Press highlights Nigeria’s policy on purchase of COVID-19 vaccines, others

APA – Lagos (Nigeria)

The declaration by the Nigerian government not to purchase COVID-19 vaccines from private importers or uncertified vaccines from the black market and the planned meeting of the President and the state governors on fuel pricing on Thursday are some of the leading stories in Nigerian newspapers on Tuesday.

The Guardian reports that the Nigerian Government, yesterday, declared it would not purchase COVID-19 vaccines from private importers or uncertified vaccines from the black market.

The government hinged its decision on reports of the proliferation of large-scale fraud and counterfeit vaccines in circulation.

Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, announced the decision at the Presidential Taskforce (PTF) briefing on COVID-19.

They added that no vaccine would be allowed into the country until they are certified by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).

The minister explained that involving the private sector in dispensing vaccine would be studied by the vaccine coordinating committee and National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA).

He said: “We must, however, remember that the COVID-19 vaccine is not an ordinary routine vaccine, but an unfamiliar, novel vaccine with properties that are still being studied. There may be side effects during their administration, for which government must issue indemnification and take responsibility, which will not cover vaccines imported or administered privately, outside of the legal framework.

“We applaud moves to support COVID-19 vaccine financing by the Nigerian private sector, which will be exclusively channelled through the account Nigeria has opened with the Afrexim Bank in Addis Ababa,” the minister said.

The Punch says that President Muhammadu Buhari and the state governors will discuss the issue of fuel pricing Thursday.

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, disclosed this Sunday night after a bipartite meeting of the Federal Government and the organised labour at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Briefing journalists on their resolutions, Ngige said the labour had investigated the report of the Technical Committee on Premium Motor Spirit Pricing Framework as agreed at the last meeting and made their submissions alongside the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.

The minister said, “The labour side saw that they (NNPC) were making some points and like I said, it is work in progress. Governors are going to discuss this on Thursday.

“They have discussed this at the National Economic Council and so, everybody is involved because we find ourselves in dire straits. There is no money for subsidy.

“The NNPC has explained: What they are doing is import- dependent. Deregulation is import-dependent but they are doing bulk purchasing. So, they can get discounts. “They are also using foreign exchange that is discounted for them. They are not buying from the parallel market. So, all these things will be put in the basket and a price will emerge from it.” Ngige maintained that the Federal Government had concluded discussions with the organised labour on the fuel pricing.

The newspaper says that under the new Highway Development and Management Initiative of the Federal Government, private individuals will be permitted to build, operate or maintain assets on some federal highways that are up for concession.

Already, the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing had received the Outline Business Case Certificate of Compliance to the commence procurement process for the concession of 12 federal highways under the HDMI. In January,

The PUNCH exclusively reported that the FMWH had been certified to commence the concession process for 12 pilot federal highways. The concession of the roads may also signify the return of toll gates as concessionaires will have to recoup their investments.

The Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission had handed over the certificate to the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, at the FMWH headquarters in Abuja.

In a new document obtained by our correspondent in Abuja on how the HDMI partnership would be executed, the FMWH stated that there were two categories, Value Added Concession and Unbundled Assets Approvals. In the Value-Added Concession initiative, the ministry stated that the road pavement and entire right-of-way would be on concession for development and management by the concessionaire.

ThisDay reports that the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing has said that although the main idea behind the new Highway Development and Management Initiative (HDMI) is not to generate revenue, it was expecting about N1.34 trillion in private investments when the full concession of the 12 roads earmarked for the pilot programme takes off.

It said that as part of its statutory requirements in road development, the launch of the scheme, would improve the right of way along the federal road network.

Shedding more light on the initiative, the ministry stated that the programme would be anchored on private sector engagement via concessioning of economically viable routes to technically and financially capable private companies.

In a document released by the ministry, explaining how the scheme would work, it noted that a major hindrance to highway development and management has been a paucity of required funds to service the vast and ever-expanding road network.

“It’s not really about revenue, it’s about the expected injection into the economy. The estimated private sector investment required for the development and maintenance of the 12 routes is N1.34 trillion and the impact such investment will have on the economy cannot be overstated.

The Sun says that the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) has reported that $16.74 billion was tracked as investment announcements for the year 2020. NIPC said that the investment tracked in 2020 was 44 percent less than the value tracked in 2019, which stood at S$29.91 billion.

According to the NIPC, the drop in value can be attributed to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which disrupted global value chains and capital flows.

It hinted that a similar downward trend is expected for actual investments recorded in Nigeria and globally. Through its Intelligence Newsletter published few days ago,

NIPC said it tracked a total of 63 projects across 21 states plus the Federal Capital Territory during the year. It added that 24 of the projects were planned for Lagos State, followed by Kaduna and Ekiti States with 5 projects each. It said in terms of value, the top five states are Rivers State with $6 billion, Kaduna State with $2.8 billion, Kogi State with $1 billion, Lagos State with $0.89 billion, and Ogun State with 0.08 billion.

The data further from NIPC showed that the manufacturing sector had the highest number of projects (10) as well as the highest value, $8.4 billion, which represent 50 per cent.


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