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Aliko Dangote Foundation Engages 54gene Laboratory To Conduct 1,000 COVID-19 Test Per Day In Kano

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The Aliko Dangote Foundation (ADF), a philanthropic endeavor of Aliko Dangote, has contracted 54Gene, a molecular diagnostics company specialized in the research, and diagnostics, to immediately set up a 400 test/day capacity laboratory in Kano State.

54Gene is accredited by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and has already set up labs in Lagos and in Ogun States.

The lab, which was inaugurated yesterday – May 3rd in Kano, will start with a testing capacity of 400 tests a day, increasing to 1,000 tests a day by May 10th.

The lab will be set up at Muhammadu Buhari Hospital in Kano, where an isolation center is currently operational.

The President/Chief Executive of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote said the foundation is directly supporting the Nigerian government’s COVID-19 containment efforts in Kano State.

According to Dangote, this new investment in support of increasing nation-wide testing comes in addition to ADF’s support through the Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID).

He explained: “CACOVID is already setting up a 310-bed isolation center at Sani Abacha Stadium in Kano. We are extending that capacity by another 150 beds at the Abubakar Imam Urology Centre in Kano, which is being converted into an isolation center now. These two centers will be operational pending the final validation by the Infection Prevention and Control team, which we expect will be completed in the coming days.”

Dangote pledged the Foundation’s commitment to reduce the number of lives lost to diseases, such as COVID-19, Ebola and other deadly viruses in the State.

He said the foundation would not relent in using its investments in health, education, and economic empowerment to help lift people out of sickness and poverty.

Speaking on the efforts of the Foundation to assist the Federal Government in curtailing the spread of COVID-19, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of ADF, Zouera Youssoufou, added that ADF is also supporting the Rapid Response Teams in their work to identify suspected COVID-19 cases across the healthcare centers in Kano. “ADF will immediately handover to the Kano RRT, 10 new ambulances (4 that are immediately available and 6 over the next week), two vehicles and PPEs to support the transportation of patients from different parts of the state”, she said.

She said that the Foundation is also supporting the Kano State Covid-19 contact call center that responds to citizen queries and concerns around Covid-19 and refers people to the proper place for follow up, by providing extra phone lines and ICT infrastructure as well as training for the call center staff.

On training, she disclosed: “We are supporting training and incentives for COVID-19 health workers. We will provide hazard incentives and protections for the healthcare and lab workers who are working on the COVID-19 response. We are also providing training to them, initially online and via distance learning, and will complement his with in-person training in Kano under strict IPC protocols developed in conjunction with the NCDC.

“ADF will continue to provide PPEs to the Kano State Covid-19 Taskforce, which will then be distributed to the hospitals as appropriate. Items already supplied include coveralls, gloves, masks, respirators, goggles, boots, and sanitizers.

“We are expanding the CACOVID communications strategy in Kano by adding more communications and advocacy around Covid-19 prevention across radio, TV, and traditional and community leaders.”

Commending ADF, Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje stated: “There’s no doubt we started on a shaky foundation, with the assistance of ADF, we can see that a friend indeed is a friend in need. We are very grateful for the mobile testing Centre witch will launch with 400 samples per day and after a week, increase to 1,000 tests per day

“It is now left for us to intensify efforts to collect samples. We will ensure that all that 44 Local Government Council have collection centers. Here in the metropolitan local government, we will have 100s of collection centers because this is where the majority of the population is”.

The governor added that the state has intensified efforts to create awareness about the reality of coronavirus.

He commended the Dangote Foundation for always occupying the forefront of helping in critical times like this.

Speaking on the collaboration, the founder and Chief Executive Officer of 54gene, Dr. Abasi Ene-Obong, the 40ft structure built with container technology, provides a unique plug-and-play solution.

Ene-Obong explained that the mobile laboratory is also fully kitted with vital instruments including an autoclave, bio-safety cabinet, centrifuge, heating blocks, vortexes, pipettes, and PCR machines to support COVID-19 testing.

He stated: “Our mobile lab is fully equipped with all the vital instruments required for COVID-19 testing, and allows us to quickly offer our services to multiple states due to the ease of transport. Its unique plug and play feature eliminates the logistics of shipping samples to another location for the processing which reduces turnaround times for test results and allows clinicians to manage and treat patients accurately, sooner rather than later.”

Ene-Obong said the company has also helped build capacity by equipping molecular scientists with the necessary skill set required to handle the instruments in the mobile lab as they would in regular molecular testing laboratories.

“Our mobile lab removes the restriction imposed by permanent buildings and allows us to quickly offer our services to multiple states due to the ease of transport and the mobile capability it provides”, he added.

BIG STORY

BREAKING: APC Nullifies Suspension Of Fayemi, Ojudu, Others

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) has nullified the suspension of Ekiti Governor Kayode Fayemi, presidential aide Senator Femi Ojudu and others.

Fayemi and the Paul Omotosho-led State Executives Council were suspended for alleged anti-party activities by the State Executives Committee (SEC) on Friday.

The development came barely 24 hours after the Omotosho-led executives suspended Ojudu and 10 others following a report of the Patrick Ajigbolamu-led eight-man disciplinary committee set up to probe allegations of anti-party activities levelled against them.

But in a statement on Friday by Deputy National Secretary of the party, Yekini Nabena, APC said the suspensions were a “nullity.”

The party said: “The attention of the National Secretariat of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has been drawn to a purported and widely-reported “suspension” of the Governor of Ekiti State, H.E. Kayode Fayemi as well as an earlier reported, “indefinite suspension” of some other party members in the state.

“The actions are a nullity as the Party’s National Secretariat is yet to receive communication from the state chapter on the purported “suspensions”. We strongly advise all members to adhere to our Party constitution.

“Governor Kayode Fayemi remains the leader of the party in Ekiti State.

“In line with the mandate of the Governor Mai Mala Buni-led APC Caretaker/Extra-Ordinary National Convention Planning Committee and the President’s admonition to party members to ensure and support ongoing amicable and rancour-free settlement of internal party disputes, we call on our esteemed party members and leaders in Ekiti State to be duly guided.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the Architect Paul Omotosho-chaired APC Ekiti State Working Committee is the authentic, valid, and duly recognized Executive as no factions or divisions exist in the State Chapter.”

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BIG STORY

JUST IN: Ekiti APC Crisis Deepens As Factional SEC Suspends Governor Fayemi Over Anti-Party Activities

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The internal crisis rocking the ruling All Progressive Congress in Ekiti took a new dimension on Friday as some statutory members of the State Executive Committee(SEC) suspended Governor Kayode Fayemi over alleged anti-party activities.

According to the allegations against Fayemi, the SEC members said he worked against Edo APC candidate, Pastor Ize Iyamu, and supported Godwin Obaseki, the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party(PDP).

The statutory members of the SEC also imposed sanctions on the party chairman, Paul Omotosho, and other executives by suspending them.

They alleged they were products of the list hurriedly compiled through undemocratic means by Fayemi.

The suspension came barely 24 hours after the party suspended a presidential aide, Senator Babafemi Ojudu, and 10 others following a report of the Patrick Ajigbolamu-led eight-man disciplinary committee set up to probe allegations of anti-party activities leveled against them.

The decision suspending Fayemi and all the state Working Committee was carried out at an emergency meeting of the State Executive Committee of the party on September 23.

The SEC members, in a statement on Friday, said Fayemi was suspended in view of his alleged numerous anti-party activities, especially his role in the recently concluded governorship election in Edo State which is contrary to the provisions of Article 21 (A) (ii) of the APC Constitution.

Signatories to the statement include Senator Tony Adeniyi, Senator Babafemi Ojudu, Senator Dayo Adeyeye, former House of Representatives members Bimbo Daramola, Hon Robinson Ajiboye, Hon Oyetunji Ojo, former Speaker Ekiti State House of Assembly, Hon. Adewale Omirin and Hon. Femi Adeleye.

According to the statement titled: “Re: Dr. Fayemi Anti-party Activities”, Senator Adeniyi was appointed as the SEC acting
chairman owing to what they described as the “absence of direction from the National Body” and was adjudged as “the only one thus capable to call the SEC meeting as duly required by the constitution”.

The ruling APC has been wallowing in a fierce self-inflicted political storm for a long time. The crisis has inexplicably defied spirited attempts made to ensure that peace reigns with the party split into two factions; one camp is led by Governor Kayode Fayemi, while the other is led by Senator Ojudu.

The intense political battle may not be unconnected with a subtle but fierce struggle among its leading chieftains, for the control of the state ahead of the 2022 gubernatorial poll.

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BIG STORY

A Certain Nigerian Collecting Illegal $36,000 Monthly For Secure Anchorage From Ship Owners —– Amaechi Alleges

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The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has registered his displeasure with continuous patronage of illegal harbours known as secure anchorage areas.

According to the minister, an individual has sought to exploit the industry by collecting $1,200 daily for secure anchorage in the country from ship owners.

He said this while delivering a virtual keynote address at the 2020 World Maritime Day Celebration which held at Eko Hotel and Suites in Lagos.

The minister said the issue was quite unsettling.

He said, “There is a crisis in the maritime sector. The crisis is on the issue of security.

“Today, we have a single individual partnering with the military that is collecting $1,200 to the detriment of shipping companies.

“That one individual is still managing the business with the support of other institutions.”

He accused stakeholders of doing nothing to the individual, stressing that no one other than the minister had the right to step up a secure anchorage area.

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