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Nigeria To Begin Production Of Anti-Retroviral Drugs

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The United Nations AIDS Country Director, Dr Bilali Camara, said yesterday that four companies will commence production of anti-retroviral drugs in Nigeria.
Camara, who is also the UNAIDS Focal Point for ECOWAS, disclosed in an interview with newsmen in Abuja. He said the local production of anti-retroviral drugs would enable people access treatment at a cheaper rate.
He added that it will also help those on life treatment, stressing that people live on treatment for 15 to 30 years.
“We have commenced negotiations with four pharmaceutical companies; the companies have been certified by the World Health Organisation (WHO) for the general manufacturing practices,” he said.
The official said WHO would assist to conduct the prequalification processes, “and as soon as that is concluded they will commence the production of the anti-retroviral drugs in Nigeria’’.
Camara said many West and Central African states would benefit from the production, because nobody is producing the drugs in this region.
He added that beside Nigeria, seven million other people may need the drugs for treatment from West and Central Africa, which shows that there is good return of investment to the companies.
In related development, Camara said UNAIDS would enter into partnership with telecommunication companies to ensure that basic information about HIV/AIDS was advertised.
He said this would assist to further increase access to treatment to 101 million people in Nigeria are targeted.
“We want to give more people access to basic information on HIV/AIDS. We want our target to know how to prevent mother to child transmission of HIV where and how to get HIV/AIDS related services. So, that in the next few years we have more people accessing the services which many result into many infants born HIV positive mothers and born infants without the disease,” he said.
According to him, “if we do it correctly it will effect on the overall HIV transmission in the country’’.

Chief ThankGod Ebere (2nd right) receiving a cheque from the National Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu during the National Chairman’s Official visit to Port Harcourt at Rumuwoji

Chief ThankGod Ebere (2nd right) receiving a cheque from the National Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu during the National Chairman’s Official visit to Port Harcourt at Rumuwoji

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Group Urges Buhari To Inaugurate NDDC Board

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Following the delay in the inauguration of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) substantive board, the Ijaw Interest Advocates (IIA) has again asked President Muhammadu Buhari to take charge, absolve himself from the minister’s delay tactics and inaugurate the NDDC Governing Board.
In a statement, President of IIA, also known as Izanzan Intellectual Camp, Amb. Salaco Yerinmene, told Buhari to immediately inaugurate the NDDC substantive board to avert the looming crisis in the region.
According to him, “for long, we have observed that the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godwin Akpabio’s tactics to perpetrate illegality in NDDC is for personal financial gains.”
The president of the group, Salaco, who said Akpabio has done more harm to NDDC than ever, accused Akpabio of toying with the commission, adding that Buhari should distance himself from his activities if he was not selective in the fight against corruption in the country.
The Ijaw advocates added: “Akpabio is only a supervisory minister and that does not mean he alone owns the commission. Major stakeholders, well-meaning leaders and people of the Niger Delta are supposed to be part of the NDDC but today Akpabio has sidelined them.”
The group queried what the minister is doing with the money that comes to NDDC because contractors are not paid as contractors have pulled out of site.
It would be recalled that the Association of Contractors of the Niger Delta Development Commission (ACNDDC), had last Thursday, embarked on a protest march at the premises of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Abuja, and decried the ongoing mismanagement of monthly funds accruing to the commission, and appealed to the Federal Government to pay outstanding debts it owes NDDC contractors.
Salaco regretted that “the commission has been largely engaged with internal matters and has been redundant since Akpabio took over two years ago and one will expect that so many saving would have been made but empty treasury is the reality.”
The group, however, warned that “some key stakeholders who have been involved selflessly and silently in making efforts for peace in the region are almost giving up gradually on their peaceful roles mainly because of lack of sincerity from the Presidency. Well-meaning Niger Delta persons, groups, traditional and government authorities have made inputs by advising the President to ignore Akpabio and do the right thing.”
Salaco regretted that “the multi-national companies are now suffering silently, they have been exposed to confront host communities on their own. Nigeria as a major oil producing nation cannot meet up their OPEC production quota just because of some selfish individuals who want to line up their pockets with funds meant to sustain peace and development of a sensitive region like the Niger Delta.”
Izanzan Intellectual Camp, therefore, advised that “President Buhari should not take the role of stakeholders, mostly the various ethnic nationality representatives who are silently maintaining peace in the Niger Delta region for granted. It is in the best interest of the government led by President Buhari to Ignore Akpabio, and do the bidding of the people for peace, development and progress of the region especially now that the unrest deliberately fuelled by Akpabio is yet to explode.”
It would be recalled that Buhari had promised the nation on June 24, 2021, while receiving the Ijaw National Congress (INC) at the State House in Abuja, that the NDDC Board would be inaugurated as soon as the forensic audit report is submitted and accepted.
The president said: ‘‘Based on the mismanagement that had previously bedevilled the NDDC, a forensic audit was set up and the result is expected by the end of July, 2021. I want to assure you that as soon as the forensic audit report is submitted and accepted, the NDDC Board will be inaugurated.”
However, the forensic audit report has been submitted to President Muhammadu Buhari since September 2, 2021, prompting the Ijaw National Congress (INC) to caution that “any further delay in the inauguration of the NDDC Board is a clear betrayal of trust and display of state insensitivity on Ijaw nation and Niger Delta region.”

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Police Nab Three Dowen College Students Over Sylvester’s Death

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The Lagos State Police Command, yesterday, arrested three students of Dowen College in connection to the death of Sylvester Oromoni Jnr.
Lagos Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, also confirmed that three out of the five students were already in custody, while two were currently at large.
This is as one week after the death of 12-year-old Sylvester Oromoni Junior; the Parents’ Forum of the school has demanded justice and also a change in the school management.
It would be recalled that late Sylvester Oromoni had mentioned five senior students allegedly responsible for the injuries he sustained when he was attacked at the Dowen College.
Sylvester was allegedly attacked by senior students of Dowen College, where he reportedly sustained internal injuries that resulted in his demise.
Over 100,000 had signed petitions to prosecute the perpetrators of the sad incident.
The Lagos State Government has since shut down the school, while the police have also commenced investigation into the matter.
However, one week after the death of 12-year-old Sylvester Oromoni Junior, the Parents’ Forum of the school has demanded justice and also a change in the school management.
The parents also demanded a change in hostel teachers and the installation of CCT cameras in the school.
The decisions were reached at an online meeting. In strong words against the death of the 12- year -old student, the parents said justice for Sylvester is justice for all and insisted that those involved should be brought to book.
A statement, yesterday, signed on behalf of the parents’ forum by Aituaz Kola-Oladejo, Waheed Adeoye, Oluwaseun Bolanle Ajila and Kingsley Kema Agu, reads: “This will not only bring this unfortunate incident to a closure for the family but will also serve as a deterrent to other juvenile delinquents in all schools in Nigeria.”
The parents demanded a change of school management team, hostel teachers, installation of Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras in all strategic places and overhaul of the school security system.
They decried the incident, and urged the school management team and other stakeholders to cooperate with the authority in the ongoing investigation into the death of Sylvester.
The parents’ forum agreed to organise candlelight on today, at Dowen College, adding “the lighting of candles is to pay tribute to a life ‘passed’, and keeping the light burning signifies that the memory still lives on and burns bright.
“Dowen College parents are startled and deeply saddened by the unfortunate incident that led to the death of Sylvester Oromoni. Our hearts go out to the family of the deceased and pray to God to give them the strength to bear the irreparable loss.
“As parents of Dowen College students, we are still in shock and could not come to terms with this incident and the accounts so far provided by the school management, students and the media.
“We are, however, temporarily relieved by the swiftness with which the authorities intervened and commenced investigation towards unravelling the cause of Sylvester Oromoni’s death.
“We urge the school management team and other stakeholders to fully cooperate with the authority in the ongoing investigation. While we would have loved to bring Sylvester back, if humanly possible, unravelling the cause of his death and bringing whoever was responsible or might have contributed in whatever way to book, will not only bring this unfortunate incident to closure for the family but will also serve as a deterrent to other juvenile delinquents in all schools in Nigeria.
“On our part as parents, we will work more closely with the school (management/board) to ensure that necessary measures are put in place to prevent recurrence of this unfortunate incident and stamp out bullying in any form from the school.
“We will also continue to appeal to parents, through all available means, to show more interest in what their children do and who they associate with in school and at home.
“We appeal to the public to see this incident as an inflexion point, not only for Dowen College but also other schools in Nigeria, as recent events have shown that bullying, molestation and other vices among students are common in our schools.
“Therefore, we rely on the authorities for justice regardless of the social status of whoever is involved.
“What happened to Sylvester could have happened to any other child in the school. To many of the traumatised students, Sylvester was a classmate, a roommate, a schoolmate or a friend.
“We, therefore, earnestly ask for a resolution that will bring some relief to the bereaved family, other parents, students of Dowen College and the public. These should include a change of the school management and hostel teachers, installation of Closed Circuit Television cameras in all strategic places and overhauling of the school security system.

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Eunisell Restates Commitment To Innovation

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The Group Managing Director of Eunisell Limited, West Africa’s largest specialty chemical and oil and gas engineering solutions company, Mr. Chika Ikenga, said innovation remains critical in enhancing productivity in the Nigerian business space, especially the energy sector.
Ikenga noted that for over 27 years, the company has been at the forefront of introducing and deploying latest world-class technologies and tools used in providing critical solutions and enhancing efficiency for the energy sector in the region.
In a statement, Ikenga said, “Eunisell has been a key driver of innovations in the West African energy sector, deploying latest global solutions locally for enhancing performances, significantly upscaling outputs and driving business growth for our wide range of customers.
“Eunisell is promoting a new technology called the Sage Rider PMT (paraffin melting tool) that is ingenious and charting a new course in the well intervention space in terms of wax and paraffin cleaning from oil wells. This has proven to reduce operational time and cost by 70%, with 99.8% effectiveness and efficiency.
“The Sage Rider Paraffin Melting Tool can reach an extremely high temperature to renew the well to full bore drift. As a revolutionary solution, the Paraffin Melting Tool eases the cleaning and maintenance of wells susceptible to paraffin build-up to increase production and efficiencies.
“Engineered as a rechargeable battery powered tool, the Paraffin Melting Tool performs on all forms of wireline, including slickline, braided line, and e-line utilizing a cutting system along with heat that can reach greater than 315°C (600°F), and easily removing costly paraffin.”
Further highlighting benefits of the new solution, the Eunisell boss said, “This new approach aids in getting tubing to achieve full drift, reduces maintenance time and frequency, increases tubing production efficiency, allows logging and well servicing operation to perform as designed and extends time for paraffin to build back up.”
In addition, Eunisell has also partnered global industry leaders in deploying cutting-edge water treatment solutions for delivering high quality streams and precision cleaning needed to meet the most rigorous specifications for water, food, beverage and industrial hygiene, including bio-degradable aluminium beverage cans.
Ikenga, who founded the Eunisell Group, including Eunisell Limited and Eunisell Interlinked Plc, also noted that the company’s vision remains being the leading specialty chemicals, engineering solutions and environmental management provider in Africa, offering a full range of technical services to complement wide range of specialty products.
“In line with high ethical standards and regulatory compliances, our ISO 9001:2015 and TRACE International certification for anti-corruption compliances are a significant testament for Eunisell, underlining its resolve to sustaining global best practices in quality management systems, processes and service delivery in a manner that truly promotes green environment and assures overall human and environmental safety,” he concluded.
Meanwhile, the Founder of Eunisell Limited, Chika Ikenga, was at the weekend conferred with Honorary Doctorate Degree (Honoris Causa) by the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia State.
The degree, which was presented at the 10th Convocation ceremony of the institution, was in recognition of Ikenga’s monumental achievements as a renowned industrialist, who has ensured the growth of Eunisell specialised chemicals and oil and gas production solutions as an indigenous company as well as boosting the energy industry.
In his address, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Maduebibisi Iwe, said the conferment was in recognition of contributions to humanity and economic development.
“It’s an honour we expect should stimulate the recipients to partner more closely with our university and cause their success stories to rub on the development of agriculture, science and technology in our university,” the VC noted.
He said 90 out of the total 6,606 graduands, including 4,115 from the 2018/2019 session had first class while 243 graduated with doctorate degree and 454 with Master’s degree.
Iwe, who is the sixth vice-chancellor, explained that the university had recorded many breakthroughs and called for significant infusion of funds for the upgrade of its physical environment.
In his acceptance speech, an elated Ikenga pledged to continue his support for education by donating significantly towards boosting the school infrastructure, establishing an endowment fund and partnering the chemistry department for joint researches with Eunisell.
He also called for improved collaboration between the academia and business sector to assure tangible growth and development for the nation and its people.
In 2018, Ikenga introduced the Eunisell Boot, an award that pays a premium of N200,000 per goal to football players with the highest score in the Nigerian topflight every season as a way to revitalise goal scoring by strikers in the NPFL.
Nasarawa United’s Silas Nwankwo and Akwa United’s Charles Atshimene were joint winners of the Eunisell Boot award for the 2020/21 season, with a cash prize of N7.6million for scoring 19 goals.
Over the years, the company has also helped in growing the Nigerian professional football league by sponsoring the Rivers United FC of Port Harcourt.
Ikenga added that having applied the knowledge of chemistry in the larger society, Eunisell will partner the Chemistry Department of MOUAU and facilitate joint research programs to benefit the nation.
The Eunisell founder was honoured alongside President/CEO, Coscharis Group, Dr Cosmas Maduka; the Owaloko of Iloko-Ijesha community, Osun King Akeem Olusayo Ogungbangbe; and Founder, UYK Nigeria, Alhaji Usman Yahaya Kansila.
Earlier in his address, Prof Iwe said 90 out of the total 6,606 graduands including 4115 from the 2018/2019 session had first class while 243 graduated with doctorate degree and 454 with Master’s degree.
Iwe, who is the sixth vice-chancellor, explained that the university had recorded many breakthroughs and called for significant infusion of funds for the upgrade of its physical environment.
Meanwhile, President Muhammad Buhari, who was represented by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mohammed Abubakar at the occasion, challenged universities of agriculture in the country to bridge the gap of food insecurity and address the nation’s dependence on Imported foods.
He urged specialised universities to play their crucial role of catalysing the development of agricultural sector, and helping Federal Government achieve its goal of sustainable green economy.

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