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Drug Scarcity Hits Aso Rock Clinic Despite N3.87bn Budget

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Despite the N3.87bn allocated to it in the 2016 Appropriation Act, lack of drugs and other essential medical items have crippled operations at the State House Medical Centre.

The centre provides medical services to the President, Vice-President and their families, aides, members of staff of the State House and other entitled public servants.

It is also a training facility for house officers and other medical personnel.

 Investigations by our correspondent showed that the centre located in Asokoro, a highbrow area of the Federal Capital Territory, is gradually becoming a shadow of its old self.

A cross-section of the centre’s patients said that patients were now being asked to go and buy drugs from outside as they were no longer available in the centre.

Most hit, it was further learnt, are patients with kidney problems who are currently undergoing dialysis in the facility.

Although, some of them are expected to be undergoing the dialysis at least twice a week, the centre’s management has been cancelling such exercise lately, therefore putting the lives of the patients at risk.

In some instances when they attend to them, the patients are made to come with some of the items the doctors will use for the exercise.

Our correspondent learnt that the centre’s management had resorted to sending text messages to patients on items they should bring for their treatment.

In one of such messages sent to a patient, the management wrote, “Mr. XXX (names withheld), when u (sic) are coming for dialysis on Monday, buy IVF Normal Saline to be used for ur (sic) dialysis. The office doesn’t  have it. Buy like four pieces.”

Normal Saline IVF solution is used in the treatment, control, prevention and improvement of conditions such as low sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium levels as well as blood and fluid loss.

It improves the patients’ condition by maintaining proper fluid balance and keeping the tissues hydrated.

Another patient who spoke with our correspondent said he had a crisis recently because the centre cancelled his routine dialysis.

He said the centre’s management cancelled the session because of non-availability of bloodline.

He showed our correspondent a message sent to him on the cancellation.

The message read, “Gudevening (sic), we can’t dialize (sic) you tomorrow because we don’t have bloodline. When it is available, I will get back to you. Pls (sic) dialyse (sic) somewhere else. Thanks.”

The patient said the first time the session was cancelled, he was referred to a private hospital in Garki where he paid N20,000.

He added that when he could not afford the cost the second time, he was directed to another hospital in Wuse.

“As a result of the stress I passed through, by the time I returned home, I was very weak. My health situation deteriorated midnight and my people rushed me to the hospital. I was discharged about three days after,” he said.

Many other patients who spoke with our correspondent said the medical centre could no longer boast of “ordinary malaria drugs.”

“The clinic does not even have ordinary paracetamol. Paracetamol was included in the list of drugs they asked me to go and buy recently. Before now, they were giving us drugs.” another patient said.

The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, did not pick his calls when our correspondent attempted to get his reaction on Tuesday.

He also did not respond to a text message sent to him on the issue.

The Permanent Secretary, State House, Alhaji Jalal Arabi, had while defending the State House’s budget before the Senate Committee on Federal Character and Inter-governmental Affairs, and members of the House of Representatives Committee on Special Duties disclosed that N3.2bn of the budget was earmarked for the upgrade of State House Clinic to a Centre of Excellence.

Arabi had said, “The budget for the State House Medical Centre included N3.219bn proposed for the completion of ongoing work as well as procurement of drugs and other medical equipment.

“The Medical Centre provides health care treatment for the President and Vice-President, their families as well as numerous civil servants working in the State House and across the Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government and of course, with due respect, including parliamentarians and members of the legislature in addition to other notable dignitaries.

“Interestingly, Mr. Chairman, on a lighter note, not only those that have been captured here attend (the Medical Centre) there are poor of the poorest that attend because we receive reference from Gwagwalada, Garki, Wuse hospitals.

“So, if they come, we attend to them and interestingly too at no fee at all, we don’t charge.

“The anticipated improvement of the Medical Centre will propel it to serve as a Centre of Excellence and also reduce medical tourism.

“May I also add that the State House Medical Centre, unlike other medical centres does not charge any fees for its services and hence does not generate any revenue for itself.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Markets

SEC To Ban Unregistered CMOs From Operating By Month End

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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) says it will stop operations of Capital Market Operators (CMOs) that are yet to renew their registration on May 31, 2021.

This was contained in a circular signed by the management of SEC in Abuja on Monday.

On March 23, SEC had informed the general public and CMOs on the reintroduction of the periodic renewal of registration by operators.

The commission noted that the reintroduction of the registration renewal was due to the need to have a reliable data bank of all the CMOs registered and active in the country’s capital market.

“To provide updated information on operators in the Nigerian Capital Market for reference and other official purposes by local and foreign investors, other regulatory agencies and the general public, to increasingly reduce incidences of unethical practices by CMOs such as may affect investors’ confidence and impact negatively on the Nigerian Capital Market and to strengthen supervision and monitoring of CMOs by the Commission,” SEC explained.

According to the circular, the commission said CMOs yet to renew their registration at the expiration of late filing on May 31, would not be eligible to operate in the capital market.

It explained that CMOs were required to have completed the renewal process on or before April 30, however, the commission said late filing for renewal of registration would only be entertained from May 1 to May 31.

SEC also said that asides from barring the CMOs who failed to comply accordingly, their names would be published on its website and national dailies.

It added that names of eligible CMOs would be communicated to the relevant securities exchanges and trade associations.

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A Threat to Revenue As Nigeria’s Largest Importer of Crude, India slash Imports By $39.5B

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Nigeria’s revenue earning capacity has come under threat following the reduction of importation of crude oil by India.

India, Nigeria’s largest crude oil importer, reduced crude oil imports by $39.5bn in April, compared to the same time the previous year, data from India’s Petroleum Planning & Analysis Cell showed.

According to the Indian High Commission in Nigeria, India’s crude oil imports from Nigeria in 2020 amounted to $10.03bn.

This represented 17 percent of Nigeria’s total crude exports for the year according to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, as quoted by OilPrice.com.

As Nigeria’s largest importer of crude oil, lockdowns in India’s major cities from the COVID-19 surge in April had ripple effects on Nigeria’s oil sales.

The NNPC was prompted to drop the official standard price of its main export streams, Bonny Light, Brass River, Erha, and Qua Iboe, by 61-62 cents per barrel below its April 2021 prices. They traded at $0.9, $0.8, $0.65, $0.97 per barrel respectively, below dated Brent, the international benchmark, as Oilprice.com showed.

India had been buying the not-too-light and not-too-heavy Nigerian crudes that suited its refiners.

Reuters reported that the Indian Oil Corporation’s owned refineries were operating at 95 percent capacity in April, down from 100 percent at the same time the previous month.

An official at the IOC was quoted as saying, “If cases continue to rise and curbs are intensified, we may see cuts in refinery runs and lower demand after a month.” Hundreds of seafarers risked being stuck at sea beyond the expiry of their contracts, a large independent crude ship owner reportedly told Bloomberg.

India reportedly bought more American and Canadian oil at the expense of Africa and the Middle East, reducing purchases from members of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to around 2.86 million barrels per day.

This squeezed the group’s share of imports to 72 percent from around 80 percent previously, as India’s refiners were diversifying purchases to boost margins, according to Reuters.

India also plans to increase local crude oil production and reduce import expenses as its population swells, according to Bloomberg.

A deregulation plan by the Narendra Modi-led government to boost national production to 40 million tonnes of crude oil by 2023/2024, an increase of almost eight million tonnes, had already been initiated.

According to Business Today, an Indian paper, the country currently imports 82 percent of its oil needs, which amounted to $87bn in 2019.

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Energy

Invest Africa and DLA Piper Partner to Support ESG Best Practice in African Renewable Energy Projects

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Invest Africa - Investors King

The global law firm, DLA Piper, has partnered with Invest Africa, the leading trade and investment platform for African markets, to support the development of ESG best practice in African renewable energy projects.

Clear Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) targets and measurements have become an increasingly important part of fundraising as investors seek to align their portfolios with sustainable growth. For a continent boasting ample natural resources, this presents a significant opportunity for Africa’s green energy sector. However, renewable does not always equal sustainable and developing and articulating ESG metrics can pose a significant challenge to projects as they prepare investment rounds.

The project will assemble experts from the worlds of impact investment, development finance and law. Across a series of online meetings, participants will discuss strategies to improve ESG practices in African renewable projects from both a fundraising and operational perspective.

Amongst those speaking in the inaugural session on Thursday 13th May are Cathy Oxby, Chief Commercial Officer, Africa GreencoDr. Valeria Biurrun-Zaumm, Senior Investment Manager, DEGOrli Arav, Managing Director – Facility For Energy Inclusion (FEI) – Lion’s Head Global PartnersBeatrice Nyabira, Partner, DLA Piper Africa, Kenya (IKM Advocates) and Natasha Luther-Jones, Partner, Global Co-Chair of Energy and Natural Resources, International Co-Head, Sustainability and ESG, DLA Piper.

Veronica Bolton-Smith, COO of Invest Africa said, “Africa is particularly vulnerable to the impact of climate change despite contributing very little to global emissions. As the price of renewables fall, they will form an ever more important part of Africa’s electrification. In this context, it is essential that projects be given the tools to apply best practice in ESG not only from an environmental perspective but also in terms of good governance, fair working conditions and contribution to social inclusion. I look forward to working closely with DLA Piper on this important topic.”

Natasha Luther-Jones, Global Co-Chair Energy and Natural Resources and International Co-Head Sustainability and ESG at DLA Piper also commented, “Climate change is one of the biggest challenges companies, and people, face today and when we look at its reduction – whether that be in how we power our devices, what we eat or how we dress, where we live or how we work – all roads come back to the need to increase the amount of accessible, and affordable, clean energy. However, renewable energy companies are not automatically sustainable as sustainability is a focus on all ESG factors, not just environmental. We know the need for renewable energy is only going to continue to rise, and therefore so will the number and size of renewable energy companies. The additional challenge is to make sure they are truly sustainable organisations and that’s what we’re excited about discussing during the webinar.”

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