- “We Increased Health Sector Budgetary Allocation to Over N340bn in 2018”-FG
The Federal Government announced on Thursday that it allocated over N340bn to the health sector in 2018 to tackle health challenges in the country.
President Mohammadu Buhari noted that the allocation was an increase from the N259bn pumped into the health sector in 2015.
He added that the FG took the action in an effort to increase life expectancy in the country by fighting a wide range of health problems, such as; the root causes of child and maternal mortality, in line with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The president made this announcement at the commissioning of the Nigeria Air Force Reference Hospital (NAFRH) in Daura, Katsina State.
He said, “As you are all aware, the Federal Government has in the last four years invested so much resource in the health sector. To this end, the Federal Government has increased budgetary allocation to the health sector from N259 billion in 2015 to over N340 billion in 2018.
“Accordingly, significant strides have been made to improve life expectancy and reduce some of the killers associated with child and maternal mortality to less than 70 deaths per 100,000 live births by the Year 2030, as enshrined in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.”
The President also said that, although his administration has recorded several achievements, more efforts are required to end the large number of diseases and health problems facing the country.
“To achieve this, all hands must be on deck to focus on providing more efficient funding of the health sector, improved sanitation and hygiene, and increased access to medical care in order to save the lives of millions of Nigerians. It therefore suffices to state that there is no auspicious time to commission this Reference Hospital than now,”he said.
President Buhari further revealed that NAFRH would assist the Federal Government and Katsina State Government to achieve the goal of providing quality and affordable health care to Nigerians; adding that, the Reference Hospital would supplement available health institutions in the country.
“More importantly, the facility is poised to provide the much needed trauma care for personnel on active duty, especially those engaged in various theatres of operation. This will go a long way in boosting the morale of personnel as well as encourage them to give their best in the cause of service to our father land,” he said.
In his presentation, the Chief of Army Staff, Air Marshall Abubakar Sadique explained that the hospital; with Ultra-Modern operating centers, intensive care unit and modern diagnostic and life support equipment is essential for the treatment of severe health conditions, including the treatment of wounded soldiers.
He said,“The NAFRH Daura is a 60-bed hospital with two ultra-modern operating theatres, an Intensive Care unit, medical laboratory, Eye and Dental clinics and a physiotherapy department.”
“Other departments include: Special Care Baby Unit, Renal Dialysis, Ophthalmic, Dental, Maternity and Antenatal unit, Cancer Screening Centre, Accident and Emergency Unit, and a robust radiology department with complete digital X-ray, Mammogram, Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Computerised Tomography scan machines.
“It is equipped with modern diagnostic, life support and surgical equipment intended to provide an ideal facility for the care of critically ill-patients such as soldiers wounded in action. In addition, this facility will be utilised for the training of our medical staff as a teaching hospital for the NAF School of Medical Science and Aviation Medicine.”
He also revealed that to ensure the provision of health care to NAF personnel, their family members and host communities, medical centers are also situated in the following NAF units: Birni Gwari, Kaduna State; Agatu, Benue State; Doma in Nassarawa State and Nguroje in Taraba State.
Central Bank to Promote Zero Balance Account Opening to Drive Financial Inclusion
Banks Now Accept Zero Balance Account Opening to Deepen Financial Inclusion
In an effort to boost financial inclusion in the country, the Central Bank of Nigeria has said it would start promoting zero balance account opening to encourage and lure the unbanked into the banking system.
The apex bank disclosed this in its report titled ‘Monetary, credit, foreign trade and exchange policy guidelines for fiscal years 2020/2021’.
The report read in part, “As part of its effort towards promoting greater financial inclusion in the country, the bank shall continue to encourage banks to intensify deposit mobilisation during the 2020/2021 fiscal years.
“Accordingly, banks shall allow zero balances for opening new bank accounts and simplify their account opening processes, while adhering to Know-Your-Customer requirements.
“Banks are also encouraged to develop new products that would provide greater access to credit.”
The apex bank said the Shared Agency Network Expansion Facility, launched to deepen provision of financial services in under-served and unserved locations and drive financial inclusion through agent banking, would continue in the 2020/2021 fiscal years.
Banks, mobile money operators and super-agents would also continue to render returns in the prescribed formats and frequency to the CBN.
Investors Oversubscribed for FGN Bonds by N205.87 Billion in October
FG October Bonds Oversubscribed by N205.87 Billion
The Debt Management Office (DMO) has said investors oversubscribed for the Federal Government’s October bonds by N205.87 billion.
The DMO stated this after concluding the monthly FGN bonds auction on Wednesday.
Two instruments of 12.5 per cent FGN March 2035 re-opening 15-year bond and 9.8 per cent FGN July 2045 re-opening 25-year bond were auctioned.
The two bonds of N15bn each with a total auction figure of N30bn received a subscription of N235.87bn.
The 15-year tenor and 25-year tenor bonds received 99 and 67 bids but recorded 21 and 26 successful bids respectively.
The amounts allotted for each of the bids were N20bn and N25bn respectively.
According to the DMO, successful bids for the 15-year tenor bond and 25-year tenor bonds were allotted at the marginal rates of 4.97 per cent and six per cent respectively.
However, it added, the original coupon rates of 12.5 per cent for the 12.5 per cent FGN March 2035 bond and the 9.8 per cent for the 9.8 per cent FGN July 2045 bonds would be maintained.
Lafarge Africa Sustains Growth in Third Quarter, Reports N53.3bn Revenue
Lafarge Africa Grows Revenue by 31.4 Percent to N53.3bn Revenue in Q3 2020
Lafarge Africa Plc, a cement manufacturer headquartered in Lagos, sustained its strong growth in the third quarter (Q3) ended September 30, 2020.
In the company’s financial results released on the Nigerian Stock Exchange on Friday, the cement manufacturer’s revenue rose by 31.4 percent from N45.172 billion posted in the third quarter of 2019 to N59.337 billion in the third quarter of 2020.
Similarly, operating profit grew by 7.2 percent from N7.746 billion in the corresponding quarter to N8.302 billion in the quarter under review. This strong performance continues across the board as net income expanded by 2.8 percent to N4.867 billion, up from N4.734 billion posted in the third quarter of 2019.
Lafarge earnings per share rose by 2.8 percent to 30 kobo in the third quarter, again up from the 29 kobo posted in the same period of 2019.
On the outlook for the company going forward, the company said:
Market demand is expected to remain strong in Q4.
Naira devaluation and inflation remain a concern in Q4.
The implementation of our “HEALTH, COST & CASH” initiatives would continue to deliver
improvement in our performance.
We will maintain a healthy balance sheet.
Speaking on the company’s performance, Khaled El Dokani, CEO, Lafarge Africa Plc, said “Our robust results for the first 9 months reflect the strong recovery of the demand in Q3 and the successful implementation of our “HEALTH, COST & CASH” initiatives. Both have delivered considerable improvement in recurring EBIT, net income and free cash flow, despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and Naira devaluation, particularly in Q3.”
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