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Dangote bags Nigerien national Honour over his Foundation’s Health Intervention 

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As Dangote, Bill Gates Foundations sign MOU on immunization of Nigeriens

President/Chief Executive of Dangote Industries Limited, Aliko Dangote has been conferred with the Commander of the Order of Merit of Niger award by the President of the Republic of Niger, His Excellency Mohamed Bazoum in Niamey.

According to the certificate of conferment presented to Dangote in Niamey, the nation’s capital, the award was in appreciation for his services rendered to the Republic of Niger and as well as a tribute to his business acumen and philanthropy. It should be recalled that his Foundation, the Aliko Dangote Foundation (ADF) intervened in various ways to improve healthcare and routine immunisation in Niger Republic and her neighbouring countries namely Nigeria and Chad.

Recalled that Aliko Dangote had earlier been conferred with the Commander of the National Order of Valour of the Republic of Cameroon, and the Grand Commander of the National Order of the Republic of Benin.

In a related development, Aliko Dangote Foundation, alongside the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and GAVI the Vaccine Alliance have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the government of the Republic of Niger on a collaboration for improving the Expanded Programme on Immunisation in Diffa, Maradi and Zinder regions, which are along the country’s southern border with Nigeria.

The Nigerien national award by the president is in recognition of the various health-related interventions by the Aliko Dangote Foundation including financial support to the tune of $500,000 to help fight a previous Meningitis outbreak and another cholera outbreak; NGN250 million for the provision of food for refugees and displaced persons; and $1,000,000 (one million dollars) support for enhanced routine immunisation in the three identified regions of Diffa, Maradi and Zinder.

Aliko Dangote Foundation and BMGF had played key roles in a historic certification by the World Health Organisation of a polio-free Nigeria and Africa in August 2020. The same successful template which was applied to ensure eradication of polio in northern Nigeria in partnership with six states namely Bauchi, Borno, Kaduna, Kano, Sokoto and Yobe, is also being applied by ADF to enhance routine immunisation and adequate vaccination around Nigeria’s borders with the Republics of Niger and Chad.

The three regions of Diffa, Maradi and Zinder share a common border with Northern Nigeria and together make up almost 28% of Niger’s land area and about 40% of the country’s population.

Speaking on the MoU partnership, which was signed in May 2022, the Managing Director of Aliko Dangote Foundation stated that “ADF is committing $1 million over 3 years; BMGF are providing $2 million, while GAVI is bringing in $10 million worth of vaccines under this MoU. ADF and BMGF are bringing in the money required to stimulate demand for the vaccines that GAVI is bringing in to ensure maximum uptake and coverage.”

The MoU was signed between the Government of the Republic of Niger represented by the Ministry of Public Health, the Population and Social Affairs, the Ministry of Interior & Decentralisation and the Ministry of Finance on the one hand, and the Incorporated Trustees of Aliko Dangote Foundation (ADF) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), two independent endowed charities and GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, a Global Public-Private Partnership on the other hand.

The Foundations are committed to providing technical and financial support to the Government of Niger to strengthen its vaccine programmes gradually and sustainably improve its coverage in the Diffa, Maradi and Zinder regions in order to prevent vaccine-preventable diseases.

Gavi, according to the MoU, will continue its support for immunisation in the selected priority districts in the three regions, in accordance with the agreement already signed with the Government of Niger, the strategic objectives of the Health System Strengthening Project (HSS3) grant and the approved financing.

In order to protect the target populations against poliomyelitis and other vaccine-preventable diseases, the government of Niger is committed to strengthening the routine vaccine programme and to reduce morbidity and mortality in the regions of Diffa, Maradi and Zinder.

The objective of the MoU is to collaborate on strengthening vaccination in Niger to improve the delivery of routine vaccine services in the three regions in order to achieve full vaccination coverage of 90% of the target population by December 2024; to ensure that at least 90% of districts achieve 90% Penta 3 vaccination coverage; to vaccinate 90% of the zero doses identified; to stop poliovirus transmission and maintain polio-free status; and to ensure consistent national funding and procurement of vaccines in order to secure a sustained and steady supply of all routine vaccines throughout the country.

In August 2020, President Muhammadu Buhari praised Bill and Melinda Gates, Aliko Dangote and Emeka Offor at the formal certification of the Wild Polio Virus eradication in the African region during the virtual session of the 70th World Health Organisation (WHO) regional committee for Africa in the State House, Abuja.

His commendation came as Aliko Dangote emphasised the need for governments across Africa, particularly the federal and state governments in Nigeria, to increase their budgetary allocations to the health sector to improve basic healthcare for the people. Dangote, in his remarks at the event, expressed deep satisfaction at the final eradication of wild polio in Nigeria, and by extension Africa after years of hard work and collaboration among stakeholders.

The renowned humanitarian, who was commended alongside the Co-Chair of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Mr. Bill Gates, pledged to devote more of his wealth to support the provision of adequate quality healthcare to curb maternal and child mortality.

Dangote commended the efforts of top officials of the Foundation, including the CEO, Zouera Youssoufou and Community Engagement Lead Ahmed Iya for their untiring efforts in ensuring the end of polio in Nigeria, as well as the various state and federal government agencies and development partners who collaborated to make the certification possible.

These, among others, include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the WHO, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the UK Department for International Development (DfID) (now FCDO), the Federal Ministry of Health, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) and the Governors and Health Ministries of Kano, Kaduna, Bauchi, Borno, Sokoto and Yobe States.

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Why Emirates Airlines Suspended Its Operations In Nigeria

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Why Emirates Airlines Suspended Its Operations In Nigeria

Emirates Airlines, on Thursday, August 18, 2022, disclosed the suspension of all of its flights in Nigeria.

In a statement in which the airline made this announcement, Emirates said the flight suspension would take effect from Thursday, September 1.

It was gathered that at last count, Emirates had at least $85 million trapped in Nigeria in spite of its efforts to repatriate the funds.

The statement read: “Emirates has tried every avenue to address our ongoing challenges in repatriating funds from Nigeria, and we have made considerable efforts to initiate dialogue with the relevant authorities for their urgent intervention to help find a viable solution.

Regrettably, there has been no progress. Therefore, Emirates has taken the difficult decision to suspend all flights to and from Nigeria, effective September 1 2022, to limit further losses and impact on our operational costs that continue to accumulate in the market.

”We sincerely regret the inconvenience caused to our customers, however the circumstances are beyond our control at this stage.

We will be working to help impacted customers make alternative travel arrangements wherever possible.

Should there be any positive developments in the coming days regarding Emirates’ blocked funds in Nigeria, we will of course re-evaluate our decision.

We remain keen to serve Nigeria, and our operations provide much-needed connectivity for Nigerian travellers, providing access to trade and tourism opportunities to Dubai and to our broader network of over 130 destinations.”

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GTCO Autism Conference Holds on August 29th and 30th at MUSON Centre, Onikan, Lagos

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The 12th edition of the annual GTCO Autism Conference themed “Creating a Community of Awe-Tism Advocates” will hold on Monday and Tuesday, August 29th and 30th, 2022, at MUSON Center, Onikan, Lagos. 

The annual Autism Conference is a pivotal component of GTCO’s Orange Ribbon initiative and serves as a key advocacy platform for people living with autism and other developmental disorders. In recent years, the GTCO Autism Conference has gained wider acclaim for bringing together some of the world’s leading experts in Autism, especially with the successful coordination of a fully virtual autism conference in 2020 at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. For this year, the GTCO Autism Conference will feature keynote addresses and panel discussions by experienced specialists from renowned institutions in Nigeria and abroad in a hybrid set-up to allow for both in-person and virtual participation. Some of the partnering organisations include Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Enugu, Autism Compassion Africa, Ghana, The Color of Autism Foundation, USA, Meharry Medical College, USA, and Behaviorprise Consulting Inc., Canada.  

One-on-one consultations and Q&A sessions during the conference will provide opportunities for parents and other stakeholders to further engage on best practices for proper diagnosis and treatment of persons on the autism spectrum with the experts. As a special feature and to ensure more persons with developmental disorders can benefit from professional help, provision has been made to offer specialist care to autistic children in the areas of speech and behaviour therapy, child psychology and psychiatry, as well as occupational development for adults living with autism via in-person consultations at the Chapel of Light, Alausa, Ikeja, starting from Tuesday, August 23rd to Saturday, August 27th between the hours of 10am and 5pm. 

Commenting on the 2022 Autism Conference, Segun Agbaje, the Group Chief Executive Officer of Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc said, “While much has been done over the years to increase the social consciousness around Autism and to improve the available support systems for managing developmental disorders, we strongly believe that we can do more individually and collectively to create and uphold a culture of inclusion towards people with ASD to enable them reach their full potential.” 

Mr Agbaje further stated; “The Orange Ribbon initiative was created to support children and adults with developmental disabilities with a focus on those with autism spectrum disorders. Now in its 2nd decade, the annual Autism Conference has over the years created a community of people with a shared commitment to create better outcomes for those who find themselves in the margins of society simply because they are different from the rest.” 

Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc (GTCO) is a leading financial services company providing banking and non-banking services across eleven countries spanning West Africa, East Africa, and the United Kingdom. The Group operates a diversified, proudly African franchise and is renowned for its innovative approach to customer service and stakeholder engagement which has endeared the brand to millions of people across Africa and beyond.  

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Dangote Major Driver of Real Estate Development – Builders

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The Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB) and other stakeholders in the housing industry have described the Dangote Group as the main driver of real estate development in the country.

According to a statement from the Dangote Group, President of the Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB), Prof. Yohana Izam, disclosed this at a recent African International Housing Show in Abuja. Coordinator of the AIHS, Barr. Festus Adebayo told newsmen that the housing deficit in the country can be mitigated through Public Private Partnership (PPP). Adebayo said he was optimistic that the partnership with the Dangote Group would yield a fruitful result. The Group Head, Sales and Marketing, Dangote Cement Plc, Mr. Rabiu Umar said Dangote was not resting on its oars, as it has already been investing hugely in the development of infrastructure through the tax credit scheme and its numerous social programmes.

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