Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has said barely three per cent of Nigeria’s population has been vaccinated against COVID-19 largely due to poor access to the vaccine by developing countries.
Speaking on Sunday, December 5, in Madrid, Spain at the 24th General Assembly of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), Lai warned that lack of vaccination by developing countries would provide a fertile ground for the virus to mutate and thus threaten the progress already recorded in developed countries.
He said most developed countries had already vaccinated 60 per cent and above of their population, most developing countries were below five per cent.
Mohammed noted that many developed countries had used the advantage of their enormous resources or relationship to sign agreements with manufacturers to supply their countries with vaccines ahead of making them available for use by other countries.
“Even before the clinical trials were completed, millions of doses of the most promising vaccines have been bought by Britain, U S, Japan and the European bloc countries. Some of these countries bought doses five times the size of their population.
“There are fears that these unilateral deals will deprive the poorest countries of access to these life-saving commodities,” he said.
No president will say there won’t be banditry next year — Lai Mohammed
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed has said that no president will say banditry will next year.
Lai Mohammed said this while responding to a question on whether the current security challenges would end before President Muhammadu Buhari leaves office in 2023.
Responding to the question at a press conference on Wednesday December 15, Lai Mohammed said;
“Nobody, I’m not sure any president will say by next year there will be no banditry. It is just like saying by next year, there will be no thief.
“But what is important is that they should judge us by our achievement. We’ve not thrown our hands in the air. There was a time they asked us to hire mercenaries, but our soldiers are doing their best in these circumstances.”
Buhari jets out Turkey for summit
President Muhammadu Buhari will on Thursday leave Abuja for Istanbul, Turkey, to attend the third Turkey-Africa Partnership Summit, hosted by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of the Republic of Turkey.
According to the organisers, the theme of the Summit is ‘‘Enhanced Partnership for Common Development and Prosperity’’ and the agenda includes reviewing the cooperation between African countries and Turkey since the last Summit in 2014.
This was disclosed in a statement by Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity, on Thursday morning.
The third Turkey-Africa Partnership Summit is coming on the heels of President Erdogan’s recent State visit to Nigeria during which several agreements in the fields of energy, defence industry, mining and hydrocarbons were signed to expand existing bilateral ties.
The Turkish leader had during the visit to Nigeria, affirmed his commitment to immediately expand the volume of trade between the two countries to 5 billion dollars and the Nigerian delegation will seize the opportunity of the gathering in Istanbul to enhance cooperation with other partners for more trade and investment opportunities in the country.
It is expected that the Summit would provide guidelines and direction for cooperation with African countries for the next five years.
President Buhari will be accompanied on the trip by his wife, Aisha Buhari; the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; Defence, Maj-Gen. Bashir Magashi (Rtd); FCT, Mohammed Bello; Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire; Agriculture, Mohammed Abubakar; Industry, Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo; the National Security Adviser, Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno (Rtd); and the Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency, Ambassador Ahmed Rufai Abubakar.
The President is expected back in Abuja on Sunday, December 19.
2023 presidency: I’m not going to turn it down – Tinubu
The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has said he will not turn down the calls of those asking him to contest for president in 2023.
Tinubu stated this after a meeting with leaders of the Northern Alliance Committee in Abuja on Tuesday.
Speaking to journalists after the meeting, the former Governor of Lagos said he would, however, make consultations before officially announcing a decision on the matter.
“I’m not going to turn them down but I will still effectively and widely consult, particularly brainstorm with my friends and find a date to come out openly to tell Nigerians.
“But the president is still in office. I don’t want to distract him from all the challenges that he might face today.
“So, don’t muddle the political water. Consult, make our programme known to the people later,” Tinubu said.
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