Nigerian Association of Energy Economics, in Abuja, on Monday.

The theme of the conference is “Strategic Responses of Energy Sector to COVID-19 impacts on African Economies”.

Represented by the Special Adviser on Infrastructure, Mr Ahmad Zakari, Osinbajo said the oil and gas sector most hit by the pandemic would be better off with all stakeholders coming together to strategise on new ways to move the sector.

He said the theme of the conference was apt as African battling with high poverty level needed energy for economic growth and development.

“The energy sector as one of the most critical sector of all economies was impacted adversely by the pandemic due to lockdowns and restrictions in movement of people and halt of operations of many energy organisations.

“This brought huge losses for both public and private organisations, we also know that COVID-19 caused global damage in the global economies but it provided unique opportunity for thinking out of the box for solving most of the problems in the world.

“Looking at the level of academics among you, I have no doubt that you will bring out ways the energy sector will use to come out of various challenges that the pandemic has presented in the sector,’’ he said.

Osinbajo said the Nigeria oil and gas sector had been coming up with projects that had the potential of evolving the sector.

According to him, the Final Investment Decision on NLNG Train 7, the Ajaokuta  Kaduna Kano (AKK) Gas Pipeline projects and others are good moves for the economy.

He called on all participants to use the conference to proffer way forward for the growth of the nation’s oil and gas sector.

In his remarks, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, said Africa and Nigeria were most affected by the pandemic.

Sylva said that many nations in Africa had no access to energy which affected the economic growth and development of the continent.

“The most current report says that about 50 per cent of the continent population have no access to energy that is about 600 million people have no access to electricity.

“ It has also been widely reported that it has been worsen by  the COVID-19 pandemic as the past one and half years has adversely affected energy development in the global world not withstanding low carbon emission recorded,’’ he said

According to him, the theme of the conference is strategic as there is a need for strategic response for energy sector to revive with the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in various economies.

Represented by his Chief of Staff, Mr Moses Olamide, he welcomed all participants and urged them to make contributions that would help to drive the growth of the sector.

“Looking at the crop of speakers here today, I am convinced that various ideas that will help to grow the sector will be adequately shared.

“On this note, I urged all the stakeholders and speakers present at this conference, to feel free to discuss issues in details and come out with strategic ideas that will assist in our quest to grow the energy sector,’’ he said

Also, the President, International Association of Energy Economics (IAEE), Mr James Smith, commended the steadfast progress that the NAEE had made in recent years.

“ Given Nigeria’s key role in the world oil market, we are especially grateful to have an active and effective affiliate of IAEE to provide leadership in these changing and challenging times,” Smith said.

He noted that the pandemic had made it more difficult for most people to do their jobs and made jobs any less important.

According to him, it has also generated many new questions regarding the impact of the COVID-19 on the energy economy.

“What will be the final effect on the demand and supply of the myriad energy resources at our disposal?

“Has public reaction to the pandemic changed society’s perception of what is an appropriate degree of government intervention in our daily lives—including how various forms of energy are to be priced or utilised?

“How, if at all, has the pandemic changed the probable pace and shape of the highly anticipated and much heralded energy transition? And what do those changes portend for the role of petroleum in the global energy economy as we move forward?,’’ he said.

He noted that because many of the underlying assumptions that ground these issues had abruptly changed, it may behoove all to revisit even some of those questions and topics that were previously thought to have been fully addressed.

Represented by Prof. Wumi Iledare, former President of NAEE, he said, agenda for energy researchers had never been so full and rich, and the role of an organisation like NAEE had never been more important. (NAN)

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Buhari Launches Nigeria End Malaria Council In Abuja



President Muhammadu Buhari


President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday launched the Nigeria End malaria Council at the State House in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

The Council is expected to drive the Federal Government’s commitment to end malaria in the country.

In attendance at the launch is the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, and Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire among other ministers and top government officials.

Speaking to a 16-member council headed by the President of the Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote who accepted to be an ambassador for malaria, the President maintained the quest to eliminate mallards remains a priority for his administration.

“Malaria is an age-long disease and remains a major public health challenge in Nigeria.

The World Health Organisation report of 2021 shows that Nigeria alone accounts for 27% of all cases of malaria and 32% of deaths globally,” Buhari stated.

“Malaria infection can cause severe disease and complication in pregnant women and lead to high rates of miscarriage. It is also responsible for a considerable proportion of deaths in infants and young children, with children under 5 years being the most vulnerable group affected. These are reasons why we must not relent in fighting malaria.”

According to Buhari, beyond improving the quality of life, health and well-being of Nigerians, the strategy adopted had public health and socio-economic benefits for the country.

The President urged the council to deploy best practices in its dealings in order to reduce significantly Nigeria’s malaria burden which according to the WHO now accounts for 27percent of all cases and 32 percent of deaths globally.

He added, “Our inauguration today will therefore ensure that malaria elimination remains a priority on our agenda, with strong political commitment from leaders at all levels. Additionally, the End Malaria Council will provide a platform to advocate for more funding to protect and sustain progress made so far by our country, and put us on a pathway to ending malaria for good.

“The successful implementation of the Council’s agenda will result in improvement in the quality of life, health and well-being of Nigerians, by providing impetus for malaria elimination and by saving about N687 billion nationally which is the estimated economic burden of malaria for 2022. The savings could increase to N2 trillion in 2030.

A concerted strategy to tackle malaria, therefore, has both public health as well as socio-economic benefits for Nigeria.”

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Presidency lauds Oyetola for prioritising Osun people’s health 



Osun State Governor Gboyega Oyetola
Osun State Governor Adegboyega Oyetola

As Oyetola inaugurates multiple state-of-the-art health facilities in Osun 

…says building healthy population nonnegotiable

The Presidency, on Wednesday, lauded Governor Adegboyega Oyetola of Osun for prioritising the health of the people of the State.

Speaking at the inauguration of multiple state-of-the-art health facilities in the State, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, also commended the Governor for striving to build a healthy population.

She was in the State to join Governor Oyetola in inaugurating 100-bed Mother and Child Hospital; 80-bed Multipurpose Hospital, Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurial Centre and Transit Home and Vocational Centre for Abused Women and Girls.

She said the execution of the projects was in fulfilment of President Muhammadu Buhari’s promises to providing quality health service delivery for Nigerians particularly women and children.

“We are here to commission these projects that had been fully equipped for the benefit of the people of this community and the skill acquisition centre will in no doubt equip our people with requisite vocational rubrics to be self-sustaining and self-employed”, she added

Speaking while inaugurating the projects, Governor Oyetola said that his administration remains committed to the health and well-being of the people of the State.

The projects were facilitated by the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on the Sustainable Development Goals  in partnership with the State.

The Governor also lauded President Muhammadu Buhari for considering Osun as one of the beneficiary states of the projects.

Inaugurating the projects in Iragbiji and Osogbo, the state capital, Governor Oyetola said the multi-billion naira health facilities would in no doubt improve significantly, the quality of life of citizens of the State.

He noted that the facilities would serve as catalyst to building a virile economy for the people, adding that the projects are critical to the country’s strident efforts to meet the vision of SDGs.

According to him, the 80-bed and 100-bed state-of-the-art multipurpose hospitals, for instance, are another fitting and timely complement to the ongoing effort of our administration at transforming the health sector.

“You will recall that since we assumed office over three years ago, our State has witnessed unprecedented investment in the health sector in a manner that has placed us as a leading State in innovative and sustained health investment across the country.

“Among other strategic interventions in secondary and tertiary healthcare, we are particularly proud of the ripple impact being achieved among our citizens through the 332 Primary Healthcare Centres revitalised across the State.

“The choice of the health sector as one of the preeminent sectoral drivers in our administration owes itself to the conviction that we would only be able to build a truly- sustainably virile economy to the extent to which our people enjoy quality, accessible and affordable healthcare.

“It must also be mentioned that the second facility, the Abused Women Transit Home, is unique in its conception as a solution centre for providing succour to women who are victims of abuse. This sprawling centre is impressively equipped with multidimensional skills acquisition facility alongside a hostel catering for over 100 hundred people.

“It is another excellent addition of which I am immensely proud of, as it would further significantly boost the ongoing campaign against gender violence, ably led by my wife, the First Lady”, he added.

Speaking further, Governor Oyetola urged people of the host communities to take full ownership of the facilities and ensure that they are protected against any form of vandalism, saying this is the only way to show gratitude for the investment.

Earlier in his remarks, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on SDGs, Mr. Shittu Williams, described the projects as a dream come true, saying the people of the state stand to benefit largely from the services that the state-of-the-art facilities will be providing forthwith.

He said the actualisation of the projects in the State had put an end to the long agitations saying the facility would in no small measure further advance the course of quality healthcare delivery in Osun.

The Aragbiji of Iragbiji, Oba Abdul-Rasheed Ayotunde Olabomi, lauded the initiative saying the facilities would go a long way to complement the health interventions of the state government.

Oba Olabomi who expressed gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari for approving the citing of the projects in Osun called on the people of the benefitting communities to patronize the facility and stop going to substandard health centres just as he assured of the readiness of his subjects to put the facilities into good use.

In his remarks, the Atoaja of Osogbo, Oba Jimoh Olanipekun, applauded Governor Oyetola for being committed to the socioeconomic and infrastructural development of the state.

Ataoja who described the edifice as a welcome development befitting the state capital said its establishment in the heart of the city would further enhance the health of the people particularly Osogbo residents.

“I am not a sycophant but I do appreciate good works, indeed, this edifice is good and magnificent. This is another great thing coming to the State capital and we are appreciative of this.

“I am speaking on behalf of the good people of Osogbo, our reverred sons and daughters that this edifice befits us as we are awaiting more to come. We must appreciate the administration of Governor Adegboyega Oyetola for his commitment to turn around the socio-economic fortunes of the state in the face of the visible economic reality on the nation’s economy”, he added.

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Senate passes bills to establish Medical Centres in four states, amend Teaching Hospitals Act



Senate in Session


The Senate, on Tuesday, passed four bills to establish Federal Medical Centres in four states of the federation.

The medical centers will be established in Osogbo, Osun State; Onitsha, Anambra State; Gada, Sokoto State; and Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, respectively.

The passage of the bills to establish the Medical Centres followed the consideration of four separate reports by the Committee on Health (Secondary and Tertiary).

Chairman of the Committee, Senator Yahaya Oloriegbe (APC, Kwara Central), in his presentations, said the Centres would be equipped with facilities for diagnostic treatment and rehabilitation at the tertiary levels.

According to him, they would also serve as Centres for training of health professionals and conduct advance health research.

In a related development, the Senate, on Tuesday, passed a bill to amend the Teaching Hospitals (Reconstitution of Boards, etc.) Act 2004.

Oloriegbe, in a separate presentation on a report by the Committee on Health (Secondary and Tertiary), explained that the amendment to the Teaching Hospitals Act, seeks to give full legislative recognition to the Federal University Lokoja Teaching Hospital.

“Mr. President and Distinguished Colleagues, every Institution needs to be backed by an enabling law.

“It is against this background that this bill is before the chamber.

“As at today, training facilities in the health sector are inadequate for the current population and projected population growth for Nigeria, currently out at 3 percent per annum.

“Therefore, establishing the Federal University Lokoja Teaching Hospital will address this gap among others”, Oloriegbe explained.

He added that the bill seeks to amend the First Schedule to the Principal Act to include the Federal University Lokoja Teaching Hospital.

“By this amendment, it creates a legal backing for the Federal University Lokoja Teaching Hospital”, he said.

The four bills to establish the Federal Medicam Centres, and the Bill to amend the Teaching Hospitals Act 2004, were all passed by the chamber during plenary, after a clause-by-clause consideration by the Committee of the Whole.




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