The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has accused the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation of breaching a railway contract after the delivery date passed without delivery of the ordered coaches.
FG condemns slow delivery on contract: The coaches are supposed to be manufactured by the Chinese Railway Rolling stock Corporation (CRRC). The contract was signed in December 2017 and was supposed to expire in February 2019. However, the delivery date has since elapsed, even as Amaechi has condemned the pace of the work and demanded for improvement.
The Minister visited China to express his displeasure: Amaechi made the statement during a visit to China where he led a delegation to inspect the pace of work at the CRRC. Nigeria had requested for the production of 64 coaches which are to be deployed on the Abuja-Kaduna and Lagos-Ibadan rail lines.
“The pace of construction is slow and they need to improve on it. In fact, the contract has expired; we may not have paid all the money but we paid quite a substantial sum and, therefore, they should construct speedily.
“The contract was signed in December 2017 and was supposed to expire in February 2019. The time has expired and there is a breach of contract but we will look at what the law says because more than one third of the money has been paid.”
New deadline for delivery of some coaches: Amaechi gave a new directive, stating the deadline for the deployment of ten coaches out of the 64 coaches should not be more than June this year. He said ten coaches were requested first to improve on the Kaduna-Abuja line.
“We need the coaches by June latest. We need coaches that can carry men from one point to another and we need a minimum of 10 coaches now out of the 64. I requested for 10 coaches now because we need to improve on the Kaduna-Abuja line.
“If the 10 (coaches) don’t come, there is nothing I can do but they have to come because they have to manufacture for us to use in Kaduna-Abuja and again Lagos-Ibadan, which will soon be ready. We also have to ensure that we get coaches that we can use pending when they finish the construction of the 64 coaches.”
Coaches and wagon factory to be built in Nigeria: Amaechi said a verbal agreement was made with CCECC to establish a factory that will be used to manufacture coaches and wagon in Nigeria in order to create job opportunities for Nigerians.
He also disclosed that the Chinese firm opted for Ogun State as the location for the factory despite Amaechi favouring Zaria.
“We had a verbal agreement for them to produce 15 per cent of the coaches, locomotives and wagons. They came back and said it was too expensive to establish locomotives and coaches factory and that we can start with the wagon and do 100 per cent assembly in Nigeria for the first five years. After the first five years, they will now build a factory that will manufacture wagons in Nigeria.
“It is not part of the contract we signed in 2017 but I insisted that for me to sign, they must localise it to create more jobs and reduce the expenditure of foreign exchange. Instead of going to buy dollars, you pay the Chinese in their local currency.
“We have to go further to ask them if we can own it. We have not talked about ownership but what we said was localise it. Although they are using their profit to build it, you can make them hand over the ownership to Nigeria. As for the assembly plant, I intended for Zaria but they chose Kajola in Ogun state.”
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Railway Corporation has been informed by Amaechi to provide land for the wagon factory to CCECC before May 8, 2019.
Uganda Elections: Museveni re-elected for 6th term with 58.6% of the votes
Uganda’s President Museveni has won a 6th term in office as the opposition alleges wide-scale rigging.
The President of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni, has been re-elected as President, gathering 5.85 million votes compared to 3.48 million votes by main opposition leader, Robert Kyagulanyi, a.k.a Bobi Wine.
According to Reuters, this victory represents 58.6% of the vote cast while Bobi Wine got 34.8%
Bobi Wine announced that the election results show this is the most fraudulent election in the history of Uganda and urged his followers to reject the result.
What you should know
- Yoweri Museveni, aged 76, has been President of the East African nation since 1986.
- Bobi Wine claimed via his official Twitter handle that military men jumped over his fence and took control of his home yesterday.
Combined Vaccine Manufacturing capacity to hit 6.8 billion doses in 2021
COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing capacity is expected to hit 6.8 billion doses in 2021.
Meristem Group disclosed that the combined effort in manufacturing COVID-19 vaccines for global use is expected to yield about 6.8 billion doses in 2021.
This was revealed in the Annual Outlook 2021 report presented by Meristem Group, titled “Bracing for a different future.”
According to the report, the existing manufacturing capacity will only be sufficient enough to immunize about 44% of the global population, which would create obvious vaccination gap and make the pandemic last longer than necessary.
The report states,
- “The cold temperature requirements for vaccine storage pose major logistics concern particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa and other low-income countries. WHO estimates that about 50% of vaccines are wasted every year, largely due to a lack of temperature control.”
According to the report, the estimated 6.8billion doses are expected to be collaboratively manufactured as follows: CanSino – 0.2billion, AstraZeneca – 3.0 billion, Gamaleya – 0.3billion, Moderna – 0.4billion, Pfizer-BioNtech – 1.3billion, SinoPharm – 1billion, and SinoVac – 0.6billion.
What you should know
- The global population as of 2020 is 7.8billion and 70% is required to achieve herd immunity (otherwise called herd protection)
- Herd Immunity or herd protection is achieved when you have most of the population immunized against an infectious disease.
- 2 doses of the vaccines are required for each person for immunity.
- It is expected that between 11 and 15 billion doses would be required to achieve the desired herd immunity, globally.
- From all indications, herd immunity may not be achieved until mid or late 2022, with the subsisting 100% vaccine production capacity utilization in 2021 – with neither production nor distribution losses.
- To achieve regulatory approval, a vaccine must undergo a three-stage clinical development process after the exploratory and pre-clinical stages and the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sets a phase 3 efficacy benchmark of 50%.
Covid-19: Global deaths surpass 2 million
Global casualty record for the Covid-19 pandemic surpassed 2 million deaths on Friday.
The Global casualty record for the Covid-19 pandemic surpassed 2 million deaths on Friday, with the United States accounting for 1 in every 5 deaths, as it has recorded over 386,000 casualties so far.
This was disclosed in a report by Reuters in its Covid-19 tally reported on Friday evening.
After the United States, Brazil, Mexico, India and the U.K contribute nearly 50% of the combined casualties.
The report also disclosed that an average of 11,900 casualties are recorded per day in year 2021, despite the fact that it took 9 months for the world to record 1 million casualties.
United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, said the 2 million death count was “a heart-wrenching milestone.”
- “Behind this staggering number are names and faces: the smile now only a memory, the seat forever empty at the dinner table, the room that echoes with the silence of a loved one,” he added.
The WHO warned that 2021 could be tougher due to the nature of new variants which transmit the disease faster.
- “We are going into a second year of this. It could even be tougher given the transmission dynamics and some of the issues that we are seeing,” WHO Chief, Mike Ryan, said.
Analysts expect the global death toll to surpass 3 million by April 2021.
What you should know
- Nairametrics reported that the total number of covid-19 cases in Nigeria had surpassed the 100,000 mark on Sunday 10th January 2021, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.
- The African Union stated that it secured 270 million Covid-19 vaccine doses for the continent from drug manufacturers to supplement the COVAX programme, a step towards the commencement of the complex task of vaccinating over 1.2 billion people with limited financial resources.
- The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control on Friday 15th January 2021, announced that 1,867 new cases of the covid-19 virus were recorded across 24 states in the country. This represents the highest number of cases recorded in a single day.