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FG donates utility vehicles, medical equipments to armed forces to health institutions in Northeast

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FG donates utility vehicles, medical equipments to armed forces to health institutions in  Northeast


The Federal Government has donated logistics vehicles and equipment to the Nigeria Armed Forces and other security agencies as well as ambulances and other medical equipment to Federal Medical Institutions/Medical Centers in the North-East Region.
This was contained in a statement that was signed by deputy director information in the ministry Rhoda Ishaku Iliya.
The statement indicated that the Honourable Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq, presented the vehicles on behalf of the North- East Development Commission, to the beneficiary Government institutions Thursday at the Government House, Maiduguri, Borno State.
Farouq said,
“The restoration of peace and stability in the North-East Region
is one of the cardinal objectives of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
“The devastation caused by the Boko Haram crises in the North-East, which started over ten years ago, is colossal, hence we need to put enormous effort in place for rebuilding, resettlement, peace building, early recovery and long-term Development of the region.
She indicated that no effort in returning the region to normalcy will be too much.
“We are all living witnesses of the enormous security challenges being faced in the North-East Region a decade ago.These  challenges have been drastically reduced, thanks to the efforts of all players in the security sector.
“There is the need to take further steps to achieve lasting security and peace in the Region to pave way for holistic recovery and development” the Minister noted.
She stated that the bold step taken by the NEDC to acquire and donate the vehicles and other equipment to the Armed Forces and other security agencies is commendable.
“I wish to assure you of President Muhammadu Buhari’s concern and commitment to achieving lasting peace and stability, prosperity, recovery and long-term socio-economic Development of the North-East Region” she added.”
The Minister assured all stakeholders that the Ministry and it’s Agencies will continue to accord the Region all the deserved attention it requires.
The Senate President, Represented by the Chairman Senate Committee on Army, Senator Ali Ndume, stated that the damage done in the North-East  Region is about N9.2 billion and the approved 2020 budget for the  NEDC is grossly inadequate.
He also appealed to the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs to make special consideration for prospective candidates of the N-POWER online registration that is commencing on June 26, 2020.
He said that candidates in the Region who have no access to Internet as a result of the damage done to communication equipment in the region could be considered for manual registration.
The Executive Governor of Borno State, His Excellency, , Professor Babagana Umara Zulum, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for the creation of the NEDC which plays key role in the reconstruction and development of the region.
The Governor called on all stakeholders to be law abiding, calm and promised to provide necessary support to the Armed Forces and the security agencies working in the region.
Other dignitaries at the event include the Representatives of the State Governors of the North-East Region, National Assembly members, the National Security Adviser, His Royal Highness, the Shehu of Borno, Chairman NEDC, Major Gen. Paul Tarfa (rtd), amongst others.
Items include Toyota Buffalo pick-up trucks;  Toyota Hilux pick-up trucks, Ambulances, Knee Girdles, Hospital beds and Solar Fridges.

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HealthPlus: Why PCN must remain neutral

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HealthPlus: Why PCN must remain neutral

By Kasim Adeyemi

The Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) has recently involved itself in a needless controversy over the disagreement between Alta Semper Capital, a renowned U.K. investment firm and Mrs. Bukky George, the founder and erstwhile Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of pharmaceutical retailer HealthPlus Limited.

It all started in 2017 when Alta Semper began talks with HealthPlus to give a lifeline to the business and help grow it. At the time Mrs. George approached the PCN to secure a letter of “no objection” to the investment. Although such a letter was neither a pre-requisite for foreign investment in a pharmaceutical company in Nigeria, nor has the PCN ever issued it before, the regulatory body honoured the request in a bid to support Mrs. George and save HealthPlus from a potential collapse due to paucity of funds.

The letter was issued by PCN in October 2017 and by March 2018, Alta Semper invested an initial sum of $10 million dollars, thus becoming majority owner of the company. The investors had a window to inject another $8million subject to certain conditions, which were never satisfied.

Aside from selling the majority of her shares to Alta Semper, Bukky George had entered into a Management Agreement with HealthPlus. The Management Agreement details the terms of her employment and provides for automatic termination in certain circumstances, including where Mrs. George commits any act which in the opinion of a majority of the Board expressed in writing, constitutes serious professional misconduct. It was on this basis that the Board terminated her employment in September 2020 due to serious breaches to corporate governance.

It was at this point that Mrs. George started to peddle her influence around, complaining that her company was being taken away from her. Never mind that she sold majority stake to investors who brought in $10million when the firm was going broke. And never mind that she freely agreed to that termination mechanism when she signed the Management Agreement.

On 2 March 2021 news filtered into the public domain that the PCN had withdrawn the “no objection” letter issued to HealthPlus. Mrs George quickly issued a statement to stakeholders saying that Alta Semper and their agents are no longer authorized by law to own or manage a retail pharmacy business in Nigeria.

As an investment analyst, I know for sure that a “no objection” letter is not required for any investment in pharmaceutical business in Nigeria. The PCN Act does not provide for this, neither does any regulation issued by PCN or any other authority. It is therefore not within the statutory powers of the PCN to pronounce foreign investment legal or otherwise. The Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission Act and the Poisons and Pharmacy Act 1992 (PPA) permit foreign investors to own all the share capital in retail pharmacy companies.

Mrs. George’s statement was therefore a clear attempt to spin the news and misrepresent the facts of the matter – and the letter of the law – using PCN’s letter as cover. Her plan quickly fell apart as HealthPlus issued a counter statement to stakeholders stressing that the letter of “no objection” from the PCN was not a pre-requisite for their investment.

Indeed, the PCN itself had noted clearly in its communication withdrawing the “no objection” letter that the document “has no bearing on the corporate structure and the relationships within HealthPlus.”

I do not intend to take sides with Mrs. George or Altа Semper, but it is my considered opinion that by withdrawing its “no objection” over a dispute between shareholders, PCN has undermined its own credibility and exposed the body to potential disrepute.

Foreign investors may now be seriously deterred from further investing in pharmaceutical business in Nigeria as the credibility of regulatory authorities is among the factors that contribute to enhancing the attractiveness or otherwise of a business operating environment. Nigeria has lost huge foreign investments in the last half decade and the government is working hard to restore investor confidence in the economy. A regulatory body should therefore not be seen to be inconsistent in its position.

I believe that the PCN issued the initial letter in good faith. What is however unclear is why it withdrew the letter, even though it acknowledged that the document was inconsequential in determining the legality of the investment. The PCN is charged with the responsibility for regulating and controlling Pharmacy Education, Training and Practice in all aspects and ramifications in Nigeria. It is important for the regulatory body to exercise more caution and avoid unnecessarily reversing itself so as to preserve its hard-earned reputation.

Adeyemi is an investment analyst writing from Ebute Metta, Lagos

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President Buhari, Osinbajo receive COVID-19 vaccine as Bello says he will not take vaccine

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President Buhari, Osinbajo receive COVID-19 vaccine as Bello says he will not take vaccine




President Muhammadu Buhari
Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo have been vaccinated against the dreaded coronavirus (COVID-19).



The President received the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine on Saturday at the New Banquet hall, Presidential Villa Abuja.
Osinbajo was administered the vaccines by his personal physician, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
After the vaccination, both President Muhammadu Buhari and Osinbajo were presented with their E-vaccination cards.

However, Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State has maintained his hardline posture against the dreaded COVID-19 which he said is a business venture by those he said were deceiving Nigerians.
He said he would neither take any vaccine nor compel any one in the state to take it.

Earlier at the Banquet hall, the Minister of health, Dr Osagie Ehanire thanked the President for always supporting the health sector in meeting its challenges.

Osagie lauded Buhari for deciding to take the vaccine publicly, adding that the move would help to convince Nigerians on the effectiveness of the vaccine.

It was reported that the President, Osinbajo and other top government officials were scheduled to take the vaccine on Live Television on Saturday.

Also, all governors in the 36 States in Nigeria will be vaccinated on Wednesday March 10.

Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Faisal Shuaib, disclosed this at the second edition of State House weekly briefing.

Meanwhile, as at March 6, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases stands at 158,042, with 1,954 deaths, while no fewer than 137,025 patients have been successfully treated and discharged.
The Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello has insisted COVID-19 is not Kogi’s headache, he will not take vaccine.
However, he said if the Federal Government is gracious enough to send the vaccine to the state, the government would accept it and ask anyone willing to take it to come forward.

There has been controversy between the Kogi State Government and federal health authorities over COVID-19 cases in the state.

The government of Bello has consistently declared that the state is COVID-19 free.

As the Federal Government rolled out the AstraZeneca Vaccine Jabs on Friday, Nigerians were encouraged to take the vaccine.

But the Kogi Governor restated that COVID-19 is not the business of the state.

Bello said, “COVID-19 is not our business in Kogi State. We are dealing with more serious issues in Kogi State, not COVID-19. COVID-19 is just the minutest aspect of what we are treating in Kogi State.

“There has been an outbreak of Lassa Fever, Yellow Fever and those were handled without making noise. On the last Yellow Fever outbreak, we vaccinated our people against it, we encouraged them, we educated them and they felt the impact because it ravaged some communities in Kogi State.

“They came up and we vaccinated them. So if the Federal Government is gracious enough to give us COVID-19 vaccines, we are only going to sensitize our people, whoever wishes to come and take should come forward and take the vaccination but I am not going to subject the people of Kogi State to vaccination. I will not make them the guinea pigs.”

Asked if he would join President Muhammadu Buhari to take the vaccine on live TV, he said, “Mr. President is the leader of this country. I respect him so much. All of us respect him so much. We love him and he is leading by example. If he needs to take the vaccine and he takes it, it is a welcome development. As far as I am concerned. I, as a person, don’t need to take a vaccine. Nothing is wrong with me, I am hale, hearty, 100 percent healthy. I can give you my health report anytime you desire it.



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Senate alters 26 year old law to give Lafia Teaching Hospital headway

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Senate alters 26 year old law to give Lafia Teaching Hospital headway

The Senate, Wednesday, commenced amendment to the University Teaching Hospitals (Reconstitution of Boards) Act 1985, to pave way for the Federal University of Lafia Teaching Hospital to have legal framework The move to amend the Principal Act in this direction came with the consideration of the University Teaching Hospitals (Amendment) Bill, 2021, which scaled second reading during plenary.  The bill was sponsored by Senator Umaru Tanko Al-Makura (APC, Nasarawa South). Leading debate on the bill, Al-Makura noted that the bill in particular seeks “to amend the University Teaching Hospitals (Reconstitution of Boards, Etc) Act No.10 1985 (In this Bill referred to as the “Principal Act”), to include an additional Teaching Hospital, the “Federal University Lafia Teaching Hospital” thereby giving full recognition to the Teaching Hospital sought to be included in the Principal Act through this Bill.” According to the lawmaker, the proposed amendment when passed, would complete all the required legislative enactments to bring the Federal University Lafia Teaching Hospital into full operation.  “I wish to state that in compliance with Order 77(3) of the Senate Standing Orders, 2015 as amended, this Bill when passed will have no immediate financial burden on the Federal Government treasury as the facilities for the immediate takeoff of the proposed Teaching Hospital for the Federal University, Lafia and its Management Board have been donated by the Nasarawa State Government”, Al-Makura added.  The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, after the bill scaled second reading, referred same to the Committee on Health for further work. The Senator Yahaya Oloriegbe-led Committee is expected to report back within four (4) weeks.

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