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WHO Picks Prof Tomori as Technical Advisor on COVID-19

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Prof Tomori

By Ashemiriogwa Emmanuel

The World Health Organization (WHO) has appointed Professor Oyewale Tomori, a Nigerian professor of virology, to serve as a member of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Technical Advisory Group on COVID-19 vaccine composition.

Prof Tomori, who is also the former Vice-Chancellor of the Redeemer’s University, Ede, will now become one of the experts who will periodically review the evidence and analyse the implications of emerging variants of concerns on the performance of COVID-19 vaccines.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the organization explained that one of the importance of the group is to make recommendations to WHO based on methods to assess the impact of each of the four variants or emerging variants of concern on vaccines.

This has become very crucial given the mutations that are producing different strains and variants of the coronavirus, from the Alpha Variant, the Beta, Gamma, and the recently discovered Delta Variant.

According to the published statement by WHO, “During those global consultations, the WHO and partners have noted the urgent needs for shared access to information, coordination, and prioritisation, as well as joint action and supported the call for the development of a global risk monitoring and assessment framework that elaborates decision-making processes, triggers for such decision making, and stakeholder roles and responsibilities.”

It was noted that the group is to make recommendations to WHO on the methods to assess the impact of the variants of concerns on vaccines and provide interpretation of available evidence on the effect of variants of concerns on vaccines.

Other experts on the team include an advisor at the Department of Disease Control, Ministry of Public Health Thailand, Dr Supamit Chunsuttiwat; a professor in epidemiology at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa, Cheryl Cohen; a member of the Scientific Steering Committee for the WHO Solidarity COVID-19 Vaccines Trial, Mr Thomas Fleming.

Others include David Goldblatt, who is a Professor of Vaccinology and Immunology, as well as Dr Ziad Memish, a Senior Infectious Disease Consultant.

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Jobs/Appointments

Finance Minister Suspends Ahmed Idris for Unhindered Investigation

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suspend Ahmed Idris

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

To allow for a “proper and unhindered investigation,” the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, has suspended the embattled Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), Mr Ahmed Idris.

Mr Idris was asked to stay from office over his arrest by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday for an alleged N80 billion fraud.

In a statement issued on Monday, the EFCC claimed that the AGF failed to honour invitations sent to him to explain what he knows about the matter, prompting his arrest.

According to the agency, Mr Idris committed the alleged act by taking “funds through bogus consultancies and other illegal activities using proxies, family members and close associates.”

“The funds were laundered through real estate investments in Kano and Abuja,” the statement further stated.

The arrest of the nation’s chief accountant has generated reactions from various quarters, prompting the Minister to suspend him on Wednesday.

In a letter confirming the suspension today, the Minister said the AGF is not expected to have any contact official in his office except for any disciplinary hearing that may be advised and will not receive any salary while on suspension.

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Osita Chidoka Leaves Guinea Insurance Board

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Osita Chidoka

By Dipo Olowookere

Former Minister of Aviation, Mr Osita Chidoka, has resigned from the board of Guinea Insurance Plc to concentrate on his private matters.

A statement signed by the company secretary, Ms Chinneye Nwankwo, disclosed that the politician, who was once the Corps Marshal and Chief Executive of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), served on the board as a non-executive.

During his time on the board, he contributed immensely to the growth of the underwriting company and the team appreciated him for this.

In the notice, Guinea Insurance wished the member of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) well in his future endeavours.

“Guinea Insurance Plc wishes to inform the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX), its esteemed shareholders and the general public of the resignation of Mr Osita Chidoka from the board of directors of the company.

“The resignation of Mr Chidoka is to enable him more time to pursue his private business. The board recognized his immense contributions, selfless service and commitment to the progress of the company and wished him success in his future endeavours,” the disclosure stated.

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Goyal, Pule Join Advisory Board of Sabi

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Sabi B2B marketplace

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

The founder of Africa Lighthouse Capital, Bame Pule; and the Head of M&A at Udaan, India, Sapna Goyal have been appointed to the advisory board of Sabi, a leading B2B marketplace serving Africa’s informal economy.

The duo will work with the company and bolster its network and knowledge to help improve the infrastructure for informal business.

According to the co-founder/CEO of Sabi, Anu Adasolum, the two highly talented and strategic business leaders will bring fresh insights and perspectives to the board.

“Their expertise and track record in driving value will be critical for Sabi in our quest to serve the informal economy. We look forward to working together as we maintain our exceptional growth,” Adasolum stated.

Bame Pule established an independent Mauritius-based private equity firm founded in 2012 to invest in and nurture businesses into African champions.

The firm has a particular focus on helping investee companies adopt global best practices regardless of sector, attain benchmarks equivalent to those of global peers, and expand into multiple key African markets.

Prior to founding Africa Lighthouse Capital, Mr Pule worked at Actis Capital, ShoreView Capital, Goldman Sachs in New York, Credit Suisse in New York and Salomon Brothers/Citigroup in Los Angeles.

He pursued bachelor’s degrees in Economics and Political Science (double major) from Pomona College in Claremont, California and was awarded the Pomona Scholar prize for superior academic achievement in 1997 and 1999. Mr Pule also pursued a master’s in business administration (MBA) degree from Harvard Business School in Boston, Massachusetts.

On her part, Sapna has investing experience in early and growth stage internet start-ups in India. Before joining udaan, she worked with Goldman Sachs Investment Partners (GSIP) VC & Growth Equity Fund by being responsible for investments in the Indian internet space.

She also has investing experience in Indian Public Markets as part of a hedge fund at GS. She is passionate about the change internet can bring to India and how it is a great leveller. She is an active angel investor.

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