The European Investment Bank, in close cooperation with the European Union, is planning to support large-scale investment by South Africa’s specialist human vaccine manufacturer Biovac to increase development and manufacturing of vaccines and enable a quicker response to future pandemics.
The EIB’s first support for vaccine investment in South Africa is expected to increase annual production capacity at Biovac’s Cape Town plant to 500 million doses, enable manufacturing of viral and bacterial targeted vaccines and strengthen resilience to future pandemics in Africa.
Agreements to prepare detailed feasibility studies, finance preparatory works and commission detailed designs of the expanded vaccine production facility, to be financed by EUR 15 million European Union grant support, have been concluded by Biovac, the European Union and European Investment Bank.
This is a key step to enable new investment at the Biovac facility in the coming years, expected to exceed EUR 175 million and backed by South African and international financing partners.
“Africa remains highly vulnerable to vaccine preventable diseases and to both the current COVID pandemic as well as future ones as well. Scaling up local vaccine development and manufacturing capacity is crucial to enable a quicker and more effective response to future health crises. The new EIB and EU support for feasibility studies and preparatory works will maximise the impact of large-scale investment at Biovac’s pioneering Cape Town plant and enable Africa to host a world-class international vaccine manufacturing facility. This is a key milestone in ensuring that that South Africa has the required vaccine manufacturing capacity to respond to both local and regional needs.” said Dr Morena Makhoana, Chief Executive Officer at Biovac
“We are excited for the support pledged by the European Investment Bank to BIOVAC. BIOVAC is listed as one of ISA’s critical Social Projects registered and approved into the ISA Pipeline. ISA is working closely with BIOVAC and the Western Cape Province to unlock an additional R260 million which will further aid in the expansion of Biovac as a Manufacturing Company for Africa. BIOVAC was also one of the projects highlighted at this years SA investment conference and is certainly a centre of excellence for vaccine manufacturing in Southern Africa” said Patricia De Lille, Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure of the Republic of South Africa.
“The European Investment Bank is working with experienced partners across Africa and around the world to improve health security and develop vaccines. The EIB is pleased to back preparation of large-scale investment by Biovac to transform Africa’s vaccine production capacity and strengthen resilience to future pandemics. The European Union’s grant support will accelerate technical and production preparations for future investment to enable 500 million doses a year to be produced by Biovac in South Africa ” said Ambroise Fayolle, European Investment Bank Vice President.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted both the importance of a rapid response to a pandemic and local vaccine production capabilities to ensure equitable access to vaccines. The European Union is pleased to support future investment by Biovac through an unprecedented early stage EUR 15 million grant support for project preparation and technical design, under the Infrastructure Investment Programme for South Africa. EU support for Biovac demonstrates how South African, European and international partners are joining forces to strengthen resilience to future pandemics in Africa,” said Dr. Riina Kionka, European Union Ambassador to South Africa.
Biovac is a bio-pharmaceutical company, based in Cape Town, that is the result of a partnership formed with the South African government in 2003 to establish local vaccine manufacturing capability for the provision of vaccines for national health management and security.
EIB support for vaccine production across Africa
The European Investment Bank is working with partners in South Africa, Senegal, Rwanda and Ghana to unlock large-scale investment to improve local vaccine development and production capacity to better respond to existing and future pandemics.
The European Investment Bank is the world’s largest international public bank, owned directly by the 27 European Union member states and has been active in Africa since 1965.
The EIB is increasing targeted support for health investment and has provided EUR 1.7 billon for health investment across the continent.
Since the pandemic EIB has provided more than EUR 8 billion for private and public investment across Africa.
Controversial Lagos Socialite Sam Larry Arrested in Connection with Mohbad’s Death
The Lagos State Police Command has confirmed the arrest of Balogun Eletu, popularly known as Sam Larry, a prominent Lagos socialite, in connection with the ongoing investigation into the tragic demise of Ilerioluwa Aloba, known as Mohbad, the late singer who passed away under mysterious circumstances.
Sam Larry’s arrest took place at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport on Thursday evening as he arrived from Kenya.
A police source, requesting anonymity due to a lack of authorization to speak on the matter, revealed that Sam Larry was promptly taken to the state police headquarters for questioning.
Sam Larry’s name has been in the spotlight since the demand for justice surrounding Mohbad’s untimely death gained momentum.
The arrest follows the police’s previous invitation of both Sam Larry and Mohbad’s former music label boss, Azeez Fashola, popularly known as Naira Marley, for questioning regarding the singer’s demise.
In a significant development, pathologists have recently completed the autopsy on Mohbad, with the police now awaiting the results.
This development followed the exhumation of Mohbad’s remains, conducted collaboratively by the Nigeria Police Force and health officials.
Also, the nurse who administered the injection to the late singer before his tragic passing on September 12 has also been arrested as part of the ongoing investigation.
As the investigation continues, the Lagos State Police Command is determined to unravel the circumstances surrounding Mohbad’s death and ensure justice is served.
Minister Betta Edu Vows to Overhaul NPower Program and Eradicate Poverty
Nigeria’s Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Betta Edu, has revealed a series of challenges plaguing the NPower program, vowing to overhaul the initiative to ensure it fulfills its mission of alleviating poverty for millions of Nigerians.
During the Arise TV interview, Minister Edu expressed her commitment to transforming the NPower program and addressing its longstanding issues.
She explained that the NPower payment list contains the names of individuals who should not be part of the program, revealing the gravity of the problems that her ministry is actively working to rectify.
“First of all, when we came onboard, we found lots of issues with the NPower program that made us re-engage the entire plan,” Edu stated. “One of the things was that there were persons registered on the NPower beyond the envelope that was provided for the program.”
The revelation of individuals beyond the program’s intended scope raises questions about the program’s effectiveness in targeting those most in need of assistance.
Edu further highlighted financial mismanagement as a critical issue affecting NPower beneficiaries. “Funds were released for payment for people under NPower, and they were not paid in a timely manner by the managers of the funds of the NPower beneficiaries,” she declared.
This mismanagement of funds not only hinders the program’s ability to provide timely support but also undermines the trust of beneficiaries in the system.
Perhaps the most concerning aspect disclosed by the minister is the inclusion of individuals on the payment list who should not be there and those who do not contribute to the program despite receiving payments.
Edu said, “There were also people who were on the payment list who are not supposed to be there, and there are persons who are there but are not providing any services but have been enrolled to have payment.”
Such irregularities in the program’s implementation not only waste resources but also deprive those genuinely in need of the support they require.
Also, Edu acknowledged the issue of individuals who had surpassed their allotted time with the NPower program but still expected to receive payments. She referred to this as an “exit plan,” which has led to continued financial obligations that the program may not be able to sustain.
To address these pressing concerns, Minister Edu disclosed that a committee has been established to scrutinize and provide recommendations for improving the NPower program. The committee, headed by the secretary of the ministry, is expected to propose reforms based on its findings.
Minister Edu’s commitment to reforming the NPower program aligns with the broader goal of President Tinubu’s administration to uplift 133 million Nigerians out of poverty by 2030, in accordance with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
She declared, “For poverty alleviation, we are targeting at least 133 million Nigerians between now and 2030, which is in line with the SDGs that we signed at the United Nations.”
However, Edu emphasized that the government is not content with maintaining the status quo.
“The difference here is that we are not going to continue doing things the same way and expect different results,” she affirmed.
“There are different plans we are working on, and we believe very strongly that by the next one year, we should be able to say that at least we have removed 20 million Nigerians out of poverty.”
The commitment to addressing the NPower program’s flaws and the ambitious goal of poverty eradication signal a new direction in the fight against poverty in Nigeria, one that aims to be more efficient, transparent, and impactful for the nation’s most vulnerable citizens.
FBI Analysis Reveals Shocking Details in Mompha’s Trial
A Lagos High Court recently admitted into evidence a comprehensive report from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) during the trial of Ismaila Mustapha, popularly known as Mompha.
This report sheds new light on the alleged fraudulent activities of the accused, including the use of his iPhone in a series of financial transactions.
The FBI report, presented by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) as evidence, has revealed a string of suspicious activities carried out through Mompha’s iPhone.
According to the report, Mompha’s phone was used to send account details to a United Arab Emirates telephone number, searched for Swift Codes of a bank, and, shockingly, had a compromised Microsoft 365 account.
The charges against Mompha and his company, Ismalob Global Investment Limited, include conspiracy to launder funds, retention of proceeds from criminal conduct, money laundering, failure to disclose assets, possession of documents containing false pretense, and the use of property derived from an unlawful act.
The prosecution alleges that they conducted financial transactions amounting to over N5.9 billion with the intent of promoting unlawful activities.
During cross-examination, the witness from the FBI revealed that Mompha’s iPhone was employed in changing payment delivery methods from cheque to wire transfer after two failed attempts, ultimately succeeding on the third attempt.
The defense counsel, Kolawole Salami, initially objected to the admissibility of the FBI report, arguing that it needed certification by the United States Consulate.
However, the objection was overruled by Justice Mojisola Dada, who deemed the documents to be in their original state and not requiring certification.
As the trial progresses, these shocking revelations from the FBI analysis have cast a new light on the case against Mompha.
The courtroom drama continues, with the case adjourned until Wednesday, November 1, leaving both the prosecution and the defense with much to consider in the days ahead.
News3 weeks ago
Npower Program Restores Hope with Long-Awaited Stipend Disbursement
Commodities3 weeks ago
Three Chinese Groups Vying to Acquire $2 Billion Botswana Copper Mine
News3 weeks ago
Government Plans to Revamp Npower Scheme and Combat Poverty
Forex4 weeks ago
Dollar to Naira Black Market Today, 1st September 2023
Banking Sector4 weeks ago
Guaranty Trust Holding Co. Surpasses Expectations with $468 Million Forex Windfall
Forex3 weeks ago
Black Market Dollar to Naira Today, September 7th, 2023
Government4 weeks ago
French Influence Wanes in Africa: Is Macron’s Africa Policy Doomed?
Startups4 weeks ago
Nigerian-American Nurse Turned Millionaire Entrepreneur: The Inspiring Journey of Courtney Adeleye