Connect with us

News

FG Expecting 29.8M Doses of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine 

Published

on

COVID-19 Vaccine - Investors King

The Nigerian government says it expects to receive about 29.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 vaccines.

The Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Faisal Shuaib, made this known during a briefing of the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19 on Monday.

“The federal government has signed off to receive up to 29.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines through the African Union platform,” Mr Shuaib said.

He said Nigeria is also expecting more vaccines through the COVAX facility by the end of May or early June.

He said by then, the country would have completed the process of administering the second dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines to vaccinated people.

Having received 3.94 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines in early March, Nigeria commenced vaccination beginning with healthcare workers. Over one million people have since been vaccinated.

Mr Shuaib further explained that the vaccination against COVID-19 is still ongoing in all states of the federation.

He said the country has vaccinated 1,175,285 eligible Nigerians as of April 26, 2021. This represents 58.4 per cent of people eligible to receive the vaccines, he said.

“Our collaboration with health officials and other stakeholders at the national, state, LGA and community level in the vaccination exercise has yielded substantial result,” he said.

He also noted that the country is aware of the global scarcity of COVID-19 vaccines due to high demands.

This, he said, will further affect the remaining phases of the vaccination campaign in the country.

“We are aware of the global scarcity of COVID-19 vaccines due to high demands especially in countries where vaccines are being produced,” he said.

“We therefore anticipate a delay in vaccine supply to Nigeria which may also affect and impact the remaining phases of the vaccination campaign.”

Due to limited doses of vaccine available, the Nigerian government recently directed states to halt vaccination once they use half of the doses allocated to them.

The Nigerian government had said it plans to vaccinate 109 million people against the COVID-19 virus over a period of two years.

Health authorities said only eligible population from 18 years and above will be vaccinated in four phases.

Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine

The J&J COVID-19 single-dose vaccine is compatible with standard vaccine storage and distribution channels with ease of delivery to remote areas.

The vaccine is estimated to remain stable for two years at -4°F (-20°C), and a maximum of three months at routine refrigeration at temperatures of 36-46°F (2 to 8°C).

Meanwhile, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently suspended administering the J&J vaccine over six reported cases of a “rare and severe” type of blood clot. The suspension was later reversed.

This six cases occurred among women aged 18 and 48, and symptoms occurred six to 13 days after vaccination, according to a joint statement on Tuesday from Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the CDC and Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research.

The suspension was, however, lifted but with a warning about the potential for extremely rare blood clots, the BBC reported.

European regulators this month also linked similar, highly unusual blood clots to the AstraZeneca COVID-19 shot, but found that the benefits of the drug outweighed any risks.

Continue Reading
Comments

Travel

High Altitude, Higher Prices: Domestic Airfares Jump 150%

Published

on

Arik Airplane - Investors King

Nigerian air travelers are reeling from a dramatic increase in domestic airfares with prices skyrocketing by 150% over the past year.

This surge has forced many passengers to reconsider their travel options, opting for road transport despite the risks involved.

Passengers like Dare Adepoju, who frequently commutes between Lagos and Abuja for business and family visits, have expressed frustration.

“It’s unsustainable,” he lamented. “With flights nearing N200,000 for just an hour, I’m exhausted.”

Social media is abuzz with similar sentiments. Akinloa Adejuwon tweeted about the tough choice between costly flights and unsafe roads, highlighting the dire situation many Nigerians face.

The fare increase is attributed to a limited number of operational aircraft. Airline Operators of Nigeria revealed that many planes are grounded due to maintenance needs and lack of access to foreign exchange for repairs.

The current situation sees airlines like Ibom Air and Air Peace charging up to N238,000 for a one-way ticket between major cities.

This price jump, from about N51,000 last year, reflects the severe challenges the industry faces.

Capt. Roland Iyayi, a senior member of the Airline Operators of Nigeria, pointed to the shortage of aircraft as a primary cause.

“Making forex available to airlines is crucial for resolving this crisis,” he stated.

As the industry grapples with these challenges, passengers continue to hope for relief. The aviation sector’s future hinges on addressing these issues, ensuring safe and affordable travel for all Nigerians.

Continue Reading

Education

Southern States Skeptical as NELFund Disburses First Loans

Published

on

University - Investors King

The National Education Loan Fund (NELFund) officially launched on Wednesday, a significant step in providing financial aid to students across Nigeria.

However, the initiative faces skepticism, particularly from the southern states.

President Bola Tinubu inaugurated the first tranche of funds, amounting to N32 billion, aimed at empowering Nigerian youth and breaking financial barriers to education.

The NELFund portal has registered 164,000 students, with 103,000 applying for loans.

Despite the promising start, many southern states remain doubtful about the fund’s implementation.

Akintunde Sawyerr, NELFund’s Managing Director, acknowledged these concerns, citing data challenges in verifying indigent applicants as a primary hurdle.

Sawyerr highlighted the lack of comprehensive data needed for credit assessments. The fund relies on bank verification numbers (BVN), National Identification Numbers (NIN), and educational institution data to determine eligibility.

More applications have been received from northern states, where students have shown greater confidence in the fund.

Sawyerr pointed out that skepticism in the south might stem from uncertainty about the program’s viability.

NELFund offers two types of loans: educational fees paid directly to institutions and upkeep loans for student stipends.

The focus is currently on government-owned institutions to ensure a smooth rollout.

President Tinubu emphasized education as a critical tool against poverty and insecurity, linking the nation’s challenges to a lack of educational opportunities.

He reaffirmed his commitment to inclusive growth through education.

As NELFund continues its rollout, efforts to address data issues and regional skepticism will be crucial. By building trust and ensuring transparency, the program aims to support more students nationwide and foster a fairer society.

Continue Reading

Travel

UAE Lifts Visa Ban on Nigerians, Introduces N640,000 Non-Refundable Application Fee

Published

on

international-passport

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has officially lifted the visa ban imposed on Nigerian passport holders, effective July 15.

However, this positive move comes with a substantial caveat—a new non-refundable visa application fee of N640,000.

The announcement, made following bilateral discussions between Nigerian and UAE authorities, ends a prolonged period of restricted travel between the two nations due to diplomatic disputes and financial issues.

New Visa Regulations

Under the new guidelines set forth by the UAE government, Nigerian passport holders seeking to travel to the Emirates must adhere to several stringent requirements:

  1. Application Fee: Applicants are required to pay a non-refundable fee of N640,000 for visa processing. This fee represents a significant increase compared to the previous $100 fee before the ban.
  2. Document Verification Number (DVN): Before applying for a visa, applicants must obtain a Document Verification Number (DVN). This number is valid for only 14 days from issuance or until the visa application is processed, whichever comes first.
  3. Application Process: The application process for UAE visas remains stringent, emphasizing the importance of meeting all specified criteria to enhance the chances of approval.

Public Reaction and Outcry

The introduction of the N640,000 visa application fee has sparked widespread criticism and public outcry among Nigerians, particularly on social media platforms. Many have expressed their discontent, labeling the new fee as exorbitant and financially burdensome, especially in light of economic challenges facing the country.

Social media users have taken to various platforms to voice their concerns:

  • @firstladyship: “It is obvious the UAE don’t want Nigerians. They reluctantly unbanned the Nigerian passport, but slammed a hefty N640,000 on Nigerians. Guess what? The money is nonrefundable & has expiration date. This is see finish.”
  • @Peco3D: “This is just extortion in fine words. Shameless.”
  • @Comr_lucky1: “This is exploitation and shameful if allowed by Nigeria government.”

Government Response

Mohammed Idris, Minister of Information and National Orientation, announced the lifting of the visa ban and emphasized that Nigerian passport holders are now eligible to apply for visas to the UAE.

The government has acknowledged the concerns raised by citizens and assured them of continued engagement to address the issue.

Background

The UAE had imposed the visa ban on Nigeria approximately two years ago amid diplomatic tensions and financial disputes.

Efforts to resolve these issues included discussions and negotiations between the Nigerian and UAE governments, leading to the recent breakthrough in visa restrictions.

Despite the imposition of the N640,000 visa fee, the lifting of the ban represents a step forward in diplomatic relations between Nigeria and the UAE, potentially paving the way for enhanced bilateral cooperation and economic ties.

As Nigerian travelers navigate these new visa regulations, reactions continue to pour in, reflecting the broader impact of international relations on individual mobility and economic opportunities.

Continue Reading
Advertisement




Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending