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Bill Gates Unveils $7bn Intervention For Nigeria, Others



As the federal government searches for better funding options for the health sector, global businessman, Mr Bill Gates, has said his foundation will commit $7 billion to Africa in the next four years to support routine immunisation in Nigeria and the Global Polio Eradication Initiative in Northern Nigeria.

Also, business mogul, Alhaji Aliko Dangote has said Bill Gates and himself had been partnering with both the federal and state governments for several years, supporting the efforts at eradicating polio and improving routine immunisation, nutrition and primary healthcare in Nigeria.

They spoke yesterday at a parley with some governors under the auspices of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum at the Banquet Hall, Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Bill Gates said, “We genuinely believe that the National Economic Council (NEC) and the decisions that you will make over the next four years will determine whether Nigeria has sound economic growth, keeps its citizens happy and achieves the sustainable development goals.”

In his remarks, the chairman of NGF, Alhaji Abdulraman Abdulrasaq and other governors who spoke at the parley lauded the philanthropic interventions of Dangote and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundations in critical areas including healthcare, education, agriculture and human capital development. The governors expressed readiness to further collaborate with the Dangote and Gates Foundations in the coming years.

At the event, Vice President Kashim Shettima said, “We are going to address the concerns that surround the financing of our primary healthcare system in the country.”

He said polio is one of the major primary healthcare challenges in the country and disclosed that “the proposal is to provide timely domestic financing for the procurement of vaccines, which couldn’t have come sooner, to boosting our industrial capacity to produce vaccines.”

While acknowledging the threats facing Nigeria in the area of polio, he averred that Nigeria’s three dose pentavalent vaccine coverage has improved from 33 percent in 2016 to 57 percent in 2021.

He stated further that “the variant polio virus has declined in Nigeria by 84 percent from 2021, falling to fewer than 200 cases in 2022. He therefore commended the states that have achieved high category immunization coverage, which is between 60% and 80% of the target demographic and the number of states has expanded from 12 to 21 states in five years.”

Giving further assurance, he said, “The federal government and our respective state governments are going to put in place a transparent process and structure to undo the reality of the country as one with one of the highest proportions of non-immunized infants in the world over the last decade.”

Shettima stressed that the federal government is “committed to eradicating variant poliovirus by the end of the year ensuring that every Nigerian child is covered in the routine immunization campaigns.”

On the issue of production of vaccines for immunisation of children, he assured that “we are going to work together to ensure that these vaccines are made available even to zero-dose children, of which ours, at 2 million, are the highest in the world after India.”

The vice president expressed the appreciation of the federal government to partners such as Dangote Foundation and Bill Gates Foundation, whose empathy shone through that uncertain period in our history

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Gov AbdulRazaq excited as Kwara Sugar Film Factory takes shape



Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq on Wednesday inspected the trendy sugar film factory, one of the administration’s iconic projects which seek to refocus the state’s economy for job creation, youth empowerment, and improved standard of living.

Designed to make Kwara a major hub in the last mile movie production and creative industry in west Africa, the facility earned its name from the nostalgic Tate and Lyle Sugar Factory which collapsed in the 1990s, in what underscored the Governor’s rich sense of history.

The project is one of those being funded from the bond the state accessed in 2021.

In a brief interview with reporters at the project site, AbdulRazaq noted that the contents of Nollywood are increasingly dominating the world but that efforts must be geared towards improving production quality for them to compete with Hollywood and Bollywood.

“Our huge investment in the creative industry is to expand the economic base of the state and deepen the creative industry. That’s the way to go. Everyone sees our state as a civil service state. We want to change that. We want to make this state a destination for high-quality movie production,” he told journalists shortly after he was conducted round the facility by Project Manager Kamaldeen Abolarin.

“It is about thinking outside the box. You’ve seen how Nigeria’s music has dominated the world. You’ve seen how Nollywood has dominated the world. It is important for Nollywood to move from what some may call videos to cinematography. It is about expanding the quality of what we produce. So that Nigerian movies can feature more on the international scene. We have very rich contents, but we need to invest in the quality of our production. Our facility offers this.

“Gradually, we are getting there. You’ve seen our films on Netflix and other global platforms but we want more of our films there. What India has done is to improve the quality of films, that’s what we want to offer here in Kwara.”

He expressed satisfaction at the progress of work done, hoping that the contractor will deliver it for operation in the next few months.

“So far, so good. I am impressed. More equipment are coming in. Very soon, we will start film production in the state, and people will be coming in from outside the state to do the last-mile production of their movies in the state. And that means a great boost to the economy,” he added.

“We are open to partnerships, and we, of course, invite film producers and others in the creative industry to work with us.”

The facility, which is the first phase, has been furnished to taste as contractors commence installation of different high-tech gadgets and world-class sound stages and studios.

The film factory, specifically, is equipped with cyclorama studio; 2 TV production studios; large independent film production studio; Green Rooms; makeup facilities; training rooms; photography studios; co-working offices; buildings suites; and large canteen.

Like the innovation hub, international conference centre, industrial park, garment factory, and others, the sugar film factory is carefully linked with the visual arts centre whose components include a Dolby-fitted studio, indicating an emerging local economy built around creative industry, innovation, and enterprise, and dominated by young people.


Rafiu Ajakaye

Chief Press Secretary to the Governor

October 4, 2023

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JUST IN: POLICE declares Prime Suspect to MOHBAD’S death, PRIMEBOY wanted



LAGOS State Police Command on Wednesday, October 4, 2023 declared one of the prime suspects to the untimely death of IleriOluwa Oladimeji Aloba aka Mohbad who is identified as Owoduni Ibrahim aka Primeboy wanted.

According to the Press Release signed by the Police Public Relations Officer, SP Benjamin Hundeyin available to SOJ WORLDWIDE, he said Primeboy refused to honour several invitations sent to him.

A reward of One Million Naira will be given to anyone with useful information leading to his arrest, said the Police

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#SaferKwara: Governor AbdulRazaq Meets Army Chief



Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq receives Commander 22 Armoured Brigade Ilorin Brigade General Adebayo Abdulrahman Babalola at Government House, Ilorin.

During the visit, the Governor explored strategies for strengthening security in the state with the Army chief.

Military personnel have made several efforts to dislodge security threats from the state.

The Army chief reiterated that the operations will be sustained to keep the state safer for peaceful and law-abiding residents.

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