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United States COVID-19 assistance to Nigeria hits N15.5bn

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United States COVID-19 assistance to Nigeria hits N15.5bn


The United States’ COVID-19 emergency aid to Nigeria rose to 41.3 million dollars (N15.5 billion) as of Thursday, according to the Department of State.

This represents an additional 11.3 million dollars (N4.2 billion) compared with the 30 million dollars (N11.2 billion) assistance to Nigeria announced by the United States in May.

In a statement on Thursday, the department said the amount was part of a 1.3 billion dollar (N488.8 billion) COVID-19 aid so far announced by the government for 120 countries.

It gave a breakdown of Nigeria’s share to include 3.3 million dollars (N1.2 billion) for health assistance.

According to the statement, 34 million dollars (N12.7 billion) is meant for “humanitarian funding for risk-communications, water and sanitation, infection-prevention, coordination and emergency food assistance”.

It added that 4.1 million dollars or N1.5 billion is reserved for humanitarian assistance for vulnerable people, including internally displaced persons.

“This assistance joins more than 8.1 billion dollars (N3 trillion) in total assistance for Nigeria over the past 20 years, including more than 5.2 billion dollars (N1.9 trillion) for health”, it said.

The department said the total 1.3 billion dollar package was in addition to not less than 100 billion dollars (N37.6 trillion) in global health funding by the United States in the last 10 years.

It added that the country had also dished out nearly 70 billion dollars (N26.3 trillion) in “overseas humanitarian assistance” within the period.

As of Tuesday, Nigeria had 26,484 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 603 deaths and 10,152 recoveries, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).(NAN

ARU//WOJ

Edited By: Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

Harrison Arubu: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]nnn.com.ng

General news

Buhari congratulates new NMA President, Prof. Innocent Ujah on election

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President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated Prof. Innocent Ujah on his election as President of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA).


The president, in a statement by his spokesman, Malam Garba Shehu, in Abuja on Tuesday also congratulated all the Executive Members for the zeal and diligence brought into the organisation within a short period.

According to him, the elected officers of the NMA have admirable profiles that will take the organisation to greater heights.

He particularly acknowledged that Prof. Ujah has worked extensively with national and international institutions, and progressively contributed to the shaping of national policies on health in the country in different capacities.

He affirmed that the NMA played a strategic role in the growth of the country through counselling of leaders on health and development issues, and staying on the frontline during emergencies and pandemics to keep everyone safe like the ongoing fight against COVID-19.

He commended the former President of the NMA, Dr Francis Faduyile and Executive Members for their investments of time and resources to improve the welfare of doctors, and their working conditions by consistently negotiating and counselling governments.

The president assured Ujah and the Executive Members of the government’s full cooperation to help them succeed in their leadership positions, and improve health services in the country.

Edited By: Felix Ajide (NAN)

 

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Foreign

UN, United States commiserate with Lebanon over deadly explosions

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UN Secretary-General António Guterres has commiserated with the people and government of Lebanon over Tuesday’s explosions in the capital, Beirut.


No fewer than 70 people died while 2,700 others were injured in the massive blasts at the city’s port, the Minister of Health, Hamad Hassan, said.

Officials said the two blasts originated from highly explosive materials stored in a warehouse although investigations were ongoing to determine the exact cause.

The UN chief’s reaction came in a statement by his deputy spokesman, Mr Farhan Haq.

“The Secretary-General expresses his deepest condolences to the families of the victims as well as to the people and government of Lebanon following the horrific explosions in Beirut today.

“He wishes a speedy recovery to the injured, including several United Nations personnel working in Lebanon.

“The United Nations remains committed to supporting Lebanon at this difficult time, and is actively assisting in the response to this incident,” Haq said.

United States Ambassador to Lebanon, Dorothy Shea, also reacted to the incident with a condolence message, in which she described the explosions as horrific.

“Having witnessed the horrific explosions at the port this evening, our heartfelt sympathies go out to the victims and their families.

“We mourn each loss from this terrible tragedy alongside the Lebanese people,” the embassy quoted her as saying in a tweet.

(
Edited By: Mufutau Ojo) (NAN)

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COVID-19

Nadal to skip United States Open due to COVID-19 concerns, as organisers announce entries

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World number two Rafa Nadal confirmed on Tuesday that he would not defend his United States Open crown this year at Flushing Meadows.


His announcement came as organisers released the singles entry list for the Grand Slam.

Spain’s Nadal had said in June that he had reservations about travelling to the United States amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

He joins women’s world number one Australian Ash Barty in skipping the tournament due to COVID-19 concerns.

“After many thoughts I have decided not to play (at) this year’s United States Open,” Nadal said on Twitter.

”The situation is very complicated worldwide, and the COVID-19 cases are increasing. It looks like we still don’t have control of it.

“We know that the reduced tennis calendar is barbaric this year after four months stopped with no play.

”I understand and thank (everyone) for the efforts they are putting in to make it happen. We have just seen the announcement of Madrid not being played this year.

“This is a decision I never wanted to take but I have decided to follow my heart this time and for the time being I rather not travel.”

The Madrid Open, which was scheduled to take place from Sept. 12 to Sept. 20, was cancelled on Tuesday due to the rise of COVID-19 cases in the Spanish capital.

The United States has the highest tally in the world with more than 4.7 million confirmed novel coronavirus cases and nearly 156,000 deaths, according to a Reuters tally.

World number one Novak Djokovic, a three-times champion in New York, headlines the men’s list along with last year’s runner-up Daniil Medvedev.

There are other top 10 players, including Dominic Thiem, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev.

Swiss Roger Federer, a five-times United States Open champion, will also be absent after the 38-year-old was forced to undergo knee surgery in June which  prematurely ended his 2020 season.

Nine of the top 10 women’s players, including 23-times Grand Slam champion Serena Williams and holder Bianca Andreescu, are on the entry list along with 2018 champion Naomi Osaka.

As many as 13 Grand Slam champions are in the women’s draw.

These include Romania’s Simona Halep, the reigning Wimbledon champion and 2018 French Open winner, and this year’s Australian Open champion American Sofia Kenin.

The United States Tennis Association (USTA) said eight additional wildcard entries would be selected in both the men’s and women’s fields.

Organisers said the seedings would be announced closer to the start of the tournament which is scheduled for Aug. 31.

A number of players are also set to take part in the Aug. 20 to Aug. 28 Western & Southern Open in New York, which serves as a warm-up event for the United States Open.

 

(
Edited By: Olawale Alabi) (NAN)

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Agriculture

Food sufficiency: Osun commissioner inaugurates ‘Wave City’ project

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Osun Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Adewole Adedayo, on Tuesday  inaugurated an agricultural project, ‘Wave City,’ sited by FarmKonnect Agribusiness Nigeria Ltd at Wasimi to promote food sufficiency.


Speaking at the inauguration,  Adedayo, who described the project as the first of its kind in the state and the South-West region, said it was aimed at promoting food sufficiency, national development and agricultural inclusion.

According to him, every responsible government must create an enabling environment for farmers.

“Today, I believe FarmKonnect is now realising a dream that started in 2017. Today, having FarmKonnect in Osun State is another dream.

“Today, having these facilities on ground to develop agriculture in the south-west is a dream realised. So FarmKonnect has realised a dream.

“Like I keep saying, agriculture has the highest potentials to create jobs, both for skilled and unskilled labour. So, I will like to thank FarmKonnect for bringing this project to Osun State,” he said.

According to the commissioner, agriculture is top on the agenda of the state government.

The commissioner, who highlighted the various initiatives of the government to support agricultural development, pledged the administration’s readiness to welcome investors like FarmKonnect to the state.

“We are looking for investors like this, people who will empower our youths and also create jobs for farmers,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that FarmKonnect was founded by Lt.-Col. Oluwole Azeez who voluntarily resigned from the Nigerian Army to invest in agriculture real estate business.

Azeez said that his organisation’s mission was to take agriculture beyond just planting crops and making money to a business which promotes food sufficiency, national development and agricultural inclusion.

“In FarmKonnect, we run a model we call agricultural real estate and we are the first to do that. This allows multiple people to own a portion of the farm and they don’t necessarily have to step on the farm.

“All they just need to do is engage their money and we take all the performances around. The greenhouses you are seeing here are specifically designed for the tropics.

“The vision is to build one million square metres of greenhouses, a controlled farming environment technology using greenhouses and net houses to produce fruits and leafy vegetables from tomatoes to pepper.

“This is the first of its kind in Nigeria. This is specifically designed for minimal electricity as well as to expand our yield,” he said.

Azeez  said he was grateful to the Osun government for its tremendous support to the project and assured it of greater benefits in terms of food sufficiency and job creation.

Also speaking, Dr Bosade Ogunlana, the Founder of Entrepreneurship Initiative, commended FarmKonnect for the project, saying it would help in empowering the youths.

According to her, Africa has more youths to engage in land cultivation in order to boost food sufficiency and security.

“Africa is the biggest gun of the world because over 60 per cent of arable land in the entire world resides in Africa. I know with something like this happening here today, there is hope for Nigeria.

“Agriculture is the new gold, there is no longer oil. There is nothing we want to do with oil. Agriculture can help us with the GDP of the economy.

“It can help us to engage the youths. It can help us to ensure there is no scarcity of food,” she said.

Ogunlana thanked the Osun government for its support to FarmKonnect, urging it to ensure adequate security for the project.

NAN reports that the event,  which also featured the unveiling of the tomato statue and facility tour, was held in strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols.

The event was also attended by Mr Yemi Lawal, the Commissioner for Youth and Sports in Osun, as well as representatives of the various partners of FarmKonnect.

(
Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Mufutau Ojo) (NAN)

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Contact US: editor @nnn.com.ng, nnnnews247 @gmail.com

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