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African Medical Centre of Excellence Concludes Health Forum in Abuja

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By Tony Obiechina, Abuja

 African Medical Centre of Excellence, Abuja (AMCE Abuja), a quaternary-level multi-speciality medical institution developed by the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and King’s College Hospital, London, concluded its African Health Forum 2024 in Abuja, marking a significant milestone in advancing healthcare collaboration and innovation across the continent.

The forum brought together esteemed industry leaders, healthcare professionals, and stakeholders from across Africa and beyond to discuss critical issues facing the healthcare sector and to explore avenues for collaboration and progress.

The opening segment featured Prof.

Benedict Oramah, President and Chairman of Afreximbank, who provided insights into the historical journey and mission of the AMCE.

Following Prof. Oramah’s remarks, Prof Mohammed Ali Pate, the Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, shed light on current healthcare challenges in Nigeria, particularly focusing on non-communicable diseases.

Keynote addresses from distinguished guests enriched the dialogue, with H.E. Amb. Minata Samate Cessouma, Commissioner for Health, Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development and H.E Dr. Jean Kaseya, Director-General of Africa CDC, offering their perspectives on the future of healthcare in Africa.

A significant highlight of the event was the signing ceremony of the Equity Investment Term Sheet agreement with African Finance Corporation (AFC), to facilitate the commitment of up to USD$40 million from AFC towards the development of the AMCE Abuja.

the event saw the MoU signing between Afreximbank and the Federal Ministry of Health and Social Welfare to support the development of Nigeria’s healthcare sector under the Presidential Initiative for Unlocking Healthcare Value Chains (PVAC).

Through a USD$1 billion Healthcare Value Chain Programme, the partnership will seek to support the establishment of world-class medical and health facilities and increase domestic manufacturing of essential pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, vaccines, biologics and medical consumables.

It will also reduce outbound medical tourism by elevating the quality and accessibility of healthcare services within Nigeria, promoting employment, fostering a culture of locally driven research & development, and attracting investments into Nigeria’s healthcare value chain.

Throughout the day, attendees were treated to engaging presentations and discussions on various topics affecting healthcare delivery on the continent, including the vision and mission of AMCE, clinical overviews, strategies to reduce healthcare worker tourism, and the power of collaboration in healthcare.

The forum also featured cultural performances and networking opportunities, fostering a vibrant atmosphere of exchange and collaboration among participants.

Commenting on the success of the Forum, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Afreximbank, Oramah said, “The African Medical Centre of Excellence initiative was born out of the urgent need to address the inadequacies in healthcare facilities, particularly in dealing with non-communicable diseases.

“With only 48% of Africa’s population having access to essential healthcare services, the situation demanded immediate attention. This Forum is just one of the many initiatives by the Afreximbank Group to emphasise the urgency of the matter.

“The AMCE Abuja will not only serve as a hub for cutting-edge research and clinical services but also as a training ground for future medical professionals across Africa. It will play a pivotal role in tackling the growing burden of non-communicable diseases and reversing the brain drain of qualified medical personnel.

“As we progress towards its completion, we anticipate significant benefits for Africa, including job creation, improved healthcare access, and enhanced intra-regional trade in medical services. With construction well underway and operations set to begin in early 2025, the AMCE Abuja represents a beacon of hope for Africa’s healthcare landscape.

“The AMCE Africa Health Forum provides a platform for stakeholders to strengthen partnerships and collaboration, underscoring the importance of collective action in achieving our shared goal of a healthier Africa.”

Reflecting on the success of the African Health Forum 2024, Brian Deaver, Chief Executive Officer of AMCE Abuja, expressed optimism about the future of healthcare in Africa.

He said, “As we conclude the AMCE African Health Forum today, I am deeply encouraged by the collaborative spirit and shared commitment to advancing healthcare excellence across our continent. Our discussions today have underscored the urgent need for collective action to address the pressing challenges posed by non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in Nigeria and neighbouring regions.

“The AMCE stands ready to play a pivotal role in this endeavour, leveraging our expertise, resources, and strategic partnerships to implement innovative solutions and improve health outcomes for all. Together, we can forge a path toward a healthier, more prosperous future for Africa and its people.”

Furthermore, the President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Afreximbank, Benedict Oramah, outlined the profound impact of the project, emphasising that it will generate approximately 3,000 jobs during both its construction and operational phases.

it will provide prompt, lifesaving detection and management of serious diseases to over 200,000 patients in Nigeria and an additional 150,000 patients from other African countries within its first five years of operation. Additionally, the project will play a pivotal role in fostering intra-regional trade in medical services and strengthening supply chains in the medical and pharmaceutical sectors.

NEWS

Tinubu Mourns Ex-Minister, Ogbonnaya Onu

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President Bola Tinubu has extended his deepest condolences to the Onu family over the passing of Chief Ogbonnaya Onu, a former Minister of Science and Technology in the Buhari administration.

Chief Onu passed away on Thursday at the age of 72.

“The President mourns a luminous star in Nigeria’s political firmament.

The first civilian governor of Abia State; former minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, a principal draughtsman in the founding of the All Progressives Congress (APC), and a valiant partner in the victory of the party in the 2015 elections.
 

“Most importantly, the President celebrates the life of an accomplished scholar, first-class engineer; a man of proven integrity; defiant to indiscipline, but ever yielding to the highest standards of rectitude,” a statement by Chief Ajuri Ngelale, Presidential spokesman quoted the President to have said.

The statement said Tinubu affirmed that the late Onu epitomized Nigeria in concord; in wholeness, as the late statesman believed in and defended Nigeria’s unity, advocated peace, and promoted fellowship across the Niger.

The President also condoled with the friends and associates of Chief Onu, Ebonyi and Abia State Governments, and all Nigerians grieving this gaping loss.

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Business News

Geregu Power Earns N50.4bn From Electricity Sales, Capacity Charges 

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By Tony Obiechina, Abuja 

Geregu Power Plc has generated N50.4bn on electricity sales and capacity charges to Nigerians in the first quarter of 2024.

The power company which is the first listed power company of the Nigerian Exchange Ltd disclosed the performance in its Q1, 2024 financial statement.

The company grew its Q1 revenue by 225 per cent from N14.

2bn in 2023 to N50.
4bn in 2023.

A breakdown reveals that Geregu Power sold energy worth N31bn and received N19bn as revenue from capacity charge.

Recall that the power company posted an annual revenue of N82.9bn in the full year of 2023 but it has covered half of the amount in Q1.

The revenue was above the company’s forecast for Q1 2024 when it projected its revenue to rise to N31.24bn.

Geregu Power recorded a profit before tax of N21.9bn up from the N5.3bn recorded in Q1 of last year, reflecting 307.8 per cent growth.

During the period underreview, the company saw its profit after tax rose by 307.3 per cent to N14.46bn from N3.54bn recorded in Q1 of last year. In the full year 2023, the company made N16.1bn net profit.

The net profit was above the company projection of N5.5bn. 

Geregu Power took an income tax charge of N7.43bn, up from the N1.8bn in Q1 2023. The tax charges were higher than the N2.7bn projected for Q1 2024.

The company also spent N21.5bn on the cost of sales involving gas supply and transportation, up from the N6.6bn spent on gas supply and transportation in Q1 2023.

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Foreign News

U.S. not Expecting to be Drawn into War but Predicts Attack by Iran Against Israel

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The United States expects an attack by Iran against Israel but one that would not be big enough to draw Washington into war, a U.S. official said late on Thursday.

The White House said earlier that Washington did not want conflict to spread in the Middle East and the U.S. had told Iran it was not involved in an air strike against a top Iranian military commander in Damascus.

The White House added it warned Iran to not use that attack as a pretext to escalate further in the region.

Suspected Israeli warplanes bombed Iran’s embassy in Damascus on Monday in a strike for which Iran has vowed revenge and in which a top Iranian general and six other Iranian military officers were killed, ratcheting up tension in a region already strained by the Gaza war.

Iranian sources told Reuters that Tehran has signalled to Washington that it will respond to Israel’s attack on its Syrian embassy in a way that aims to avoid major escalation and it will not act hastily, as Tehran presses demands including a Gaza truce.

The United States has been on high alert about possible retaliatory strikes from Iran and U.S. envoys have been working to lower tensions.

Palestinian Islamist group Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7, killing 1,200, according to Israeli tallies.

Israel’s military assault on Hamas-governed Gaza has since killed more than 33,000 people according to the local health ministry, displaced nearly all of Gaza’s 2.3 million population, caused a humanitarian crisis, and led to genocide allegations that Israel denies.

Iran-backed groups have declared support for Palestinians, waging attacks from Lebanon, Yemen, and Iraq.

Tehran has avoided direct confrontation with Israel or the United States, while declaring support for its allies. (Reuters/NAN)

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