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Yellow Fever has killed 172 Nigerians so far – WHO

The WHO has disclosed that 172 Nigerians have died from a Yellow Fever outbreak in 2020.

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Dr Tedros Adhanom, Head of the World health organization (WHO), COVID-19

The World Health Organization has disclosed that Yellow Fever outbreak has killed 172 Nigerians so far in 2020 since the counting began.

This was disclosed by WHO spokesman, Tarik Jasarevic to reporters in Geneva on Sunday, reported by AFP. He disclosed that the outbreak adds more challenges to Nigeria’s healthcare system already stretched by covid-19.

READ: COVID-19 could impoverish additional 5 million Nigerians – World Bank  

READ: Africa: South African unemployment rises to 17-year high of 30.8%

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READ: COVID-19: Nigeria occupies 6th position in recovery rate in West Africa

“As of November 24, the outbreak has been reported in five states in Nigeria: Delta, Enugu, Bauchi, Benue and Ebonyi,” Tarik Jasarevic told Newsmen on Friday.

“A total of 530 suspected cases have been reported, including 48 that have been confirmed by lab testing.

“A total of 172 deaths have been reported out of those 530 suspected cases,” he added.

READ: Oil supply feared to drop by 3%, as new cases of COVID-19 infections increase

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He also added that Nigeria is conducting sample tests in laboratories nationwide, however, Nigeria’s response might be limited due to the focus on Covid-19 pandemic by state resources.

The WHO said 16 of the 36 states in Nigeria have ramped up vaccination operations, and expects 6 more states to complete yellow fever vaccinations by the first quarter of 2021.

READ: Foreign investors ship $21.14 billion to 22 States in 10-month 

What you should know 

  • Nairametrics reported last month that Delta state recorded samples or yellow fever after a mysterious serious of deaths also linked to Lassa fever.
  • The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) reported to WHO a cluster of deaths in Ute Okpu community in Ika North-East local government area (LGA) of Delta State.
  • Additional cases were reported from 4 other wards of Ika North-East (Idumessah, Owa Alero, Owanta, and Umunede).
  • A preliminary report for Delta State on 5 November 2020, notified of 48 suspected cases of yellow fever (YF) with 30 deaths (CFR 62.5%).

READ: FG earmarks $1.6 billion for sea-port construction 

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Access Bank rejects Appeal Court’s suspension of injunction against Seplat, approaches Supreme Court

Access Bank has expressed its displeasure over the ruling by the Court of Appeal which lifted the Mareva injunction against Seplat Petroleum.

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Access Bank Plc has filed a Notice of Appeal at the Supreme Court, objecting to the suspension of the interim Mareva injunction on the assets of Seplat Petroleum Development Company, by the Appeal Court.

Nairametrics had earlier reported that the Court of Appeal had suspended the Mareva injunction, and subsequently ordered the opening of Seplat’s corporate offices.

Nairametrics reported that Access Bank Plc had obtained the Mareva injunction through an Ex-Parte order dated November 13, 2020 to seal offices and freeze the accounts of Seplat, over the indebtedness of Cardinal Drilling Services, a company which Access Bank believes is partly owned by Seplat’s boss, Mr ABC Orjiakor.

After some months of being under lock and keys, respite came the way of Seplat Petroleum on January 22, 2021 when Hon. Justice Ikyegh of the Appeal Court lifted the interim order on Seplat Petroleum assets, pending the determination of the appeal filed by Seplat.

Access Bank’s reaction to the ruling

  • Expressing dissatisfaction over the ruling by the appeal court, Access Bank, through its Solicitors, Kunle Ogunba and Associates maintained that the learned justices of the court erred in law through the suspension of the interlocutory orders made by the trial judge at the Federal High Court. The solicitors regarded the outcome as an abuse of court process filed to interfere with the due administration of justice.
  • The bank in an affidavit maintained that “by discharging the said interlocutory orders, the Lower Court had unwittingly (via a motion) determined the main Appeal which seeks to also discharge the interlocutory orders made by the trial court.”
  • The bank is praying that the Supreme Court reinstate the interlocutory orders made by the Trial Court on December 24, 2020, thereby overriding the judgement of the Appeal court en route.
  • In the same vein, the Bank is also seeking a court order restraining the defendants, that is Seplat, Cardinal Drilling Services Ltd, Mr. Orjiako, Ambrose Bryant, Kalu Nwosu and/or any other person acting through them from taking further steps towards enforcing, executing or giving any effect to the ruling/order of the Court of Appeal pending the hearing and final determination of the appeal it has filed at the Supreme Court.

Flashback:

  • Recall that Nairametrics reported some months ago that Access Bank obtained an Ex-Parte Order dated November 13th, 2020, to seal the assets of Seplat over debt owed by Cardinal Drilling Services Limited.
  • The bank also obtained a Mareva injunction freezing the accounts of Seplat in Nigeria and abroad.
  • Seplat had appealed the December 24, 2020 decision of the Federal High Court granting injunctions that, among others, resulted in the sealing of its corporate offices in Lagos.
  • The Federal High Court had earlier turned down an application by Seplat to access its accounts and offices which were earlier shut down by a Mareva injunction obtained by Access Bank against it.
  • Access Bank is understood to be grappling with a string of bad loans issued under the defunct Diamond Bank and is now stepping up efforts to go after some of the debtors by obtaining several court orders to seize properties.

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Digital transformations and AfCFTA as critical imperatives for the rebound of African economies

Digital transformations as well as AfCFTA are considered necessary for the fast recovery of the African economies.

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Leveraging technology to drive government agenda is a must to keep up with changing times - Tolu Ogunlesi, SA to the President on New Media, tech

Technological transformations through digitization as well as the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) are considered as quite critical in supporting the fast recovery of the African economies.

This assertion is contained in the Foresight Africa 2021 report published by African Growth Initiatives of the Brookings Institution, a non-profit organization devoted to independent research and policy solutions.

According to the report:

  • ”Digital transformation is arguably Africa’s biggest opportunity arising from the crisis.
  • “During the pandemic, the continent has accelerated its adoption of ICTs: lockdown conditions have pushed many sectors to raise their online presence and expand their range of digital services, with developments that would ordinarily take years compressed into several months.
  • “Significant opportunities remain for digital acceleration in key sectors, particularly government, education, retail trade, and finance.
  • The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which also holds promise for accelerating the region’s economies through economic integration and a shift in focus toward high-productivity industrial activities commenced trading on January 1, 2021.
  • “With the increased ease of intra-African trade, African businesses will be empowered to transform continent-wide needs into opportunities for entrepreneurship.”

What you should know

  • From the hard lessons of the COVID-19, African leaders should prioritize scaling up investments in the physical and technological infrastructures needed as impetus for radical digital transformations.
  • The workforce should be appropriately equipped with the requisite trainings to acquire relevant basic and advanced digital skills that would add values in their businesses, from mobile transactions to graphic design and coding, etc.
  • Leaders should also encourage digital practices on the small-scale in order to encourage widespread usage of digital tools, as in countries like Kenya and Rwanda that have lowered their transaction charges in digital payments towards boosting adoption.
  • Leaders should focus on policies and decisions that would have greater and long-lasting impacts, especially around technological adoption and effective implementation of the AfCFTA.

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53,460 3G and 4G Base Transceiver Stations (BTS) deployed in Nigeria – Prof. Danbatta

The 3G and 4G base transceiver stations deployed in Nigeria in the last 5 years increased from 30,000 to 53,460.

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Buhari reappoints Danbatta as NCC Vice Chairman/CEO

A total of 53,460 third-generation (3G) and fourth-generation (4G) base transceiver stations (BTS) have been deployed in Nigeria in the last five years.

This was disclosed by the Executive Vice Chairman of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta at a briefing session for the new Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Engr. Festus Yusuf Daudu.

According to Danbatta, the effective regulatory regime put in place by his leadership has created the desired impetus for the increased deployment of infrastructure by various telecoms operators, which in turn, has helped to improve the broadband penetration and other related service delivery in the telecoms industry.

The BTS, fibre optic cables and other related infrastructure are central to the provision of improved service experience for Nigerians by their respective telecoms service providers.

“The licensed Infrastructure Companies (InfraCos) are also expected to add 38,296km to optic fibre cables when they commence full operations.

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What they are saying

According to Prof Danbatta:

  • The Commission will continue to put in its best in the discharge of its mandates, especially in facilitating the deployment of broadband, which is central to diversifying the Nigerian economy and national development”
  • “Also, it is our belief that the communications industry, under the leadership of the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, will experience more quantum leaps and retain its current leadership role in the telecommunications space”

In his reaction and comment, the new Perm Sec, Engr. Festus Yusuf Daudu said:

  • “I want to thank NCC for its contribution to the Nigerian economy so far. I am not exaggerating about the achievements of NCC, in terms of contribution to GDP and how NCC’s effective regulatory role has been helping the economy in so many ways

What you should know

  • The BTS system is part of a GSM network that is responsible for the reception and transmission of radio signals from mobile phones.
  • A Base Transceiver Station is a general description of equipment consisting of the telecommunication technology and the air interface of the mobile network (GSM, UMTS etc.).
  • The deployment of the 3G and 4G base transceiver stations (BTS) increased from 30,000 to 53,460, in the last 5 years
  • While the Fibre Optic Transmission cables expanded from 47,000km to 54,725km
  • As at November, 2020, active telephony subscribers stood at 208 million with tele-density standing at 108.92%
  • Active Internet subscriptions of 154.9 million were achieved with broadband penetration rate of 45.07%
  • The number of subscriptions to DND service hit over 30 million as the service empowers Nigerians to be able to protect themselves from the menace of unsolicited text messages and calls.

Why this matters

Having more Base Transceiver Stations (BTS) is quite imperative for driving an improved broadband/telecoms service delivery to Nigerian subscribers.

The poor services currently experienced by many telephony subscribers, especially in areas not sufficiently covered by Base stations, will now be a thing of the past as even subscribers in the remotest rural areas can conveniently receive and make calls and as well as enjoy other subscription services, without hitches.

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