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COVID-19: Okonjo-Iweala Gets WHO Appointment

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The World Health Organisation has appointed former Nigerian Finance Minister, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as a Special Envoy of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator.

As Special Envoy, her duty is to help Mobilise International Economic Support for Continental Fight Against COVID-19

WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, announced the appointment on Friday, during the launch of the initiative, which he described as “a landmark collaboration to accelerate the development, production and equitable distribution of vaccines, diagnostics, and therapeutics for COVID-19.”

Dr Okonjo-Iweala was appointed to the role along with British business executive and former CEO of GlaxoSmithKline, Sir Andrew Witty.

“The ACT Accelerator brings together the combined power of several organisations to work with speed and scale,” the WHO DG said.

“Each of us is doing great work, but we cannot work alone. We’re coming together to work in new ways to identify challenges and solutions together.”

More than two million people have been infected by COVID-19 and more than 190,000 of them have died globally with more than a billion people forced to stay at home as the world battles to curb the spread of the disease which was first reported in December 2019.

To combat the pandemic, the WHO DG believes “the world needs these tools, and it needs them fast.”

“Past experience has taught us that even when tools are available, they have been not been equally available to all,” he said.

“We cannot allow that to happen”.

I am especially grateful to Sir Andrew Witty and Dr @NOIweala for accepting appointments as Special Envoys for the ACT Accelerator. We are facing a common threat, which we can only defeat with a common approach! #COVID19

— Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (@DrTedros) April 24, 2020

Dr Okonjo-Iweala also confirmed the appointment on her Twitter handle in response to a congratulatory message.

“Honored and humbled to serve with Sir Andrew on this challenging and vital global endeavour,” she said.

Thanks to @DominicRaab and all my well wishers. Honored and humble to serve with Sir Andrew on this challenging and vital global endeavor. https://t.co/7kNYugVpam

— Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (@NOIweala

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Aspirant Confirms Receiving Refund From Delegates After Losing Primaries 

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Adam Namadi, son of former Vice President Namadi Sambo, has confirmed receiving a refund from delegates after losing the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) House of Representatives ticket for Kaduna North Federal Constituency.

Reports earlier emerged that drama ensued when Namadi who allegedly gave each delegate N2 million and promised to add N1.5 million if given the ticket, asked them to refund the money.

Reacting, in a statement on Wednesday, the former aspirant justified his action, saying “there was nothing dramatic about the request, and it is unfortunate the media has been purporting it as such”.

According to him, there was an agreement between the delegates and stakeholders in the constituency prior to the primary election that those not favoured by the outcome of the election should be refunded.

He said, “Delegates themselves are aware of the directives given by the major stakeholders of the PDP in the Kaduna North constituency, that any sums given to delegates by various aspirants for their support should be returned to those unsuccessful in their primary elections.

“This was done to encourage delegates to vote for the aspirants based on their qualities and not just their perceived spending power and to hold them accountable for the candidates they put forth.

“As a mark of respect for that agreement, some delegates in the Kaduna North constituency started to reach out to the unsuccessful State House of Assembly aspirants whose elections were held before ours, followed by my fellow contender, Shehu Usman ABG and I.

“Therefore, I am not acting in isolation or making any ludicrous demands.

“I take their decision in good faith and will continue to labour with the PDP and do all my best to protect its good fortunes”.

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“Absolute Agony” says Alex Ferguson, As He Presents Manager of the Year Award to Jurgen Klopp

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Sir Alex Ferguson joked that it was “absolute agony” to have to present Jurgen Klopp with the trophy named after him at the League Manager’s Association (LMA) awards last night.

Liverpool boss Klopp was named Manager of the Year after guiding the Reds to League Cup and FA Cup glory, plus second in the Premier League and this weekend’s Champions League final.

Klopp was presented with the Alex Ferguson Trophy by the man himself – who admitted, with tongue in cheek, that doing so was especially painful.

Watch: Ferguson in “agony” as he honours Klopp

Why would that have pained Ferguson?

As manager of Manchester United, Ferguson made them undisputed kings of English football, overtaking Liverpool as the club with the most national league titles – as the Scotsman once put it, knocking them off their perch.

The balance of power has shifted in recent years, however, with Ferguson retiring and Klopp being appointed at Anfield, with the German bringing consistent domestic and European success back to Liverpool.

United have not won the Premier League since 2012-13 – Ferguson’s last season in charge – or any trophy at all in the last five seasons, while Liverpool won the league in 2019-20 and the Champions League the year before.

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Nigeria lauds improved collaboration in AFI Region, signs MoU with Sierra Leone, Rwanda

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MINISTER of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika has commended International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) stressing that it’s leadership stance in collaboration has led member states of the African Indian-Ocean ( AFI) region to pool resources in resolving challenges and enhance safety in the Sub-region.

Sirika made this known at the 7th AFI Aviation Week in Abuja, Nigeria holding from 16th – 20th May where the nation signed Memorandum of Understandings, (MoUs) with Sierra Leone and Rwanda for technical support to enhance safety and security of Civil Aviation in the region.

According to him, ICAO’s leadership has set the bar for Member States to collaborate in resolving challenges particularly in the area of enhancing safety in our Sub-region.

He explained that one of the outcomes of such collaboration is the Comprehensive Regional Implementation Plan for Aviation Safety in Africa, which metamorphosized in the West Africa region into the Banjul Accord Group Aviation Safety Oversight Organization (BAGASOO), in Abuja, which is hosted and substantially funded by Nigeria stating that this organisation has continued to support the Member States in improving their safety oversight capabilities and human resource development.

On the MoUs, Sirika said they will aid to strengthen safety and efficiency of the sector as well as cooperation in the region.

The Aviation Minister stated that, aviation being an enabler and a positive factor for growth, development and robustness of the economy, informed the sector to enter into partnerships with other countries.

From left, Commisioner Banjul Accord Accident Investigation Agency (BAGAIA), Engineer Charles Irikefe Erhueh with Minister of Aviation, Nigeria, Senator Hadi Sirika and Commissioner Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) Nigeria, Engineer Akin Olateru at the opening ceremony of the 7th AFI Aviation Week in Abuja, Nigeria holding from 16th – 20th May

“This is the only way to continue to make these initiatives relevant and sustainable, while contributing to the strengthening of safety, security and facilitation in the region, bearing in mind that a safe, secure and efficient air transport system is a natural impetus for socio-economic development of the region and a means to support trade and tourism”.

The MoUs were signed by the Nigeria’s Director General, Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, Captain Musa Nuhu and representatives of the two countries at the opening ceremony of the Conference in Abuja.

Explaining further, the NCAA Director General, Captain Nuhu said, the partnership with the two African countries is to assist each other where there are gaps or deficiencies in the system, adding that no civil aviation authorities globally have the capacity to do everything.

The experience of the last two years, Captain Nuhu emphasized has underscored the fact that overcoming challenges and achieving meaningful growth in the industry, can only be done through cooperation, collaboration and co-ordination amongst stakeholders.

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