A new report from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC has shown that no fewer than 188 Nigerians have died in the current outbreak of Lassa fever this year.
In its weekly report tagged: Week 14?, NCDC disclosed that the number of new confirmed cases decreased from 19 in week 13, to 12.
The NCDC in the weekly report stated that since the onset of the 2020 Lassa fever outbreak, the country has recorded 963 confirmed cases and 188 deaths.
In the last week report, the total number of deaths was 185, which shows that three people died from the disease within the last week.
In week 14, the number of new confirmed cases decreased from 19 cases in week 13, 2020 to 12 cases. These were reported from 5 States (Edo, Ondo, Ebonyi, Bauchi and Sokoto)
The report showed that there has been a gradual reduction in new cases reported across the country in the last three consecutive weeks.
The report blamed the situation on the rains in some parts of the country especially in places with a high burden of the disease.
Cumulatively from week 1 to week 14, 2020, 188 deaths have been reported with a case fatality rate (CFR) of 19.5 per cent which is lower than the percentage for the same period in 2019 (22.7%). In total for 2020, the report showed that 27 States have recorded at least one confirmed case across 126 Local.
Lassa fever diagnosed all year round, peaks in the dry season from November to May.
However, no new healthcare worker was affected in the reporting week 14. So far, the total number affected health workers during the outbreak is now 37.
Meanwhile, the weekly situation reported that three states, Edo, Ondo and Ebonyi, have the highest number of cases from the outbreak.
Of all confirmed cases, 72 per cent are from three states: Edo, 32 per cent; Ondo 32, per cent, and Ebonyi 8 per cent.
According to the report, the five states with the highest number of confirmed cases are Edo with 314 confirmed cases and 39 deaths; Ondo, 309 confirmed cases and 44 deaths; Ebonyi with 73 cases and 16 deaths; Taraba with 55 cases and 21 deaths and Bauchi with 43 cases and 18 deaths.
Also, there has been a significant increase in the figures when compared to the same period in 2019.
According to the statistics, cumulatively between week one and 14, 2020, there were 4287suspected cases, 963 confirmed, 14 probable and 188 deaths compared to the same period in 2019 which had 2133 suspected cases, 537 confirmed, 15 probable and 123 deaths were reported.
FBI Indictment: PSC, IGP Suspend Kyari, Name Inquiry Panel
The Police Service Commission (PSC) has suspended embattled Deputy Commissioner of Police and Head, Intelligence Response Team (IRT) of the Nigeria Police Force, Abba Kyari, from the exercise of the powers and functions of his office.
Kyari’s suspension was contained in a press statement by the commission’s Head, Press and Public Relations, Ikechukwu Ani, made available to newsmen, yesterday.
The commission said Abba Kyari’s suspension took effect from Saturday, July 31, 2021, and would subsist pending the outcome of the investigation in respect of his indictment by the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States.
The commission has also directed the Inspector General of Police to furnish it with information on further development on the matter for necessary further action.
The commission’s decision which was conveyed in a letter with reference, PSC/POL/D/153/vol/V/138 to the Inspector General of Police today, Sunday, August 1st, 2021, was signed by Hon. Justice Clara Bata Ogunbiyi, a retired Justice of the Supreme Court and Honourable Commissioner 1 in the commission for the commission’s Chairman, Alhaji Musiliu Smith, a retired Inspector General of Police who is currently on leave.
Earlier, the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, had recommended the immediate suspension of DCP Abba Kyari from the service of the Nigeria Police Force, pending the report of the four-man investigative panel constituted to probe him.
A statement by the spokesperson of the Force, CP Frank MBA, last Saturday, the IGP, in his letter to the Police Service Commission (PSC), dated July 31, 2021, noted that the recommendation is in line with the internal disciplinary processes of the force.
According to the IGP, the suspension would also create an enabling environment for the NPF Special Investigation Panel, to carry out its investigations into the allegations against Kyari without interference.
He explained that the suspension is without prejudice to the constitutional presumption of innocence in favour of the officer, the statement said.
The four-man Special Investigation Panel (SIP), is headed by the Deputy Inspector General of Police in-charge of the Force Criminal Investigations Department (FCID), DIG Joseph Egbunike.
“The SIP is to undertake a detailed review of all the allegations against DCP Abba Kyari by the US Government as contained in relevant documents that have been availed the NPF by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
“The SIP is also to obtain detailed representation of DCP Abba Kyari to all the allegations levelled against him, conduct further investigations as it deems fit, and submit recommendations to guide further actions by the Force leadership on the matter,” Mba said.
Meanwhile, the IGP has reaffirmed the commitment of the force to the rule of law, and assured the public of the sanctity of the probe as well as the absolute respect for the rights and privileges of the officer throughout the period of the investigations.
‘AKK Gas Pipeline Project ’ll Be Delivered On Schedule’
The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mallam Mele Kyari, has assured that the ongoing 614kilometres Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) gas pipeline project would be delivered on schedule, create prosperity through massive job opportunities and guarantee peace for the country.
A statement by the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of the NNPC, Dr. Kennie Obateru, disclosed that the GMD stated this Thursday at Gas Sector Stakeholders’ Forum which held in Kano, Kano State, with theme: “Optimizing the Economic Development Capacity of Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) Gas Pipeline Project”.
In a paper titled: “The AKK as an Economic Development Game-Changer – NNPC’s Vision, Contributions, & Plan Forward,” Mallam Kyari, stated that the AKK gas project would help revamp about 232 industries creating massive employment opportunities and prosperity for the people.
He said it would also serve as gas supply link to other African countries and Europe upon completion.
“This project has been on the drawing board for 30 years and the dream was to have gas delivered to Europe across the Trans-Sahara route. What we are seeing today would deliver at least 2billion standard cubic feet of gas to the domestic market at the first instance with the potential to increase it. What this means is that it will debottleneck the gas supply network in the entire country,” Mallam Kyari informed.
He said the AKK gas project would also lead to the development of three Independent Power Plants (IPP) in Abuja, Kaduna and Kano, adding that the IPPs would boost electricity supply and promote the growth of small and medium scale enterprises in the Nigeria.
“I want to state clearly that this gathering would not have been possible if we don’t have a line of sight to the completion of the AKK gas pipeline project. This is possible because of the clear direction that Mr. President has shown on the need to deepen domestic gas consumption with a view to creating prosperity out of the enormous gas resources we have as a nation. He has given us all the necessary support and incentives to deliver on this project,” he stated.
Mallam Kyari said the AKK gas project would also boost the Agricultural, Industrial, Manufacturing and Power Sectors for the overall growth of the nation’s economy.
He averred that the AKK gas pipeline project was in sync with the aspiration of the Federal Government to reduce the nation’s carbon footprint in line with the global quest to arrest global warming and climate change and in furtherance of the Decade of Gas programme.
According to him, gas is a key driver of prosperity all over the world and it cannot be different in Nigeria, stressing that the extensive industrial layout in the Otta area of Ogun and Lagos States is anchored on the gas supply by the NNPC and its partners which is creating jobs and other opportunities for people.
In his keynote address, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, said the Gas Sector Stakeholders Forum would ensure collaboration amongst stakeholders geared towards kick-starting the required activities that would guarantee full usage of the gas to be delivered through the AKK pipeline when completed.
“Today’s event reinforces our commitment to realizing the inherent potentials of gas usage as a national catalyst for achieving economic diversification from crude oil and as a transition fuel from fossil of today to the renewable energy of tomorrow,” Chief Sylva submitted.
The event had in attendance major stakeholders in the oil and gas value chain and the Governor of Kano, Alhaji Abdullahi Ganduje, while the Governors of Nasarawa, Niger, Kaduna, the Hon Minister of Finance and Alhaji Aliko Dangote joined virtually. The Governor of Kogi State sent a representative.
FG, OPEC Forge Ties To Ensure Global Oil Market Stability
The Federal Government has given assurance of its readiness to support every move that will bring about stability in the global oil market.
This was reiterated at a visit by Dr Mohammad Barkindo, the Nigerian born Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Scribe, to the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, in Abuja.
They both expressed their readiness to work hand-in-hand to ensure stability of the global crude oil market.
Sylva said that Nigeria, as one of the leading oil and gas producing nations in Africa, would continue to abide by the Declaration of Cooperation (DOC) which has gone a long way in stabilising the market for the collective good of the producing and consuming nations.
On his part, Barkindo applauded Nigeria for the key role it has been playing in the global crude oil market, noting that the 50 years partnership between OPEC and Nigeria has impacted the crude oil market positively.
He presented a book entitled “Nigeria and OPEC: 50 years of Partnership,” to mark the golden anniversary of its membership in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting
Can The Biden Administration Meet Its Ambitious Offshore Wind Power Target?
Earlier this year, the Biden administration said it planned to build offshore wind power generation capacity to the tune of 30 GW by 2030, creating more than 44,000 direct jobs and close to 33,000 indirect ones. To date, the United States has wind power capacity of 118 GW. Of this, only 42 MW is offshore wind. And According to IHS Markit, the 30 GW additional capacity target will almost certainly be missed.
Last year, the United States set a record in wind power capacity additions, at 14.2 GW added during the pandemic year. That was a continuation of another strong year in 2019, which also set a record in wind power additions, according to data from the Energy Information Bureau.
However, the reason for this boom in wind power generation capacity was not a simple response to greater demand for wind power. In fact, the reason for the records set in both 2019 and 2020 was the looming phase-out of the production tax credit, which spurred the mass deployment of wind and solar installations.
In December, Congress extended the production tax credit, which provided wind farm operators with a credit of $0.025 per kWh, until the end of this year. There are other incentives available to the wind industry, too. The biggest is the investment tax credit, which covers between 12 and 30 percent of investment costs at the start of the project. As of December, Congress has established a 30-percent investment tax credit for projects that start construction by December 2025.
So, with so much government help for the wind power industry, the 30 GW target in offshore wind should be a no-brainer. Yet, there are other factors at play besides government incentives and it is these factors, according to IHS Markit, that would make hitting the 30 GW target impossible.
For starters, the permitting process for offshore wind projects is lengthy and complicated, IHS Markit’s Andre Utkin wrote in a recent analysis of the topic. Then, there are not enough manufacturing facilities for the turbines, blades, and other equipment that goes into a utility-scale wind farm. The installation process is also tricky: per U.S. legislation, only U.S.-flagged vessels can sail along the country’s coasts. And there are not enough U.S.-flagged wind turbine installation and service vessels, according to IHS’s Utkin.
Then there is the issue of transmission infrastructure. This is insufficient to accommodate an additional 30 GW of wind power capacity, according to the research firm. The transmission infrastructure problem is a global one, by the way. Earlier this year, IHS’s Utkin reported that global offshore wind power capacity was set to expand sixfold by 2030 thanks to technological advances, cost reductions, and government incentives. However, he added, “the industry needs to rapidly develop and invest in new infrastructure to achieve these ambitious plans.”
Finally, there is a regulatory hurdle, albeit not an insurmountable one. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management tends to conduct lengthy investigations of the impacts of wind farm construction on the environment, which will also likely delay projects.
In all fairness, many of these challenges can be dealt with by legislators, a majority—although slim—of whom are clearly in favor of building the country’s offshore wind power capacity. Some, however, are trickier because they do not depend on favorable policies. One example is the cost of building the necessary transmission infrastructure.
The recent $550-billion bipartisan infrastructure deal struck between the Senate and the White House envisages $73 billion in funding for clean energy generation and transmission. Yet copper prices are rising, and the offshore wind takes massive amounts of copper for its infrastructure. The $73 billion might simply be not enough for that and modernizing the U.S. aging grid.
Slav writes for Oilprice.com
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