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The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria Kicks Against FG’s Disgraceful Plans of Importing Madagascar’s CVO Syrup.

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What a Disgrace!!!- Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria protest FG’s plan to Import Madagascar COVID19 Syrup

The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria has kicked against plans by the Federal government to import the COVID-19 syrup being produced in Madagascar for the treatment of patients with the viral disease here in Nigeria.

President Buhari has given a directive for the importation of the herbal syrup.

In a statement released by the president of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, ‘Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa’ today May 12th, the umbrella body of Nigerian pharmacists said it received with utter disbelief the news of the planned importation of the herbal syrup.

Ohuabunwa said the society is shocked that the Federal government can move swiftly to collect such syrup from an African country that boasts of fewer scientists when they have consistently ignored calls to carry out a clinical evaluation for the drugs some Nigerian pharmacists claim they have developed as a cure for the ravaging viral disease.

The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) has received the news that the Federal Government of Nigeria is about to import a herbal concoction called COVID Organics (CVO) from Madagascar with utter disbelief.

While in principle we would not mind Nigerian government importing  any new drug that is proven to cure COVID-19 or indeed any other disease for which we have neither the capacity, nor the technology to produce locally, we are totally appalled that Nigeria is about to spend scarce foreign exchange to import ‘COAL INTO NEWCASTLE’.

Even if we are not going to pay for this, it is thoroughly disgraceful that a country that should be the leader of Africa, with the largest GDP will allow itself to be dragged this low. Nigeria has about 174 Universities (43 Federal, 52 State and 79 private), 20 Faculties of Pharmacy and about 69 Federal-Funded Research Institutes (including National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research & Development and the National Institute for Medical Research) while Madagascar has only 6 Universities, 1 Faculty of Pharmacy and 9 Research Centers!!!  Nigeria has some of the best scientists (Pharmaceutical, Medical, Biochemical, Biological etc.) in the world who have done so much work on natural and herbal medicines.

Nigeria has developed a pharmacopeia of natural and herbal products and has one of the richest flora and fauna – potent sources of phytomedicines.

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19, a number of them have raised their voices that they have herbal and natural products that can be used to treat or manage COVID-19. Some have patents. Many herbal companies and producers have an-nounced specifically that they have herbal formulations that can do what this ‘invention’ from Madagascar can do.  

Also Read: Plant Extract in Madagascar’s CVO Drink ‘Artemisia Annua’ Grows in Nigeria – Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire.

WHO Considers Madagascar’s CVO Drink as Possible Treatment for COVID-19

We have raised our voices severally that the Federal Government should review these claims and help put them through clinical evaluation as most of these producers cannot afford to conduct clinical trials. We have recommended that a portion of the nearly 25 Billion Naira donated/allocated for the COVID-19 pandemic should be dedicated for local research and development. But our Government has remained essentially silent only waiting to participate in WHO sponsored or mandated trials.

We have been told that Nigeria is participating in the WHO solidarity trial, but nothing on trying our own inventions and formulations.  Now we want to import COVID Organics. from Madagascar to try? Why are we like this? If the world can supply us synthetic and chemically-sophisticated medicines which we apparently lack the technology to produce, why must we wait for the World to supply us herbal formulations which we can easily make and which we have similar products.”

Ohabunwa appealed to the Federal government to save the pharmaceutical scientists in Nigeria the shame of importing herbs that Nigeria boasts of in abundance

 We urge our Government to save Nigerian Pharmaceutical Scientists and other scientists from the shame of having our country import and try herbal remedies which God has given us in abundance and some of which our grandfathers and grandmothers have used for ages. Let us try our own local formulations before we try COVID Organics or any other imported remedy.

Every well-meaning nation has been in a race to find cures, remedies and other medical supplies used for COVID-19, while we seem to wait for other nations to solve our problems. There is much talk but little action. This dependency mentality needs to change and now is the time. We must seize this opportunity to look inwards, build confidence on our abilities, competences and re-orientate our national economic philosophy from import dependency to export driven. And Nigeria can beat India and China in the production and export of herbal products if anyone is willing to lead us down this part. 

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Economy

Twitter makes Ghana its headquarters in Africa, Nigerians React

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Twitter makes Ghana its headquarters in Africa, Nigerians React

Twitter announced today that the company is now in Africa, with its headquarters in Ghana.

“Twitter is now present on the continent. Thank you Ghana and @NakufoAddo,” Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey tweeted today, April 12.

Abubakar Suleiman, the CEO of Sterling Bank, has weighed in on the conversation about Twitter making Ghana its headquarters in African.

Nigerians reacted to the fact that Ghana, and not Nigeria, was chosen to be the headquarters.

Then Suleiman tweeted: “First you tell the world Nigeria is a zoo.. Then you hear @TwitterSF has chosen @GhanaPresidency as their WA headquarters & you are wondering why.

ALSO READ;

“If you can’t sell yourself, nobody will buy you. Nigeria remains the heartbeat of Africa, our current struggles notwithstanding.”

Bank CEO, Abubakar Suleiman blames Nigerians who bad-mouth the country for Twitter’s decision to make Ghana its headquarters in Africa

See Nigerians Reactions Below;

A number of his followers took to the comments to disagree with him and he doubled down, writing: “I think everyone sells. And we should showcase the good things in our country even as we critic the shortcomings..”

 

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Economy

CBN crashes liquidity mop-up activities, raises treasury bills

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CBN reduces liquidity mop up activities through Treasury bills

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) drastically reduced its liquidity mop up activities through treasury bills by 81 percent, year-on-year, y/y, to N793 billion in the first quarter of the year (Q1’21).

The apex bank, among other things, controls money supply (liquidity) in the economy by issuing or purchasing secondary market treasury bills, also known as Open Market Operations (OMO) when it wants to reduce money supply, while it injects liquidity by purchasing OMO treasury bills.

The CBN reduced the amounts of OMO bills offered by 80 per cent, y/y, to N858 billion in Q1’21, from N4.26 trillion in Q1’2020.  Similarly, the amount of bills sold fell by 81 per cent, y/y, to N793 billion in Q1’21  from N4.44 trillion in Q1’2020.  In the same vein, the amount of OMO TBs demanded by the banks and FPIs  (public subscription)  fell by 41 per cent, y/y, to N3.13 trillion in Q1’21 from N5.31 trillion in Q1’2020.

Further analysis of OMO TBs sold in Q1’21 showed that the CBN offered N103 billion worth of 91-Days bills but sold N85 billion while the public subscription stood at N248.6 billion.

Meanwhile the apex bank raised yields (interest rate) on the  OMO TBs apparently to increase the attractiveness of the bills to foreign portfolio investors, FPIs, and enhance foreign exchange inflow.  Financial Vanguard analysis showed that average yield (stop rate) for  OMO bills rose  by 4.55 percentage points to 8.53 per cent at the end of March from 3.98 per cent at the end of December last year.

The CBN raised the stop rate for 91-Days OMO bills by 5.3 percentage points to 7.0 per cent in  March from 1.61 per cent in December. It also raised the stop rate for  182-Days OMO bills by 4.05 percentage points to 8.5 per cent in March from 4.45 per cent in December. Similarly, the stop rate for  365-Days bills rose by 4.2 percentage points to 10.1 per cent in March from 5.9 per cent in December.

These were in sharp contrast to the downward trend recorded last year  when average yield on OMO TBs crashed by 8.13 percentage points as the CBN slashed stop rate for  91-Days, 182-Days, 365-Days OMO bills respectively  by 9.87 percentage points, 7.15 percentage points and 7.36 percentage points respectively from 11.48 per cent, 11.6 per cent and 13.26 per cent at the beginning of the year.

While citing this reversal in the yields on OMO TBs and other fixed income instruments as a factor behind the negative performance of the Nigeria Stock Exchange, NSE, in Q1’21, analysts at United Capital Plc,  projected that the upward trend in yields on fixed income instruments will persist in Q2’21. They said:

“Like we noted, the bearish sentiment in the equity market has been stoked by fast-paced reversal in the yield environment. The peak of the reversal appears to be distant even though the pace of increase at recent auctions (Bonds & T-bills) seems to have slowed. We expect upward pressure on yields to garner pace later in Q2-2020 depending on the outcome of the May MPC meeting as well as data from economic recovery.”

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Economy

CBN gets order to freeze 194 accounts in 17 banks

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CBN gets order to freeze 194 accounts in 17 banks

The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN has secured three separate interim orders from a Federal High Court in Abuja to freeze bank accounts linked to 194 business entities and individuals in 17 banks.

This was contained in a post by the apex bank on its website yesterday pursuant to the court order. The freeze orders were sequel to three exparte applications filed by the apex bank seeking a mandatory order of the court to ask the 17 banks to freeze the account of the business organizations and individual pending the outcome of an ongoing investigation the apex bank had initiated.

In one of the suits against Nuru Abubakar and 24 others, the court granted the request by CBN to freeze the account of the defendants in the banks for 45 days. Justice A.R Muhammed who made the order in his ruling on March 30, 2021, said: “An interim order is hereby made empowering the applicant to direct the head office of the listed banks to freeze forthwith all transactions on the bank account of the defendants for a period of 45 days pending the outcome of investigation and inquiry currently being conducted by CBN.”

ALSO READ;

In another suit filed by CBN against Sethwealth Ventures and two others, the court granted an exparte application by the apex bank to freeze 50 accounts linked to the three defendants in 13 banks. A similar order was also made in the suit by CBN against Bluebeam Capital Ltd freezing 60 accounts of the company in 13 banks.

The 17 banks affected are Access Bank, First City Monument Bank, Fidelity Bank, Sterling Bank, Keystone Bank, Providus Bank, United Bank for Africa (UBA), Wema Bank and First Bank. Others are Guaranty Trust Bank, Ecobank Bank, Heritage Bank, Polaris Bank, Zenith Bank, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and Union Bank.

The companies affected include Bluebeam Capital Limited, Sethwealth Ventures, Seasons Bureau De Change, Lat-Ade Logistics, Sani Polo Global Investment Ltd, Saneo Global Resources Limited and Romvic Ventures Nigeria Limited.

 

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