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Economy

South Korea Pledges Mpox Vaccine Supplies

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Monkeypox mpox

By Kestér Kenn Klomegâh

Sadly, African health authorities for several months have pursued vaccines for curing mpox and its further spread mostly in vain as worldwide outbreaks were reported during this year. But there is some light at the end of the tunnel as some considerable assistance might come from the Republic of South Korea.

The Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said some few thousand doses being the first consignment of mpox vaccines as a donation, would arrive shortly and be used for health workers and people living with the disease in the hardest-hit areas in Africa.

The continent this year has recorded 202 deaths from mpox, formerly known as monkeypox, with a fatality rate of 19.3% across 13 countries. African health authorities for months have made feverish efforts in search for curbing the disease’s spread.

According to the Acting CDC director, Ahmed Ogwell, more than 50 new mpox cases in Congo were recorded this month and said Ghana and Nigeria are the other most affected countries. A surge in mpox infections was particularly reported last May outside West and Central Africa.

“Let us get vaccines onto the continent,” CDC Acting Head, Ahmed Ogwell, said in a weekly media briefing pointing to another instance of 1.3 billion people on the continent without access to a vaccine, as in the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The solutions need to be global in nature. If we’re not safe, the rest of the world is not safe,” he warned.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has, however, warned against discrimination. “A failure to act will have grave consequences for global health,” Lawrence Gostin, Director of the WHO Collaborating Center on National and Global Health Law, said on Twitter.

Health officials have emphasized that mpox can infect anyone in close contact with a patient or their contaminated clothing or bedsheets. Researchers are still exploring to establish how it spreads but believe it’s mainly through close, skin-to-skin contact and through contact with bedding and clothing that touched an infected person’s rash or body fluids.

It generally causes mild to moderate symptoms, including fever, fatigue and painful skin lesions that resolve within a few weeks.

Reports, however, said that the mpox had been established in parts of Central and West Africa for decades; it was not known to spark large outbreaks beyond the continent or to spread widely among people until May when authorities detected dozens of epidemics in Europe, North America and elsewhere.

In Africa, mpox mainly spreads to people by infected wild animals like rodents in limited outbreaks that typically have not crossed borders. In Europe, North America and elsewhere, the mpox is spreading among people with no links to animals or recent travel to Africa. In the U.S. and Europe, the vast majority of infections occur among men who have sex with men, though health officials have stressed that anyone can contract the virus.

Economy

Reps Authorise Buhari to Take N1trn CBN Loan for 2022 Supplementary Budget

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2022 supplementary budget

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

President Muhammadu Buhari has been authorised by the House of Representatives to borrow fresh N1 trillion from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The lower chamber of the National Assembly approved this new borrowing from the apex bank by the federal government through ways and means on Tuesday.

This was after the Chairman of the House Committees on Finance, Banking and Currency and Aids, Loans and Debts Management, Mr James Faleke, submitted his period yesterday.

The committees looked into the request of Mr Buhari to restructure the N22.7 trillion ways and means advances.

Though the green chamber of the parliament rejected the securitisation of the N22.7 trillion CBN loans, it authorised the CBN to print N1 trillion for the government to fund the 2022 supplementary budget.

In the report, the committees recommended that the government take the N1 trillion CBN loan “based on the observations and the exigencies of the federal government’s current fiscal situation” for the “implementation of the 2022 Supplementary Appropriations Act as passed by the National Assembly.”

It further recommended “further engagements with the executive by the joint committee to allow for thorough and detailed work and submissions on the larger part of the advances, which amounts to N22.7 trillion.”

Recall that in December 2022, Mr Buhari asked the National Assembly to authorise the conversion of the N22.7 trillion and a fresh N1 trillion CBN loans into federal government securities.

“I have approved the securitisation of the Ways and Means balances along the following terms: amount, N23.7 trillion; tenure, 40 years; moratorium on principal repayment, 3 years; pricing interest rate, 9 per cent,” the President had written in a letter to the Senate and the House of Reps.

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Economy

NDEP, Geo-Fluids Lift OTC Bourse by 0.06%

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Niger Delta Petroleum Resources NDEP

By Adedapo Adesanya

The NASD Over-the-counter (OTC) Securities Exchange recorded a 0.06 per cent appreciation on Tuesday, January 31, spurred by higher buying interests.

In the session, the bourse, which admits unlisted securities, saw improvement in the prices of Niger Delta Exploration and Production (NDEP) Plc and Geo Fluids Plc.

NDEP Plc gained N13.00 yesterday to sell at N200.00 per unit versus Monday’s closing price of N187.00 per unit, while Geo-Fluids grew by 6 Kobo to settle at N1.04 per share compared with the previous day’s 98 Kobo per share.

The gains reported by the duo reined in on the N1.07 loss posted by FrieslandCampina Wamco Nigeria Plc, as it closed at N65.00 per unit, in contrast to the preceding session’s N66.07 per unit.

As a result, the market capitalisation of the OTC bourse appreciated yesterday by N520 million to N932.15 billion from N931.63 billion, and the NASD Unlisted Securities Index (NSI) swelled by 0.40 points to 709.39 points from the 708.99 points reported on Monday.

Tuesday’s market data revealed that there was a jump in units of securities exchanged as investors bought 20.4 million units of stocks which is 531.2 per cent higher than the 3.2 million units traded previously.

However, the value of securities traded amounted to N29.5 million, 15.3 per cent lower than the N4.9 million achieved a day earlier, as the number of deals went down by 17.7 per cent to 14 deals from 17 deals.

Geo-Fluids Plc remained the most traded stock by volume on a year-to-date basis for selling 321.2 million units worth N317.2 million, UBN Property Plc stood in second place with 35.7 million units valued at N25.7 million, while FrieslandCampina Wamco Nigeria Plc was in third place with 2.0 million units valued at N133.0 million.

Also, Geo-Fluids Plc was the most traded stock by value on a year-to-date basis with a turnover of 321.2 million units valued at N317.2 million, VFD Group slid to second with 561,810 units sold for N137.0 million, while FrieslandCampina Wamco Group Plc was in third place with 2.0 units valued at N133.0 million.

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Economy

Tinubu Lambasts Buhari Over Fall in Naira Value at Forex Market

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Tinubu Buhari fall in Naira

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

The presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the February 25, 2023, election, Mr Bola Tinubu, has again criticised President Muhammadu Buhari for weakening the Naira in the foreign exchange (FX) market.

Speaking on Tuesday in Cross River State for his campaign, the former Governor of Lagos State said Mr Buhari’s administration had bastardised the Naira’s value from N200 to a Dollar he met the rate in 2015 to nearly N800/$1 at the moment in the parallel market.

“They (the government of Mr Buhari) moved the exchange rate from N200 to N800 (in the black market).

“If they had repaired it, if they have arrested this, we won’t be where we are today. We will have been greater.

“They don’t know the way, they don’t know how to think, they don’t know how to do [it],” Mr Tinubu, who clinched the party’s ticket for the exercise, said.

This is not the first time the seasoned politician has slammed President Buhari openly.

Recall that a few days before the APC presidential primary in Abuja, he claimed to have helped Mr Buhari chase the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from Aso Rock in 2015 after past attempts without success.

He said this in Abeokuta, Ogun State, where he also returned to some days ago to accuse the government of working to frustrate his success at the polls later this month through anti-people policies.

“We will use our PVCs to take over government from them. If they like, let them create a fuel crisis; even if they say there is no fuel, we will trek to vote.

“They are full of mischief, they could say there is no fuel. They have been scheming to create a fuel crisis but forget about it. Relax, I, Asiwaju, have told you that the issue of fuel supply will be permanently addressed,” he said at the campaign rally.

“Whoever wants to eat the honey embedded in a mountain won’t worry about the axe. Is that not so? And if you want to eat palm kernel, you would bring a stone and use it to break it; then the kernel will come out. It’s not easy to…

“Let them increase the price of fuel, let them continue to hoard fuel, only them know where they have hoarded fuel, they hoarded money, they hoarded naira; we will go and vote, and we will win even if they changed the ink on Naira notes. Whatever their plans, it will come to nought,” he said.

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