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Sabin Vaccine Institute Begins Phase 2 Clinical Trial for Marburg Vaccine in Uganda

Clinical Trial Preparation
Staff at Makerere University Walter Reed Project preparing for Sabin’s Phase 2 Marburg vaccine clinical trial.

Staff at Makerere University Walter Reed Project preparing for Sabin’s Phase 2 Marburg vaccine clinical trial.

WASHINGTON, Oct. 19, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Sabin Vaccine Institute has launched a Phase 2 clinical trial for its vaccine candidate against the lethal Marburg virus. Healthy volunteers received the single-dose vaccine at Makerere University Walter Reed Project (MUWRP) in Kampala, Uganda today.

There are currently no vaccines or antiviral treatments approved to treat Marburg virus disease. Marburg is a filovirus, in the same family as the virus that causes Ebola. Like Ebola, Marburg virus disease spreads between people via direct contact with the blood or other bodily fluids of infected people, is highly virulent, and causes hemorrhagic fever. The disease has a fatality rate of up to 88%.

Based on the ChAd3 platform, Sabin’s single-dose investigational Marburg vaccine was found to be promising in Phase 1 clinical and non-clinical studies, with results showing it to be safe, while eliciting rapid and robust immune responses.

Dr. Betty Mwesigwa, deputy executive director of MUWRP, is the principal investigator for the Kampala portion of the Sabin-sponsored trial. Participants will also be enrolled a few weeks later at a second site at the Kenya Medical Research Institute in Siaya, Kenya, with Dr. Videlis Nduba as principal investigator. In all, 125 volunteers will participate in the trial.

“We have an extraordinary opportunity here to improve our preparedness to save lives and protect people from a deadly and unforgiving disease that typically strikes under-resourced countries first and most,” says Amy Finan, Sabin’s Chief Executive Officer. “Sabin’s Phase 2 clinical trial builds on a solid safety and immunogenicity foundation and we are hoping it will generate the information needed to move the vaccine toward licensure.”

The number of Marburg outbreaks in Africa has climbed steadily in recent years. Two outbreaks of Marburg virus disease have occurred already this year: Equatorial Guinea reported its first ever documented Marburg outbreak, which killed 12 people, followed by Tanzania, where six people succumbed to the virus. Communities in Uganda and Kenya are familiar with Marburg virus disease, having been ravaged by outbreaks over multiple years in the last few decades.

“Makerere University Walter Reed Project (MUWRP) is delighted to partner with the Sabin Vaccine Institute to launch the clinical testing for a preventive Marburg vaccine,” says Dr. Mwesigwa. “Most Marburg virus disease outbreaks have originated in Africa. Uganda alone has registered 4 outbreaks of the disease. We urgently need a vaccine against Marburg because of its potential to cause epidemics with significant death rates. It is imperative for us to test candidate vaccines in Uganda, a country prone to these outbreaks. This work will contribute new knowledge to inform the scientific discovery for an effective vaccine against the deadly Marburg virus.”

The Phase 2 clinical trial for Sabin’s Marburg vaccine will continue to evaluate safety and immunogenicity for the vaccine, this time among a larger group of individuals. This is a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study, meaning that neither the participants nor the researchers will know whether trial participants receive a vaccine dose or a placebo dose until after the trial is over, an approach used to help reduce experimental bias.

Participants in the clinical trial will be monitored for a full year and will include both younger (18-50 years) and older age groups (51-70 years). Interim results are expected next year. In addition to the current trial in Uganda and Kenya, Sabin plans to conduct a similar Phase 2 clinical trial for Marburg in the U.S.

The Marburg vaccine trials are supported by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, under multi-year contracts between the organizations, including most recently a $36.4 million award for vaccine development and production.

Similarly, BARDA has invested in Sabin for advancing ChAd3 Sudan ebolavirus vaccine candidate, including awarding $28 million this August for Phase 2 clinical trials in the U.S.

To date, Sabin has received around $215 million in contract awards from BARDA for furthering vaccine research and development against Sudan ebolavirus and Marburg virus diseases.

BARDA and Sabin began working together in September 2019 to develop the two monovalent vaccine candidates. Sabin’s Sudan ebolavirus vaccine candidate was the first to arrive in Uganda last year during the disease outbreak that left 55 people dead. Sabin has also initiated plans for a Phase 2 Sudan ebolavirus vaccine clinical trial in Uganda and Kenya.

This project has been supported in whole or in part with federal funds from the Department of Health and Human Services; Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response; Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), under contract numbers 75A50119C00055 and 75A50123C00010.

About the Sabin Vaccine Institute

The Sabin Vaccine Institute is a leading advocate for expanding vaccine access and uptake globally, advancing vaccine research and development, and amplifying vaccine knowledge and innovation. Unlocking the potential of vaccines through partnership, Sabin has built a robust ecosystem of funders, innovators, implementers, practitioners, policy makers and public stakeholders to advance its vision of a future free from preventable diseases. As a non-profit with three decades of experience, Sabin is committed to finding solutions that last and extending the full benefits of vaccines to all people, regardless of who they are or where they live. At Sabin, we believe in the power of vaccines to change the world. For more information, visit www.sabin.org and follow us on X, @SabinVaccine.About Sabin’s Vaccine R&D Using the ChAd3 Platform.

About Sabin’s Vaccine R&D Using the ChAd3 Platform

In August 2019, Sabin announced exclusive agreements with GSK for Sabin to advance the development of the prophylactic candidate vaccines against the deadly Ebola Zaire, Ebola Sudan and Marburg virus. The three candidate vaccines were initially developed collaboratively by the U.S. National Institutes of Health and Okairos, which was acquired by GSK in 2013. The candidate vaccines, based on GSK’s proprietary ChAd3 platform, were further developed by GSK, including the Phase II development for the Ebola Zaire vaccine. Under the agreements between GSK and Sabin, Sabin exclusively licensed the technology for all three candidate vaccines and acquired certain patent rights specific to these vaccines.

About the Makerere University Walter Reed Project

MUWRP is a non-profit biomedical research organization with a mission to mitigate disease threats through quality research, health care and disease surveillance. The project’s scope includes among others; clinical research in infectious and non-infectious diseases such as HIV, Ebola, Marburg, COVID-19, Influenza and Influenza-like illnesses, and neglected tropical diseases such as Schistosomiasis, among others. A major part of the clinical research are clinical trials, where the MUWRP has conducted more than 12 phase I and II vaccine clinical trials including the first Ebola vaccine trial in Africa.

Media Contact:
Monika Guttman
Media Relations Specialist
Sabin Vaccine Institute
+1 (202) 662-1841
press@sabin.org

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/0ecbc982-493a-4ecf-9393-e203708aa3ea

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Africa Asean English GLOBE-NEWSWIRE MENA Pakistan Press Releases South Africa

Steel decarbonisation to redefine supply chains by 2050

Wood Mackenzie report says new metallic hubs will emerge as steel industry accelerates carbon abatement efforts

LONDON and HOUSTON and SINGAPORE, Oct. 19, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — According to the latest Horizons report from Wood Mackenzie, the steel industry is set to undergo a significant transformation as decarbonisation efforts accelerate. Titled Metalmorphosis: how decarbonisation is transforming the iron and steel industry the report highlights the emergence of new metallic hubs and the reshaping of steel production and global trade patterns.

Wood Mackenzie’s latest report says electric-arc furnace (EAF) technology, increased use of green feedstock, and evolving carbon policies will play a crucial role in this transformation. Low-carbon intensive EAF production accounts for 28% of global steel output, projected to rise to 50% by 2050. An investment of US$130 billion will be required to achieve this goal.

The shift towards less carbon-intensive steel will drive the demand for greener feedstocks such as DRI (Direct Reduced Iron) and high-grade scrap. Wood Mackenzie predicts that the share of these feedstocks in total metals demand will increase from 36% to 54% by 2050, leading to new production, processing, and trading hubs for low-carbon iron and scrap.

DRI production and trade rise will create investment and revenue generation opportunities across the value chain. Wood Mackenzie forecasts a doubling DRI capacity within 30 years, requiring an estimated US$80 billion investment. This projection does not include potential investments in green hydrogen, smelters for low-grade DRI, pellet hubs, and shipping.

Wood Mackenzie indicates that the location of new green Direct Reduced Iron (DRI) centres will be determined based on their proximity to low-carbon hydrogen production. This is particularly important given the uncertainties surrounding the transportation and storage of traded hydrogen. The Middle East and Australia are well-positioned to take advantage of this opportunity, and the number of projects in these regions is increasing.

Quality will take precedence over quantity as the cost of lower-carbon steel rises. In markets with high carbon prices, importing green DRI to manufacture low-carbon steel using EAFs will become more favourable than importing finished steel from emissions-intensive producers like China and India.

Decarbonising the iron and steel industry, which currently accounts for approximately 8% of global carbon emissions, is a challenging but achievable goal. With the right levels of investment and policy support, this transformation has the potential to redefine trade patterns and the value chain.

Editor’s notes:
Read more information here. To request the report and arrange an interview with the authors, please contact Wood Mackenzie’s media relations team.

About Wood Mackenzie
Wood Mackenzie is the global insight business for renewables, energy and natural resources. Driven by data. Powered by people. In the middle of an energy revolution, businesses and governments need reliable and actionable insight to lead the transition to a sustainable future. That’s why we cover the entire supply chain with unparalleled breadth and depth, backed by over 50 years’ experience in natural resources.

Contacts:
Hla Myat Mon
PR Manager – APAC
hla.myatmon@woodmac.com

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L’édition 2023 de la Semaine du Climat de la région Moyen-Orient/Afrique du Nord ou la mise en lumière du rôle capital du Forum sur les Minéraux du Futur dans la création de chaînes de valeur minières responsables pour une transition énergétique saine

RIYAD, Arabie Saoudite, 18 oct. 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — La Semaine 2023 du Climat de la région MOAN organisée à Riyad a mis en évidence le rôle déterminant du Forum sur les Minéraux du Futur (ci-après « FMF ») dans la conception de solutions d’avenir dédiées au monde minéral.

Animé par Aldo Pennini, directeur de la stratégie, des programmes et du contenu du FMF, le panel rassemblait d’éminents experts, parmi lesquels Son Excellence Abdulrahman Al Belushi, sous-ministre adjoint chargé du développement minier au ministère de l’industrie et des ressources minérales, Monsieur l’ingénieur Saud Al-Mandil, vice-président du département technologie et R&D chez Ma’aden, le Docteur Thamer Aldaajani, directeur général de la recherche minière et des hydrocarbures à la Cité du roi Abdulaziz pour la science et la technologie ; Ali Al-Mutairi, directeur exécutif du FMF, le Docteur Abdullah Al-Nabhan, directeur principal de l’enquête et de l’exploration à la Commission géologique saoudienne, et le Professeur Jim Skie, président du Groupe d’experts intergouvernemental sur l’évolution du climat (GIEC).

« Les minéraux représentent une source essentielle à de nombreuses industries et projets », a déclaré Son Excellence Abdulrahman Al Belushi, en soulignant particulièrement la nécessité d’adopter des politiques durables permettant de minimiser l’impact environnemental au bénéfice de la communauté.

Saud Al Mandil a pointé l’engagement de Ma’aden en faveur de la durabilité dans le secteur minier. Ma’aden se donne pour vocation de réduire l’impact environnemental par une gestion responsable des ressources naturelles, conformément à l’engagement du Royaume envers l’Accord de Paris sur le climat.

Thamer Aldaajani a mis en relief le rôle central de la recherche dans la compréhension de l’impact économique et environnemental sur les ressources minérales, et dans l’amélioration de leurs chaînes de valeur. Il a reconnu les enjeux du secteur minier face à la difficulté d’équilibrage entre extraction des minéraux et préservation de l’environnement.

Ali Al-Mutairi a résumé la mission du FMF en déclarant : « Le FMF vise à façonner l’avenir des minéraux dans un contexte de transition énergétique en ouvrant la voie au dialogue et à la collaboration multipartites. Le Forum sert de plateforme internationale et permet aux acteurs du secteur minier d’explorer de nouvelles terres d’opportunités dans une super région minière qui s’étend de l’Afrique à l’Asie occidentale et centrale ».

Abdullah Al-Nabhan a développé la formation géologique du bouclier arabo-nubien, en soulignant l’importance de ses riches ressources minérales vertes dans la transition énergétique. En parallèle, le Professeur Jim Skea a annoncé la toute première intégration du rôle des minéraux dans la transition énergétique dans le prochain rapport pluriannuel du GIEC.

La troisième édition du FMF, sous mécénat du Gardien des deux Saintes Mosquées, Sa Majesté le Roi Salmane ben Abdelaziz d’Arabie saoudite, se tiendra du 9 au 11 janvier 2024 au Centre international de conférences du Roi Abdulaziz de Riyad.

Une photo accompagnant cette annonce est disponible à l’adresse suivante : https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/c7249c16-1580-4825-bd81-b2946880f9f4

Omar Shereen
Tél. : +966 50 663 0489
E-mail : Omar.shereen@fleishman.com

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MENACW 2023 destaca o papel crucial do Future Minerals Forum na formação de cadeias sustentáveis de valor mineral na transição para energias limpas

RIAD, Arábia Saudita, Oct. 18, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — A Middle East and North Africa Climate Week (MENACW) 2023, sediada em Riad, enfatizou o papel crucial do Future Minerals Forum (FMF) na definição do futuro dos minerais.

O painel moderado por Aldo Pennini, Diretor de Estratégia, Programa e Conteúdo do FMF, contou com painelistas notáveis, incluindo Abdulrahman Al Belushi, Vice-Ministro Assistente de Capacitação em Mineração do Ministério da Indústria e Recursos Minerais; Eng. Saud Al Mandil, Vice-Presidente de Tecnologia, P&D e Inovação na Ma’aden; Dr. Thamer Aldaajani, Gerente Geral de Pesquisa em Mineração e Hidrocarbonetos na King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology; Ali Al-Mutairi, Diretor Executivo do FMF; Dr. Abdullah Al-Nabhan, Diretor Sênior de Pesquisa Geológica e Exploração na Pesquisa Geológica da Arábia Saudita; e Professor Jim Skie, Presidente do Painel Intergovernamental sobre Mudanças Climáticas.

“Os minerais representam um pilar crucial para impulsionar inúmeras indústrias e projetos”, afirmou Abdulrahman Al Belushi. Ele enfatizou a necessidade de operações sustentáveis que minimizem o impacto ambiental e garantam benefícios para a comunidade.

Saud Al Mandil destacou o compromisso da Ma’aden com a sustentabilidade no setor de mineração. A empresa está empenhada em minimizar o impacto ambiental e gerenciar responsavelmente os recursos naturais, alinhando-se ao compromisso do Reino com o Acordo de Paris sobre o clima.

Thamer Aldaajani ressaltou o papel crucial da pesquisa na compreensão do impacto econômico e ambiental dos recursos minerais e no aprimoramento de suas cadeias de valor. Ele reconheceu os desafios enfrentados pelo setor de mineração ao equilibrar a extração de minerais necessários com a preservação ambiental.

Ali Al-Mutairi delineou a missão do FMF, afirmando: “O FMF visa moldar o futuro dos minerais no contexto da transição energética por meio do diálogo e colaboração entre várias partes interessadas. O Fórum serve como uma plataforma internacional, fomentando oportunidades para entidades envolvidas no setor de mineração explorarem possíveis oportunidades na super-região mineral, que se estende da África à Ásia Ocidental e Central”.

Abdullah Al-Nabhan falou sobre as características geológicas do Escudo Árabe, destacando seus abundantes recursos minerais essenciais na transição para energias verdes. Enquanto isso, o professor Jim Skea anunciou que, pela primeira vez, o IPCC incorporará o papel dos minerais na transição energética como parte de seu próximo relatório plurianual.

A terceira edição do FMF, sob o patrocínio do Guardião das Duas Mesquitas Sagradas, Rei Salman bin Abdulaziz, será realizada de 9 a 11 de janeiro de 2024, no King Abdulaziz International Conference Center em Riad.

Uma foto acompanhando este anúncio está disponível em https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/c7249c16-1580-4825-bd81-b2946880f9f4

Omar Shereen
Telefone: +966 50 663 0489
E-mail: Omar.shereen@fleishman.com

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Reps committee advocates salary increase for teachers, university lecturers

Hon. Abubakar Fulata, Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on University Education has called for salary increment for primary, secondary and university teachers.

The chairman said the teachers should earn N250,000, N500,000 and N1 million respectively as monthly renumeration.

Fulata was speaking at a One-Day National Stakeholders’ Workshop on the Development of a Roadmap for the Nigerian Education Sector (2023-2027), in Abuja on Thursday.

Fulata said that it is important for Nigerian teachers to be more encouraged by paying them adequately to teach the children.

He also stressed the need to translate all subject textbooks into local languages so as to catch up with the world.

According to him, efforts have been made by past administrations as regards the country’s education but those efforts had not yielded the desired results.

“It is a thing of concern that from decades, several efforts on policies made by successive government to resuscitate and improve the education sector and those efforts have continued to create very little progress.

“All over the world, the subject of language of instruction has always been local language of those countries. If you go to the UK, education is taught in English, if you go to France, education from the basic level up to the tertiary level is taught in French.

“It is in Nigeria that you teach language of instruction in English. Our problem has always been that we are teaching our children subjects they ought to have been taught in their local language.

“All Mathematical, Physics, Chemistry textbook and what have you should be in our local languages. There is no way we can catch up with the world if we continue teaching our children in a foreign language.

“No primary school teacher should earn less than N250,000 in a month, no secondary school teacher should earn less than N500,000 and no university teacher should warn less than 1million in a month.

“The nation must declare a state of emergency in education. We must commit at least 25 per cent to 30 per cent of our national budget to education.

“It is high time we pay them adequately so that them can teach our children,” he said.

The Minister of Education, Prof. Tahir Mamman, said that the ministry has great policies on papers but they are not meeting the needs of the people.

Mamman explained that the country’s education does not translate to the needs of the society, hence the need to critically have a roadmap that would translate to development.

He added that those roadmaps must however be implemented within the shortest timeline.

“President Bola Tinubu has charged the ministry to do all it can to reposition the sector.

” We have problems that has been militating the visions, missions and objectives on ground. We have great and fantastic policies but the issue is that our people are not seeing our problems addressed.

“We have institutions churning out graduates who are not employable and we cannot go on like this forever.

“So, in line with our President’s mandate, we must have a roadmap to guide the implementation of how to take the sector forward.

” The idea of the conference is to have a whole lot of time for implementation of our policies,” he said.

He charged participants to work within limited time so that Nigerians could begin to feel the impacts of the policies made within the timelines.

He pledged to engage state governments on the ministry’s crusade to move the sector forward.

In the same vein, the Minister of State for Education, Dr Yusuf Sununu, emphasised the need to recognise gender mainstreaming in the roadmap so that Nigeria will have the benefit of a balanced education system.

“Education, you would all agree is one sector of development that Nigerians have been known to speak with one voice in terms of its importance to development.

“However, this recognition of its importance is yet to translate to tangible results that show that an educated person stands a better chance of living a fulfilled life.

“This disconnect, between purpose and reality, could be said to be responsible for inadequate attention to the sector, wrong perceptions of the relative importance of the different forms and types of education.

“Indeed, I must also say that the inability of our youths to gain employment after going through the rigors of academic may be responsible for a gradually building dis-interest in the pursuit of education,” he said.

Sununu, however, said this trend must be curtailed to make Nigerian education responsive to every day realities and beneficial to the individual as well as the nation. (NAN)(www nannews.ng)

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

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Institute seeks inclusion of CITM qualification in federal civil service

The Chartered Institute of Treasury Management (CITM) has called for the inclusion of CITM, as one of the recognised professional bodies’ qualification in the federal civil service.

Mr. Olumide Adedoyin, Registrar, CITM, stated this at the institute`s 3rd Induction and Recertification Programme in Abuja on Thursday, with the theme “Advancing Treasury Techniques for Business and Economic Development.”

He said just like the Institute of Chartered Accountant of Nigeria (ICAN) and Association of National Accountant of Nigeria (ANAN), anyone with CITM qualification should be placed on proper civil service cadre.

He said the demand for the inclusion was sequel to a memo from the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation. (AGF)

According to him, the memo seeks the inclusion of CITM qualifications as one of the recognised professional bodies’ qualifications in the federal civil service and scheme of service.

He said “this is not only anticipated to benefit dedicated civil servants but also to enhance the capabilities of the FSC in its quest to achieve various objectives.

Adedoyin commended the speedy attention given to CITM request by the Office of the Head of Civil, adding that the outcome would elevate professionalism in civil service..

He said this would also help the standards of Nigeria’s public service, adding that members of the institute had achieved remarkable milestones.

The Registrar said that their collective efforts were expected to continue driving positive change in treasury management within Nigeria.

It would be recalled that CITM in the memo to the AGF, quoted the provisions of the scheme of service revised edition of May 1, 2000 with reference to pages 182/183; 187 and 188.

He said that the scheme had always recommended for placement, holders of treasury qualification in the State and Federal Scheme of Service as was then in operation from grade levels 06 to 08.

Adedoyin said that this was before the passage and assent to the CITM (Establishment Act, 2021) government notice no. 4 January, 2022.

He said the inclusion of this Act into the scheme of service would add value and afford holders of the qualification the opportunity to benefit from evolving new knowledge and best practices.

Mr Olubode Oke, an inductee and former Director of Finance in the civil service, now a University lecturer, said people have little knowledge about treasury management..

He said many practitioners did not know they had limited knowledge about treasury management, saying, “even when I was in the office all they know is to sign cheque and pay cash out. ”

“This means that we have a gap which is what CITM is trying to bridge in order to educate, develop and have understanding of what treasury management is all about.

He said, “It is good, I am a fellow of ICAN and treasury is practiced within the government accounting, so it is good if CITM is included as part of promotion requirement for entry.

Earlier, Mr Daniel Akeju, Special Adviser to the Registrar, said with the recognition, CITM members would be able to implement professionally.

He said CITM would help to enhance the skills of members in terms of what they delivered to the system, adding that if it is not accepted in the civil service many will be reluctant to join.

“We need this in Nigeria, we need members to be part of this institute and we want them to be able to do the best in managing our resources.

He appealed to the Head of service of the federation to fast-forward what they are doing so that CITM could be recognised as a requirement in the civil service. (NAN)

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

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China pledges to promote cultural exchange with Nigeria

The Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Abuja has pledged more support to promote cultural exchange and cooperation in Education and tourism with Nigeria to strengthen the two countries’ friendship.

The Embassy made the pledge during the World Day for Cultural Diversity Road walk in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the cultural day with the theme “Embracing Cultural Diversity: Building Bridges for a Harmonious World”, depicted the role of culture in promoting people to people relationship.

According to Mr Li Xuda, Cultural Counselor of the Chinese Embassy and Director of China Cultural Centre in Nigeria, the embassy would further promote cultural educational exchange and cooperation, and embrace a better future full of hope for Nigerians.

He added that Nigeria and China share rich and similar cultural heritage, noting that the 2023 theme was apt.

“I believe with our joint efforts we can build a cultural bridge which will promote cultural understanding between the two countries and deepen our people to people relationship.

“On the other hand, we can build friendship through this cultural bridge in the area of Education, politics and every field including the film industry and exchange programmes as well as through a solid win-win cooperation for both countries.”

Xuda also said that Nigeria had lots of rich culture, adding that he had visited several Museums and tourism sites in Nigeria.

“I have seen that there is huge potential for the two countries to push forward their culture, education and tourism cooperation and exchange, and through this we can build a bridge for the harmony of the world.

He also said that 2023 marked the 10 years Anniversary of the Belt and Road initiative adding that it had really promoted a people-to-people bond between China, Nigeria and several countries.

“The 2023 edition of the BRI will mark the 10th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) championed by the President of China, Xi Jinping, as an initiative for global infrastructure development strategy.

“Adopted and launched by the government of the People’s Republic of China in 2013, the initiative seeks international action to enhance cooperation and promote infrastructure investment in nearly 70 countries across Asia, Africa and Europe through land and maritime routes.

“The Belt and Road Initiative will continue to strengthen the China-Nigeria bond,” he said.

Mr Abiola Abdulkareem, Senior Special Assistant to the Minister of Arts, Culture and Creative Economy, expressed his appreciation to the Chinese Cultural Centre for its efforts and support especially in the areas of promoting cultural exchanges and education, among others.

Abdulkareem said that the event was very special for China and Nigeria because it would be the first official one of the ministry since it was carved out to stand alone.

“We also look forward to more collaboration with China to make sure that the Art and Culture sector is enriched like never before.

“We believe that Art, Culture and creative Economy is the new oil and we look forward to deepening our friendship with China and more partnerships.

“Nigeria has benefited a lot from the Belt and Road initiative in all sectors and we must appreciate the Chinese government for this effort,”Abdulkareem said. (NAN)

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

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General

NAFDAC destroys fake, expired goods worth N500m in Abuja

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) on Wednesday destroyed fake and expired goods worth over N500 million in Abuja.

Speaking during the exercise, the Director-General of the agency, Prof Mojisola Adeyeye, stated that some of the goods were also voluntary submitted to the agency.

Represented by Mr Francis Ononiwu, NAFDAC Director of Investigation and Enforcement, the D-G stated that the exercise is carried out routinely all over the country.

The NAFDAC boss said that the destruction of the products were done to prevent their re-introduction to the supply chain.

Adeyeye listed some of the products destroyed as drugs made up of psychoactive and controlled substance like antibiotics, antihypertensive, antimalarials, herbal snuff and herbal remedies, and drugs confiscated from drug hawkers.

She also listed the food products such as Spaghetti, vegetable oil, non-alcoholic beverages, including 1 by 40ft container of unregistered Faurecia instant powered milk that was handed over to the agency by the Nigeria Customs Services (NCS).

Others were cosmetics such as creams, lotion, pomade, including skin lightening creams seized from SPAS and beauty centres, chemicals such as fake insecticides and medical devices.

Also destroyed were expired and unwholesome products voluntarily handed over for destruction by complaint companies, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and Association of Community Pharmacy of Nigeria (ACPN).

According to the NAFDAC boss, the estimated street value of the products being destroyed is N535, 000, 657.00.

“I have said it on several platforms that drug counterfeiting is an act of economic sabotage, and it also represents a serious threat to public health, and NAFDAC under my watch has been repositioned to fight this menace.

” The agency has adapted proactive approach by engaging political, traditional, faith leaders, journalists and other Nigerians to sensitise their wards on the dangers of dealing on substandard and falsified medicine.

“I wish to use this medium to urge all and sundry to be on the look-out for spurious and counterfeit medicines, unwholesome foods and other regulated products and reports same to NAFDAC,” she said.

NAFDAC and security officials during the destruction

Mr Isiaku Gamajira, FCT Coordinator, Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), stated that NAFDAC is a sister agency when it comes to regulation of products, hence the reason why SON was at the event.

He noted that many people lack education on how to get certification for their products, stressing that it is the reason why most goods from Nigeria are rejected abroad.

“We are aware of government policy on zero rejection of Nigeria products, we have a policy called product certification in which a certificate is issued on products made in Nigeria that are to be exported.

“In doing all these, we ensure that we key in to the principle set up in line with the government of the exporting country, and issue a certificate of performance to avoid Nigeria product rejection when they get to the point of entry.

“We have offices all over the country where information about product certification can be gotten, our addresses are also available online for you to reach out to us.

“We provide people with proper guidance when they approach us, SON has been carrying out its compliance activities among which is the seizure of substandard products. We have just destroyed tyres

“Tyre is a product which lives depend on and SON has a serious interest when it comes to compliance action, seizure in that regards, on Sep. 29, SON destroyed a lot of tyres and these are some of the things we do.

“Most of these tyres are imported, it is our own common wealth, If you see the quantum of what we have destroyed in the last few months, you will be surprised,” Gamajira said.

Mr Enejoh Amade, Chairman, Association of Community Pharmacist of Nigeria (ACPN), FCT Chapter, said his association would continue to support NAFDAC to rid the country of substandard drugs.

He said that his association had partnered with NAFDAC on the exercise by bringing some expired drugs collected from members of ACPN.(NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

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President Tinubu celebrates former Head of State Gowon at 89

President Bola Tinubu on behalf of the government and people of Nigeria has sent warm greetings to former Head of State, retired Gen. Yakubu Gowon, on his 89th birthday.

A statement by Presidential Spokesman Ajuri Ngelale said the president celebrates the elder statesman whose visionary leadership has shaped major milestones in Nigeria’s history.

The president extolled Gowon for institutionalising the peace process in Nigeria with lasting legacies, such as laying the foundation for Nigeria’s federation through the creation of states.

Other milestones of the former head of state include fostering cohesion, encouraging inter-ethnic warmth and understanding by establishing the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), the president said.

Tinubu said Gowon also sustained the pillars of harmony between Nigerians with the National Prayer Movement that continues to inspire neighbourliness and patriotism.

“His love and passion for Nigeria, as well as his determination to see into manifestation the unique gifts and combined strengths of all Nigerians, irrespective of faith, tribe or any other difference, remains a pace-setting attribute of leadership.

“This is what) all present and future Nigerian leaders must emulate,” the President said.

Tinubu said that the courage, passion and wisdom that Gowon consistently exuded from his youth, being Nigeria’s youngest leader at 32, had kept him steadfast and relevant at the age of 89.

He commended Gowon’s counsel to leaders, within and outside the country, saying this has continued to make him enjoy every measure of God’s amazing grace in enduring strength and health.

The president joined the wife of the former Head of State, his family members, and many friends in the celebration.(NAN)

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

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Group moves to mitigate effects of climate change on African continent

A group, under the auspices of Africa Infrastructure, Climate change and Investment Summit (AICIS) Committee says it is taking steps to mitigate the effects of climate change towards achieving infrastructural development on the Africa continent.

To achieve this, the group is bringing together key stakeholders to brainstorm on the issues around climate change at a summit in Washington DC, United States of America between Oct. 30 and Nov. 2.

Speaking at a news conference in Abuja on Wednesday, the Chairman of the committee, Mr Moses Owharo, disclosed that the planned summit is a Pan-African summit.

Owharo stated that the summit aimed at mobilising stakeholders across Africa landscape especially Nigeria to access developmental funds from the international community in order to tackle the challenges of infrastructure rot and Investment downturn on African continent.

He disclosed that the primary aim is to rally African stakeholders and governments to leverage green climate financing to tackle challenges associated with rot and downturn in the areas of investments, infrastructure and disaster management.

“Climate change covers a wide range of issues inclusive of power generation, alternative energy, hydro-electric facility for Agricultural purposes, water/dam reticulation to fight deforestation in the sub-Sahara Africa, East Africa, North Africa and Southern Africa within the next five years.

“Environmental impact assessment on climate, soil, livestock’s inclusive of fauna/flora, green vegetation/green belt replenishment.

“Nigeria and other African countries, as signatories to the Paris Agreement (PA), recognised that the transition to low-emission development is indispensable for achieving sustainable economic growth.

“It will also reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and other social, economic, and environmental benefits cannot be over emphasised,” Owharo said.

He said that in addition to the Nationally

Determined Contribution (NDCs) that outlines climate actions until 2030, the Paris, Agreement, under Article 4.19, calls for all parties to strive and formulate, communicate worldwide on LT-LEDS.

He said that AICIS focuses on providing a platform with a clear sense of direction to all stakeholders for a well-managed transition to a low-carbon economy that grows in all sectors, creating new jobs and economic opportunities.

Owharo stated that AICIS would promote sustainable development and guarantee a climate-proofed economic development through multi-stakeholder engagement in the national development plans.

He said that it would also contribute immensely to laying a solid foundation for Nigeria and the rest of Africa towards the global objective of climate neutrality, climate resilient society with knowledge-driven and a paramount digital economy.

Owharo said that African countries would build on AICIS initial long-term vision to develop a long-term strategy for action and implementation.

According to him, in this challenging environment, it is pivotal to implement bold policies and actions.

He therefore called for multi-sector participation and a deepen stakeholders collaboration in achieving specific goals to integrate Nigeria with active roles in Africa infrastructure development, climate change and Investment perspective and leadership in African countries.

Prof. Sunday Ogunduyile, the Former Vice Chancellor, Olusegun Agagu University of Science and Technology, Okiti-Pupa, Ondo State, stated that Investment in climate change issues would make a solid contribution to the growth of Nigeria.

Ogunduyile, a member of the committee urged all Nigerians particularly stakeholders to support the initiative of transforming climate change effects for infrastructural benefits of Nigeria.

Dr Fatima Damagudu, an aide to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, noted that climate change is one of the mandates of President Bola Tinubu, while urging everybody to key in into the idea of supporting climate change issues.

Mr Faith Oniuwherin, Managing Director, Joeta and Sons Limited, stated that the upcoming submit will be a eye opener, and that it would lead to the development of African continent at large. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

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FG holds cultural road show to showcase Nigeria’s diversity

The Federal Ministry of Arts, Culture and Creative Economy, in partnership with relevant stakeholders in Abuja, on Wednesday, held a road show to showcase the nation’s cultural diversity.

Its Director, Entertainment and Creative Services, Mrs Ugochi Nwosu, said this while marking the 2023 World Culture Day with its theme “Embracing Cultural Diversity: Building bridges for a Harmonious World’’

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event is held every year on May 21.

The World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development celebrates not only the richness of the world’s cultures, but also the essential role of intercultural dialogue for achieving peace and sustainable development.

Nwosu said that the ministry was marking the 2023 World Culture Day for diversity and development to create awareness on importance of culture to national development.

“We are also creating awareness on the potential of the Nigerian culture and creative economy to nation’s building.

“Today, we are showcasing some of our elements of our culture, creative economy and economic diversification.

“This sector is a sector that will enhance and develop our economy and create jobs for our teeming population.

“As you can see, the youths are here and everybody is here to showcase our diversity. We are showcasing the manifestation of our cultural diversity and that is the strength of Nigeria.

“It is also a day to create awareness on the need for cultural dialogue. From culture to dialogue, they bring out their potential of the entire population,’’ she said.

Also, Miss Gold Ugoji of Black Bones Theatre Company stressed the need for Nigerians to embrace cultural diversity to become more united and stronger as a nation.

According to her, this road show is a good avenue to celebrate our culture and heritage as Nigerians.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

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APC support group alleges foul play in palliatives distribution

The Confederation of All Progressives Congress (APC) Support Groups has alleged that the distribution of Federal Government’s palliatives by states did not trickle down to the less privilege.

Dr Kailani Muhammed, the Director-General of the groups made the allegation at a news briefing in Abuja on Wednesday.

Mohammed said that, so far, there seems to be no sign or intention to utilise the money as intended by the federal government

He appealed to the state governors to properly utilise the N5 billion palliatives for the less privileged to cushion the effects of the fuel subsidy removal.

“We appeal to the 36 state governors to properly utilise the N5 billion, President Bola Tinubu gave each state Governor as palliatives for the less privileged to cushion the effects of the fuel subsidy removal.

“So far, there seems to be no sign or intention to utilise the money as intended.

The big question here is that, where is the money? Has it been swallowed or eaten -up by a snake, like we were told happened in some states sometimes back?

“We, at the Confederation of APC Support Group, will take the initiative to unravel the mystery behind this debacle,’’ he said.

Muhammed also appealed to Tinubu and APC as a political party to use political appointments as reward system to all APC support groups in the country.

According to him, APC support groups should be rewarded for toiling under the rain and sunshine, using their money, time and energy for the success of the APC at the 2023 general elections.

He also commended the security agencies for curtailing insurgency, kidnapping and other violent criminal activities in the country.

“We commend the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Mathew Musa, the Chief of Army Staff, Toareq Lagbaja, and heads of other security agencies for their diligence in minimising insurgency, kidnapping and other violent criminal activities in the country.

“However, the security situation in Nigeria demands more proactive measures.

“We have observed that some repentant Boko Haram members trained by the Nigerian Army to be re-absolved in to the civil society, are now finding their way back to Sambisa forest to join their comrade- in -arms.

“This could be deadly because of the additional training they might have acquired by the Army re-orientation initiatives.

This might put the North East, North West and North Central Zones on the spot,’’ he said.

Muhammed urged that security surveillance should be beefed up around the zones and the Civilian Joint Task Force must be supported by government in terms of logistics and training.

He added that the steps would positively impact on community policing for effective data processing to the armed forces and security agencies,’’ he said (NAN) (www.nannews,ng)

Source: News Agency of Nigeria