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CBN Disbursed N85bn Credit Support to 80 Health Projects- Director Yila Yusuf

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The CBN says it has disbursed over N85 billion to no fewer than 80 projects, under its Healthcare Credit Support scheme, the bank’s Director of Development Finance, Mr. Yila Yusuf, has announced.

In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday, in Abuja, Mr. Yusuf said that the projects cut across medical, pharmaceutical, herbal and other related products, and a funeral home.

He spoke against the backdrop of the apex bank’s award of N253.54 million Healthcare Sector Research and Development Intervention Scheme (HSRDIS) grants to five researchers on Tuesday.

“In the healthcare credit support scheme, we have disbursed over N85 billion to more than 80 projects, mainly to reposition and enhance the capacity of hospitals and pharmaceutical companies. We even financed a funeral home,’’ he said.

He said under the HSRDIS, an impaneled body of experts, chaired by Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, Director General of National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), received over 200 research entries, evaluated 68 and picked the best five entries for the grants.

He added that more grants would be awarded, as entries continued to be evaluated, while the grants were being disbursed on a “milestone basis’’, rather than as a “bullet payment”.

“Mr. Godwin Emefiele, the CBN Governor, has restated the apex bank’s commitment to supporting the growth of Nigeria’s health sector while assuring that more grants will be awarded based on the recommendations of the Body of Experts,” Yusuf said.

He urged corporate organisations to support research and development for the overall good of Nigeria.

NAN reports that the CBN approved an N100 billion credit support scheme for the healthcare sector in 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Africanews, Part of the Euronews Group, Celebrates its Fifth Anniversary

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Africanews, part of the Euronews group, will celebrate its fifth anniversary on 20th April 2021. To mark the event, the pan-African news channel will offer special coverage from 19th April to 9th May and will launch a new brand campaign.

The special coverage will look back at what has happened in Africa in the last five years, how the continent is rising today to the challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as what perspectives, hopes and aspirations people in Africa have for the next five years.

High-profile interviews of voices shaping the African continent in various sectors such as the economy, culture, health, sport, diplomacy, or tech will air daily. These will include Haweya Mohamed, the Franco Somali co-founder of tech company Afrobytes, Samuel Eto’o, Cameroonian international football player, Carlos Lopes, High Representative of the Commission of the African Union, Femi Kuti, Nigerian Musician, son of Fela Kuti, creator of Afrobeat, Phumla Williams, Director-General of the South African Government Communication and Information Systems department in charge of the Covid-19 strategy, Angélique Kidjo, the Grammy award winner singer from Benin, and Didier Drogba, international football player from the Ivory Coast.

Special editions of ‘Morning Call’, presented by Laetitia Lago and ‘Night Shift’, presented by award-winning Nigerian journalist Jerry Fisayo Bambi, will air on 20th April to look back on five years of Africanews. That week, the channel will also air special “fifth anniversary” editions of its flagship shows ‘Business Africa’ and ‘Inspire Africa’, which bring a unique perspective to developments of the continent across economic, cultural and business and entrepreneurial initiatives.

Michael Peters, Euronews and Africanews CEO, said: “We are proud of all that Africanews has achieved in the last five years, it has grown its audience reach and has become a recognisable brand with a unique positioning as an independent unbiased multilingual media made for Africa. Today, Africanews is distributed in over 35 million homes and over 40 countries in Africa, but also in the UK and the USA. Almost half of Africans are aware of Africanews[1]. Audiences are steadily increasing both on TV and digital platforms: Africanews’ social media channels boast 1 million followers/ subscribers and page views on its website & app have increased by over 100% in the last six months alone. We look forward to growing further Africanews’ offer and reach in the next five years.”

Alongside the editorial coverage, Africanews will launch a brand campaign under the tagline “Proud to make your voice heard”, aiming to reinforce Africanews’ mission to cover and amplify the diversity of African voices, to connect Africans with the continent and the rest of the world. The campaign will run across various supports: digital, print, OOH. Content will also appear on partner platforms as well as on Africanews’ owned and operated platforms.

Jerry Fisayo Bambi, Africanews presenter, said: “Today, more than ever, Africanews strives to make African voices heard, through our news bulletins and shows like ‘Inspire Africa’ which I host. Our diversity, and commitment to telling African stories through fact-based impartial journalism, and our increasing reach across the continent sets us apart. I can’t wait to see what we will achieve in the next five years.”

Africanews is the only independent international multilingual news channel made for Africa. Launched in 2016, Africanews reports breaking news from the ground and delivers unbiased reporting. Africanews is available 24/7, both on TV and on digital platforms, in French and in English. With a team of 50 correspondents representing the diversity of Africa, Africanews showcases all the voices shaping the future of the continent.

Both Euronews and Africanews are widely distributed in Africa and beyond. With a combined reach of more than 50% of upscale Africans across the continent, the Euronews group’s commercial team works with brands across the African continent, developing advertising, sponsorship, branded content and specialist events to engage with this affluent and influential audience.

Marianne Michelet, Commercial Director for Africa at the Euronews group, said: “Our direct sales teams and our partners at DSTV in South Africa, work with brands and governments from across the continent, including the likes of Brand South Africa, MTN, Vodacom, African Development Bank and OCP as well as international brands from around the world who are seeking to target this highly attractive and growing audience, recent partners include Orange, Novartis, DP World and many more.”

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Sport Business

FA Cup Semi-Finals, Copa del Rey Final Live on StarTimes

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Real Madrid's Portuguese forward Cristia

Top-flight European football awaits sports fans this weekend on StarTimes.  

Barcelona will seek their first glory this season as they battle Athletic Club in the Copa del Rey final on Saturday at 8:30 pm

The FA Cup semi-final clash between Tuchel’s Chelsea and Guardiola’s Manchester City will take place Saturday in Wembley at 5:30 pm. Leicester City will face Southampton on Sunday at 6:30 pm.

All matches will be aired live and in HD on StarTimes World Football Channel, currently sitting on its Basic for N1700 monthly and Smart Bouquet for N2200 monthly.

Tuchel has been a perennial trophy-winner with PSG and last season won the double with the club from the French capital.

Like Tuchel, his Manchester City counterpart, Pep Guardiola has made winning trophies his business. He seems on track to win his third league title with the club this season and would love to emulate the 2018/19 season, when they won the double.

Guardiola has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to team-selection, with Ilkay Gündogan and Portuguese centre back Ruben Dias arguably being the stand-out players for the side in the last few weeks.

Despite being a midfielder, Gündogan is the club’s top scorer this season so far and Chelsea will be hard-pressed to keep the German international at bay.

Sunday’s semi-final sees Leicester City take on Southampton and like the Chelsea v Manchester City game, the match will be played at Wembley.

The biggest problem Leicester face is that they are very dependent on the goals of Jamie Vardy and Kelechi Iheanacho, and if the two fail to score, Leicester struggle to win.

For Southampton, appearing in the semi-final is presumably, already a huge success, especially as they had to beat Arsenal to get there.

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Education

FEC Approves N532m For UI Library Extension

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The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved N532 million for the construction and furnishing of the University of Ibadan library extension.

Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture, briefed State House correspondents after the virtual FEC meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Wednesday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

“The Minister of Education also presented a memo for the award of contract for the construction and furnishing of the extension of the University of Ibadan library.

“The memo, which was approved, is at the cost of N532 million with a completion period of 48 weeks,’’ the minister said.

Mohammed hinted that the memo was well received because of the need to extend the library facility in the university.

He said that for many years, the library had needed real extension, given the surge in the students’ population.

According to him, the extension project will comprise two suspended floors, two online reading areas and three cubicles,

It will also include one physically challenged reading area, four seminar rooms and one reprographic unit.

Other facilities are six staff offices, one control room, a general room, stores, four e-libraries, a coffee room, a technical service room, a media unit room, one galaxy/exhibition room and a journal publication unit, in addition to two reading areas.

“The contract was awarded to the UYK Nigeria limited and it is to be delivered in 48 weeks,’’ Mohammed said.

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