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Africa CDC, AU Pledge Support for Gavi 2024 AVMA Unveiling

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The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) and the African Union (AU) have pledged their full support for the forthcoming Gavi’s 2024 African Vaccine Manufacturing Accelerator (AVMA).

A statement from the Africa CDC on Sunday said the AVMA inauguration, which will hold on June 20 in Paris, France, will provide financial incentives to help vaccine manufacturers in Africa scale up production and become sustainable on a long-term basis.

It said the Africa CDC recognised Gavi as a pivotal partner for health security and collective resilience to vaccine-preventable diseases across the continent.

According to the statement, Gavi has invested US$11.

9 billion from 2000 to 2022 to enhance access to life-saving vaccines in Africa, preventing 11.1 million future deaths in the continent.

Gavi is expected to unveil a groundbreaking US$1 billion commitment over ten years through a new AVMA initiative aimed at bolstering African health security and sovereignty.

“This week, Gavi board approved a 5-years new alliance strategy 2026-2030 which will be focusing on accelerating vaccine coverage, introducing new vaccines, strengthening health systems for equity, and supporting global health security and regional vaccine manufacturing.

“As a public-private partnership, Gavi is funded through replenishment events hosted by donor governments to mobilize support from governments, philanthropies, the private sector, various institutions, civil society organizations, and individuals.

“In a show of commitment and support as the continent is the primary beneficiary of Gavi funds, Africa CDC and the African Union and African member states stand ready to fully support the 2024 replenishment holding in France”.

It said the 2024 replenishment meeting would highlight Gavi’s support for Africa’s agenda of local manufacturing, as endorsed by African Heads of States under the Africa CDC’s Platform for Harmonised Health Manufacturing in Africa (PHAHM).

Dr Jean Kaseya, the Director-General of Africa CDC, underscored the importance of respectful partnership and collaboration.

Kaseya said: “Local manufacturing is the second independence of Africa because it impacts our health security and economic growth.

“Additionally, Africa CDC will spearhead the Lusaka agenda to strengthen national leadership and partner coordination for effective implementation of the One Plan, One Budget, and one M&E Framework.

“In recognition of AVMA’s significance to Africa, the popular launch of AVMA will occur on African soil in the coming weeks.

“It will bring together African leaders, Gavi, donors, partners, African Civil Society Organisations, and communities to reflect on and celebrate the journey toward Africa’s self-reliance in vaccines manufacturing, therapeutics, and diagnostics.

“Together, we stand on the brink of a new era for Africa’s self-reliance in health security, driven by innovation, partnership, and a shared vision for a safer, healthier, and more prosperous Africa”. (NAN)

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NDLEA seized 761,000 Tonnes of Illicit Drugs in 3 Years, Says Marwa

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Retired Brig.-Gen. Buba Marwa, the  Chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), says the agency seized 761,000 tonnes of  illicit drugs and substances between January 2021 and March 2024.

Marwa said this during a special Juma’at service as part of  activities to mark the 2024 International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking at the National Mosque in Abuja on Friday.

Reports says that June 26 every year is set aside to commemorate the day and the theme of the 2024 World Drug Day (WDD) is: “Evidence is Clear, Let Us Invest in Prevention”.

The NDLEA boss said that the 2018 drug use survey showed that 15 million Nigerians abused drugs, saying that it was three times the global average.

Marwa, who described the report as unacceptable said that the aim of the year 2024 World Drug Day (WDD) Campaign was Prevention.

“Money-making is the major reason drug barons are persistent inspite of the efforts of the agency to curb to the barest minimum drug abuse and illicit drug trafficking.

“When you look at the population of Nigeria and you take out 15 million, it means the rest are not.

We don’t want even a single Nigerian to enter that basket of users.

“We have made seizures in three years of 761,000 tons but they still keep coming and we have to look at the other side.

“Now, assuming we didn’t seize it, were will it be? it will be on the streets and the money would have been used for very negative purposes or it would have gone to the criminals.

“We are doing our level best, supported by the government to make sure the supply reduction is very effective,” he said.

Speaking further, Marwa said that prevention was very important in dealing with drug abuse and illicit drug trafficking, adding that the agency had recommended a two track approach.

He said that the first and most important track was global which was the entire society, all fragments, beginning with the family, parenting, adding that the children should be taught as they grow up why drug use was bad.

“We have children killing their parents. So in anyway, parentage and parenting is also important.

“Most important is the community level, the traditional institution, religious bodies, both christian and Muslim should include in their sermons and the advocacy in the school system and the curriculum.

“There should be  random drug tests. For instance, we have promoted drug tests for students, tertiary institutions and drug tests before marriage.

“When you go for the wedding, bring the HIV, the genotype and bring drug tests that are negative.

“These are some of the steps on this side. On the other side is to deny availability of drugs and access. You have to have drugs first to abuse it.

“And it’s our job as NDLEA to launch operations to seize drugs, arrest the offenders, take them to court, and seize their assets as well, “he said.(NAN)

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E-border Solution’ll Help Check Transborder-related Crimes, Says Immigration Chief 

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Kemi Nandap, the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Immigration Service (CGIS), said the e-border solution deployed across the country’s border posts would help check transborder and other related crimes.

Nandap stated this on Friday in Kongolam, Mai’aduwa Local Government Area of Katsina State while addressing immigration officers, during her assessment tour to the border post in the area.

“I know the government has deployed an e-border solution and I am here to see how it is.

“The essence of e-border solution is to improve border management by ensuring that the way we manage our borders is intelligence-based.

“It will help us have accurate information in terms of monitoring who goes out and who comes in, thereby helping us in tackling transborder crimes such as smuggling of immigrants and other forms of insecurity,” she said.

She, therefore, charged the immigration officers to understand why they were posted there and what their mandate was.

“And you must do the job professionally. The era of leaving your job to others is over,” she observed.

The comptroller-general further stressed the need for effective synergy with other agencies operating at various border posts.

“Synergy with other agencies is compulsory because security is a collective effort.

“But your core mandate must be observed strictly and diligently by you.

“The mandate is to secure the country’s borders and the President has mandated us to ensure that our borders are secure.

“And I am determined to deliver. That is why I’m here,” she said.

Nandap explained that although every agency has its mandate, “all agencies can work collectively to achieve the same goal.”

She said the tour would enable her to focus on the challenges observed to tackle them and ensure effective border management.

She reiterated the service’s commitment to ensuring the welfare of the personnel is given the required attention while providing them with the modern facilities and logistics they require to enhance their operations. (NAN)

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Alia To Constructs 10 Rural Roads In Gboko/Tarka Federal Constituency  

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From Attah Ede, Makurdi 

Benue State Governor, Rev Fr. Hyacinth Alia, on Thursday, declared that he will construct ten(10) solid rural roads in Gboko and Tarka Federal Constituency within the next few months in additional to the ongoing construction of flyover in Gboko, the traditional headquarters of Tiv nation.

 

Alia stated this, when he was addressing the people of Gboko/Tarka Federal Constituency at the Gboko township stadium in continuation of his one year thank you tour to the area.

The governor stated that he made no mistake in his decision to construct flyover in Gboko and Makurdi, saying that both the proposed 10 new roads in Gboko and Tarka with the underpasses Gboko and Makurdi, will undergo construction simultaneously and shall be deliver on time.

 

He promised to remain committed to the delivery of projects for Benue people, stressing that the opportunity that Benue people gave him to serve them is a privilege, which he took so seriously and vowed never to disappoint them.

Governor Alia explained that upon assumption of offiice one year ago, he has deliberately embarked on delivery of people oriented policies and programmes aimed at improving the lives and wellbeing of Benue citizens.

He said in the last one year, his administration has carried out massive construction of roads, renovation of offices and prompt payment of salary and pension to civil servants and pensioners.

The governor disclosed that he has directed that salary of workers should no longer be paid on 25th of every month but now as from 22nd of every month to enhance their standard of living.

“I have initiated policies that restore peace and public order in the State. I have also initiated programs for youths of the State, to engage them in acts that could make themselves reliant.

Governor however appealed to the people of the area to shun acts that is capable of thwarting development and remain supportive of his administration for more dividends of democracy.

He particularly thanked the people Gboko and Tarka local government areas for the show of love, care and support given to him in the last one year and promised to bring more development to their areas.

Earlier in his remarks, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the State, Chief Barnabas Gemade, said governor Alia has lived up to people’s expectations, hence his developmental strides and good governance. 

The State Acting Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Benjamin Omakolo, thanked the people of Gboko/Tarka Federal Constituency for chosen Alia as their governor.

He stated that Governor Hyacinth Alia has so far lead Benue people very well as evident in the execution of numerous projects and timing payments of workers and pensioners entitlement.

Mr. Omakolo noted that Governor Alia has never borrow or taking loan from any bank or organisation to execute projects and pay salary of workers, rather, he was prudently using the monies from federation allocations and internally generated revenues to do what he had done so far.

He described Father Alia as a committed and dedicated servant whose passion for development and wellbeing of people made him to leave his priestly assignment to come and develop Benue State.

He announced that over 4,000 members of various political parties in Gboko and Tarka Federal Constituency defected into the APC and that he had received them with thanks.

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