The Central Bank of Nigeria has issued the guideline for accessing the Healthcare Sector Research and Development Intervention Scheme (HSRDIS) grant.
The grant, which is part of the apex bank’s policy response to the COVID-19 pandemic, is designed to help strengthen the public healthcare system with innovative financing of research and development (R&D) in new and improved drugs, vaccines, and diagnostics of infectious diseases in Nigeria.
The guideline was published on the CBN’s website on Tuesday.
Why it matters: HSRDIS is designed to trigger intense national R&D activities to develop a Nigerian vaccine, drugs and herbal medicines against the spread of COVID-19 and any other communicable or non-communicable diseases. This would be done through the provision of grants to biotechnological and pharmaceutical companies, institutions, researchers, and research institutes.
Who is eligible: Activities eligible for consideration under the Scheme shall include:
- Research and development of candidate drugs, herbal medicines, and vaccines validated by relevant health authorities for the control, prevention and treatment of infectious diseases.
- Manufacturing of drugs, herbal medicines and vaccines validated by relevant health authorities for the control, prevention and treatment of infectious diseases.
- Red biotechnological R&D in new health technology for the control, prevention and treatment of infectious diseases.
- The research partnership between academia and industry into the development of drugs and vaccines for the control, prevention and treatment of infectious diseases.
- Research and development into validated phytomedicines for the control, prevention and treatment of infectious diseases.
Important Notice: Candidate vaccines undergoing pre-clinical testing or trials shall not be eligible for consideration under this Scheme. However, candidate vaccines 4 Classified as Confidential undergoing clinical testing or trials shall be eligible for consideration under the Scheme if considered to have high potential to cross the clinical trial stage and prospects of scale by the Body of Experts (BoE).
Who funds the grant: The Scheme shall be funded from the Developmental Component of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Fund (MSMEDF).
- Research activities: Maximum of N50.0 million.
- Development/Manufacturing activities: Maximum of N500.0 million.
NOTE: Disbursement under the Scheme shall be made to beneficiaries in tranches, subject to approved milestones achieved.
Research and Development Timeframe
- research activities: Not more than two (2) years from the date of release of fund.
- Development/Manufacturing activities: Not more than one (1) year from the date of release of fund.
Read the full guidelines here.
Governor Sanwo-Olu says 24,000 students yet to resume in public schools
24,000 students in public schools are yet to return back after the reopening of schools, according to Governor Sanwo-Olu.
The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has revealed that about 24,000 students in public schools are yet to come back after the reopening of schools following last year’s lockdown necessitated by the first wave of Covid-19 across the country.
This is as the governor said that resumption of school activities Monday, January 20, 2021, was a difficult decision to make in light of the second wave of Covid-19.
This disclosure was made by the governor while peaking during a press conference on Covid-19 update at the Lagos House, Ikeja on Tuesday.
Sanwo-Olu assured that it was the best decision for the children’s safety and long-term development, especially the most vulnerable ones.
What the Lagos State Governor is saying
Sanwo-Olu in his statement said, “Last year after the first lockdown and kids have to come back to school, we are still looking for about 24,000 of them that have not come back to school. So, there is a challenge if you keep them out for that long and their parents or guardians now turn them to other things instead of ensuring that they have time to come back for learning even if it is twice or thrice a week.
“At least they have been registered since the beginning of a session and they can be monitored. If not, they will just be roaming the streets and become endangered. We have seen incidents of child abuse and all unprintable things that are being done to these children. So, we believe to a large extent that schools sometimes happen to be the safe haven for them. We have done the roster in which we ensure they keep social distance and we are monitoring,” he said.
What you should know
- It can be recalled that public and private schools below the tertiary level in Lagos State, On Monday, January 18, 2021, reopened for academic activities despite opposition from some stakeholders due to the second wave of coronavirus pandemic in the state.
- Following the surge in the number of infections in the state, which is the epicentre of the disease in the country, there were complaints about the state of preparedness of the schools, especially the public ones, in adhering to the strict Covid-19 protocols and guidelines.
FEC approves 65 years retirement age for teachers, okays special allowances
The FEC has approved an increase in the retirement age of teachers across the country.
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved an increase in the retirement age of teachers across the country from 60 to 65 years or 40 years in service as against 35 in the new Harmonized Retirement Age for Teachers Bill, 2021.
The bill seeks to give legal backing to new measures by the Buhari administration to enhance the teaching profession in the country.
This disclosure was made by the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu while briefing State House correspondents at the end of the first Council meeting of the year, which was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja on Wednesday.
The minister said that some of the highlights of the Harmonized Retirement Age bill which has been forwarded to the National Assembly for consideration and approval include the introduction of bursary award, special rural posting allowances, science teachers’ allowance and other measures to boost the performance of the teachers and attract the best brains.
What the Minister for Education is saying
Adamu said the government decided to increase the years as a reward for teachers’ dedication to duty and also to attract more people to the profession.
- “This memo that was approved for the Ministry of Education is a giant step towards what we set out to do last year, with the approval of some special packages for teachers by the President.
- “So, at the meeting today, Council approved that a bill which will be called harmonized Retirement Age for Teachers in Nigeria Bill 2020 be sent to the National Assembly for enactment into law so that all the promises made by the president and all the approvals he had given to me will now begin to be put into effect because this is the legal backing that is required for it.
- “The essence of the bill actually is to give legal backing for the approval of a new retirement age of 65 for teachers and then the service period being extended to 40 years.
- “The intention is to attract the best brains to the teaching profession and for that, the president approved the reintroduction of bursary awards, improving teacher quality, funding teaching practice from TETFUND, the enhanced entry point for teachers.’’
What this means
- When passed and signed into law, the implementation of the Harmonized Retirement Age for teachers means the retirement age of teachers has been extended to 65 years as against the existing 60 years or 40 years of service as against 35 years that currently apply, whichever of the 2 that comes earlier.
- The bill will help to motivate the teachers across the country and attract the best brains in the profession which had been bedevilled with poor condition of service for the teachers and poor funding.
Bargain hunters propel Nigerian stocks up, investors gain N50 billion
The market breadth closed positive as NNFM led 55 Gainers as against 14 Losers topped by MANSARD at the end of today’s session
Nigerian Stocks ended the mid-week trading session on a bullish note. The All Share Index gained by 0.23% to close at 41,051.63 index points as against the -0.07% drop recorded on Tuesday.
- Nigerian Stock Exchange market value now stands at N21.5 trillion. Its Year-to-Date (YTD) returns currently stands at +2.18%. Investors gained N50.3 billion.
- Nigerian bourse trading turnover ended positively as volume ticked up by 23.74% as against the 28.91% plunge recorded on Tuesday. MBENEFIT, TRANSCORP, and STERLNBANK were the most active to boost market turnover.
- The market breadth closed positive as NNFM led 55 Gainers as against 14 Losers topped by MANSARD at the end of today’s session – an improved performance when compared with the previous outlook.
- NNFM up 10.00% to close at N8.8
- BOCGAS up 9.80% to close at N15.12
- ARDOVA up 9.72% to close at N19.75
- WAPCO up 8.16% to close at N26.5
- FLOURMILL up 1.56% to close at N32.5
- MANSARD down 10.00% to close at N1.53
- JAPAULGOLD down 9.38% to close at N1.16
- CUTIX down 5.50% to close at N2.06
- GUARANTY down 2.07% to close at N33.05
- AFRIPRUD down 1.41% to close at N7
Nigerian stocks recorded gains at the third trading session of the week, as investors increased their buying pressure, especially buying from dips across the market spectrum.
- Nigerian’s crude, at the time of writing, sold at $56/barrel and helped in boosting the Nigerian central bank dollar cash inflows taking to account that crude oil remains Nigeria’s major cash cow.
- However, Nairametrics, envisages cautious buying, amid stringent capital controls set in place by Nigeria’s Apex bank could trigger lower Foreign Portfolio participation in the long term.