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Yobe Invests N3.5bn in Rehabilitation, Upgrade of Seven Schools

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  • Yobe Invests N3.5bn in Rehabilitation, Upgrade of Seven Schools

Governor of Yobe State, Alhaji Ibrahim Gaidam, says the state has spent N3.5 billion in the renovation, rehabilitation and upgrade of seven secondary schools in the state.

Gaidam disclosed this in Abuja on Thursday, when Star Deepwater Petroleum Limited, a Chevron Company, and its partners in the Agbami oil field project, donated a fully-equipped science laboratory complex to Government Secondary School, Damaturu, Yobe State.

He said the rehabilitation was a bid to reverse the devastation inflicted by Boko Haram insurgents on the education sector in the state.

Speaking during the handover of the science laboratory, Gaidam, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Baba Wali, identified the seven schools that were renovated, rehabilitated and provided with furniture and science laboratory equipment.

They include Government Girls Secondary School, GGSS, Nguru; and Government Secondary School, GSS, Fika.

Others are GSS Gwio-Kura; GSS Yunusari; GSS Nangere, Government Girls College, Damaturu and GSS Damaturu.

Gaidam said the state had accorded the education and health sectors top most priority, considering their strategic role in nation building and as indispensable tools for achieving excellence in improving the living condition of the people.

He noted that his administration has transformed the educational infrastructure in the state through improved teaching and learning in the primary, secondary and tertiary education.

“The huge expenditure in education is a deliberate initiative to bring quality education within the reach of all Yobe State students as well as reverse the devastation inflicted by the Boko Haram insurgents on the education sector,’ he explained.

In addition, the governor disclosed that the Chevron and its Agbami parties had proposed to construct four additional science laboratory complexes at GSS Fika, Potiskum; Government College, Nguru; Government Science and Technical College, Geidam and Government Girls College Damaturu.

Other projects on the radar of the parties, he said, included the construction of maternal and child clinics at General Hospital, Fika, Yobe State.

Also, Director of Star Deepwater, Mr. Richard Kennedy, said the project represented the resolve of the Agbami parties to improve the availability and affordability of quality education to Nigerians.

Kennedy, who was represented by Manager, Policy, Government and Public Affairs of Chevron, Mr. Mike Kabi, noted that the laboratory was expected to impacted positively on the students, providing them up-to-date science laboratory equipment for undertaking experiments and for writing their examinations.

He added that the Agbami partners had executed a number of projects in Yobe state and in other states across the country, in the area of health, education and other social intervention projects.

He said, “It is worthy o f note that the Agbami parties have also implemented other projects in the past in Yobe State in education. Forty-six Yobe state indigenes have benefitted from Agbami Medical and Engineering professional Scholarships (AMEPS) since 2013.

“We have several other projects across the country, weeither ongoing or completed. The projects, mainly libraries, chest clinics science laboratories, model classroom blocks and mother and child centers, constitute an aspect of the strategic intervention plan of the Agbami parties in promoting better life for Nigerians.”

Kennedy further stated that since the commissioning of the Agbami field, the Yobe laboratory project made it the 34 science laboratories completed and donated by the parties since the field was commissioned, noting that additional two laboratories would be completed within the year.

He added that six hybrid and conventional libraries, as well as 25 chest clinics, with additional three to be completed this year, to different states of the federation including the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

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.

Government

NHIS Moves To Recover N10B From Heritage Bank and N11B Trapped In The Federation Account

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NHIS Moves To Recover N10B From Heritage Bank and N11B Trapped In The Federation Account

The National Health Insurance Scheme is making efforts to recover some missing funds estimated at about N27bn, Prof. Mohammed Sambo, the Executive Secretary of the scheme revealed.

While expressing optimism that the NHIS Amendment Bill pending before the National Assembly for passage would change the face of health insurance in the country, he said a review of the NHIS Act would allow the agency to enroll more Nigerians.

Sambo stated these in the progress report of the NHIS which he presented after a management meeting in Kaduna.

Sambo said, “We have about N11bn trapped in the Federation Account since 2014. We have been meeting with the Minister of Finance to see how to get it back. Also, we have been pursuing another N10bn lodged in Heritage Bank and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has been helping us to recover it.

“When there was COVID-19, N6bn was taken from the NHIS account without notice. So, we are working on recovering those resources and we have agreed at the level of management that a proportion of the money recovered will be put on strategic investment”.

The NHIS CEO also spoke on the progress made in improving the subscription for the insurance scheme, saying over 10 million Nigerians had now subscribed for it.

According to him, while about 10,269,996 enrolled into the scheme as of last Friday, the NHIS has been able to save money from its cost-saving reforms.

Sambo said, “The population of Nigerians that have enrolled in the health insurance scheme has risen to 10,269,996 from 6 million earlier reported by the National Demographic Health Survey”.

Sambo explained that as part of strategies to increase its subscriber base, NHIS has mapped the entire segments of the Nigerian population, including the Nigerian Youth Service Corps (NYSC).

The NHIS boss said: “We have mapped the population, and we are engaging the management of the NYSC to ensure that they are covered in the framework of the national health insurance scheme. You know that there was a presidential directive in the past that all NYSC members should be covered by the scheme, but due to budgetary constraints, it was not implemented”.

He stated that contrary to insinuation that NHIS has not been able to achieve much in terms of teaching universal health insurance for all in the last 20 years, “the major impediment is the law limiting its utilisation”.

Sambo said the best way to fund health insurance is by pooling resources through mass enrolling in the health insurance scheme at all levels.

The executive secretary said while appreciable progress is being made at the federal level, not much is happening in the state and local government areas in terms of enrolment into state health insurance scheme.

He disclosed that one of the recent decisions taken by the management is to ensure NHIS is fully automated to achieve seamless operations.

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COVID-19 Vaccine: African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) to Purchase 270 Million Doses for Nigeria, Other African Nations

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African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) Approves $2 Billion for the Purchase of 270 million Doses for African Nations

African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) said it has approved $2 billion for the purchase of 270 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines for African nations, including Nigeria.

Prof. Benedict Oramah, the President of the Bank, disclosed this at a virtual Africa Soft Power Series held on Tuesday.

He, however, stated that the lender is looking to raise more funds for the COVID-19 vaccines’ acquisition.

He said: “The African Union knows that unless you put the virus away, your economy can’t come back. If Africa didn’t do anything, it would become a COVID-19 continent when other parts of the world have already moved on.
“Recall that it took seven years during the heat of HIV for them to come to Africa after 12 million people had died.

“With the assistance of the AU, we were able to get 270 million vaccines and financing need of about $2 billion. Afreximbank then went ahead to secure the $2 billion. But that money for the 270 million doses could only add 15 per cent to the 20 per cent that Covax was bringing.

He added that this is not the time to wait for handouts or free vaccines as other countries will naturally sort themselves out before African nations.

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China Calls for Better China-U.S. Relations

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China Calls for China-U.S. Relations

Senior Chinese diplomat Wang Yi said on Monday the United States and China could work together on issues like climate change and the coronavirus pandemic if they repaired their damaged bilateral relationship.

Wang, a Chinese state councillor and foreign minister, said Beijing stood ready to reopen constructive dialogue with Washington after relations between the two countries sank to their lowest in decades under former president Donald Trump.

Wang called on Washington to remove tariffs on Chinese goods and abandon what he said was an irrational suppression of the Chinese tech sector, steps he said would create the “necessary conditions” for cooperation.

Before Wang spoke at a forum sponsored by the foreign ministry, officials played footage of the “ping-pong diplomacy” of 1972 when an exchange of table tennis players cleared the way for then U.S. President Richard Nixon to visit China.

Wang, a Chinese state councillor and foreign minister, said Beijing stood ready to reopen constructive dialogue with Washington after relations between the two countries sank to their lowest in decades under former president Donald Trump.

Wang called on Washington to remove tariffs on Chinese goods and abandon what he said was an irrational suppression of the Chinese tech sector, steps he said would create the “necessary conditions” for cooperation.

Before Wang spoke at a forum sponsored by the foreign ministry, officials played footage of the “ping-pong diplomacy” of 1972 when an exchange of table tennis players cleared the way for then U.S. President Richard Nixon to visit China.

Wang urged Washington to respect China’s core interests, stop “smearing” the ruling Communist Party, stop interfering in Beijing’s internal affairs and stop “conniving” with separatist forces for Taiwan’s independence.

“Over the past few years, the United States basically cut off bilateral dialogue at all levels,” Wang said in prepared remarks translated into English.

“We stand ready to have candid communication with the U.S. side, and engage in dialogues aimed at solving problems.”

Wang pointed to a recent call between Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Joe Biden as a positive step.

Washington and Beijing have clashed on multiple fronts including trade, accusations of human rights crimes against the Uighur Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region and Beijing’s territorial claims in the resources-rich South China Sea.

The Biden administration has, however, signalled it will maintain pressure on Beijing. Biden has voiced concern about Beijing’s “coercive and unfair” trade practices and endorsed of a Trump administration determination that China has committed genocide in Xinjiang.

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