U-20 AFCON Qualifiers: Aigbogun Blames Poor Calabar Pitch For Flying Eagles’ Slim Win Vs...

By Adeboye Amosu: Coach of Nigeria U-20 side – the Flying Eagles, Paul Aigbogun, has blamed the UJ Esuene Stadium pitch for their marginal 1-0 win against Guinea-Bissau in the second leg Second Round game of the 2019 U-20 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers on Sunday. Adamu Alhassan scored from the penalty spot in the […]
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Alloy: We Will Select Super Eagles World Cup Goalkeepers On Merit

By Adeboye Amosu: Super Eagles goalkeeper trainer, Alloy Agu, insists the four goalkeepers in the team’s 30-man provisional squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia will get equal opportunity to prove their worth, reports Completesportsnigeria.com. The quartet of Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Daniel Akpeyi, Francis Uzoho and Dele Ajiboye will vie for the three slots […]
The post Alloy: We Will Select Super Eagles World Cup Goalkeepers On Merit appeared first on Complete Sports Nigeria.

Enjoying Life: SARS trio abandon guns to smoke weed in snitch video

Three police officers were filmed while jointly smoking weed in a room. They appeared to have no knowledge that they were being recorded. A trio of operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), have been recorded in a video which saw them abandon their guns while enjoying some weed.On their table was a half-empty bottle of liquor which helped complete the merry gathering reportedly in Abuja, according to the clip shared via Instablog9ja’s IG on Monday, May 21, 2018. The footage captioned, “you f**k around you get smoked,” captured the men share the task of crushing and wrapping the weed while a football game went on in the background.In the video, the SARS operatives seemed like a group of peace loving individuals but the experiences of some Nigerians may draw the life out of this image.  SARS forces I.T consultant to lie about being a Yahoo Boy An I.T Consultant, Vaughn Itemuagbor, has had two scarring experiences with officers of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), who made him lie about being a Yahoo Boy in order to extort money from him.The professional confirmed the sad incidents, which occurred in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, in a report published by Punch News on Monday, May 14, 2018.Itemuagbor had various body injuries on his elbow and arm as proof of maltreatment in the hand of SARS operatives. He expressed that the officers beat him up on a visit to a police station. ALSO READ: SARS operatives arrest Okada rider to replace Yahoo BoyPunch News gathered in a chat with the I.T Consultant the action of the security men who forced him to writing two statements that saw him admit guilt as a Yahoo Boy and one who attempted to bribe the police.The efforts of the SARS official yielded in a payment of N150,000, according to a Punch News report.

Timeline Of Serena’s Performance At French Open

Serena Williams                                                                                 Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images/AFP
 
Serena Williams’s highs and lows at the French Open as the 23-time major winner prepares to make her Grand Slam return next weekend in Paris:
1998: 16 years old and making her debut, reaches fourth round where she loses to Spain’s Arantxa Sanchez Vicario 4-6, 7-5, 6-3
2002: Wins first of three French Open titles by beating sister Venus 7-5, 6-3 in final having knocked out top seed Jennifer Capriati in semi-finals
2012: Suffers worst Grand Slam defeat, losing to French world number 111 Virginie Razzano in first round, 4-6, 7-6 (7/5), 6-3
2013: Wins second title in Paris with 6-4, 6-4 triumph over bitter rival Maria Sharapova
2014: Second round defeat to Spain’s Garbine Muguruza 6-2, 6-2. “It was one of those days. You can’t be on every day, and, gosh, I hate to be off during a Grand Slam but it happens. It’s not the end of the world,” says Serena who was chasing an 18th career major
2015: Claims a third French Open title by seeing off Lucie Safarova 6-3, 6-7 (2/7), 6-2, sealing a second ‘Serena Slam’ of holding all four Slams at the same time
2016: Loses her title to Muguruza in a 7-5, 6-4 defeat in final
2017: Sits out Roland Garros due to pregnancy
2018: Ranked 454 in the world and having played just four matches on the WTA Tour all year, Williams returns to Roland Garros seeking a 24th Grand Slam title which would take her level with Margaret Court’s all-time record
AFP
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Enjoying Life: SARS trio abandon guns to smoke weed in secretly recorded video

Three police officers were filmed while jointly smoking weed in a room. They appeared to have no knowledge that they were being recorded. A trio of operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), have been recorded in a video which saw them abandon their guns while enjoying some weed.On their table was a half-empty bottle of liquor which helped complete the merry gathering reportedly in Abuja, according to the clip shared via Instablog9ja’s IG on Monday, May 21, 2018. The footage captioned, “you f**k around you get smoked,” captured the men share the task of crushing and wrapping the weed while a football game went on in the background.In the video, the SARS operatives seemed like a group of peace loving individuals but the experiences of some Nigerians may draw the life out of this image.  SARS forces I.T consultant to lie about being a Yahoo Boy An I.T Consultant, Vaughn Itemuagbor, has had two scarring experiences with officers of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), who made him lie about being a Yahoo Boy in order to extort money from him.The professional confirmed the sad incidents, which occurred in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, in a report published by Punch News on Monday, May 14, 2018.Itemuagbor had various body injuries on his elbow and arm as proof of maltreatment in the hand of SARS operatives. He expressed that the officers beat him up on a visit to a police station. ALSO READ: SARS operatives arrest Okada rider to replace Yahoo BoyPunch News gathered in a chat with the I.T Consultant the action of the security men who forced him to writing two statements that saw him admit guilt as a Yahoo Boy and one who attempted to bribe the police.The efforts of the SARS official yielded in a payment of N150,000, according to a Punch News report.

Simy Nwankwo: Super Eagles invitee relegated with Crotone

Simy Nwankwo could not help his side as they suffered the drop in the Serie A. Super Eagles invitee Simy Nwankwo suffered relegation from the Italian Serie A with Crotone on Sunday, May 20.Simy’s Crotone lost 1-2 away from home to league runners-up SSC Napoli in their last league fixture of the season.The 26-year-old was in action for all 90 minutes in the encounter but could not help his side as they fell to two first-half goals by Arkadiusz Milik in the 23rd minute and Jose Maria Callejon in the 32nd minute.Marco Tumminello pulled one back for Crotone in the 90 minute but was not enough as Napoli held on for the win.The result meant that Simy’s Crotone had 35 points while SPAL 2013 defeated Sampdoria 3-1 in their last league fixture to move up to 38 points to escape the drop.Simy who is part of Gernot Rohr’s 30-man provisional list to the 2018 FIFA World Cup contributed seven goals and one assist for Crotone this season in a total of 24 appearances. He will now look towards participating in the Super Eagles upcoming friendlies against Congo, England, and the Czech Republic so as to make the final 23-man squad.Simy joins compatriots Success Isaac, Brown Ideye, Oghenekaro Etebo, Emmanuel Emenike and Imoh Ezekiel who also suffered relegation in the Spanish La Liga with Malaga and Las Palmas.

D’banj: See how singer celebrated son’s 1st birthday

D’banj celebrated the first birthday of his son over the weekend and there was so much fun. D’banj was indeed in a celebratory mood as he marked the first birthday of his son, Daniel the third over the weekend.The music star who couldn’t hide his joy took to his Instagram page on Sunday, May 20, 2018, where he shared a photo of his son, wife and himself all looking really cute.”And my baby @danieldthird Turns ONE ⭐️⭐️⭐️        . Can’t believe it’s been a year Already. Thanks to all who came around to Celebrate with the young Prince   , God bless you all … hey D look at the Camera    lol,” he captioned the photo.  Recall that back in 2017 D’banj welcomed his first child with his wife, Lineo Didi Kilgrow and he took to his Instagram page to announce the birth of the baby boy with the caption “#KingDonCome The Christening of @danieldthird.” D’banj says it was hard enough choosing to marry for life (Video) ALSO READ: You have to see how D’banj is living like a king in DubaiD’banj says it was hard enough choosing to get married for life which was like a major decision for him.The music star while granting an interview with Accelerate T.V. was asked to choose between two of his major hit songs, ‘Tongolo’ and ‘Suddenly’ and the frisky singer revealed that it was a difficult decision and it was too emotional for him. He then went on to say he couldn’t decide on it that it was hard enough choosing to get married for life.Check out cute photos of D’banj, wife with John Boyega A few months ago, John Boyega was in Nigeria and he took out time to hang out with Nigerian celebrities including D’banj and his beautiful family. A very excited D’banj took to his Instagram page on Sunday, April 8, 2018, where he posted a number of photos of himself, his wife, their cute son and the Hollywood actor. D’banj went on to congratulate the Nigerian born Hollywood star for producing his very first movie. “Great Evening and a BIG Congratulations to you brother @johnboyega on Producing your first Movie and A Great Success too #pacificrimuprising       Can’t wait for you to produce a Super HollyNollywood Movie    #pacificrimuprising,” he wrote.

Africa News Roundup: It is now a crime to publish fake news in Kenya

Here are last weekend’s top news headlines about startups, entrepreneurship, innovation and tech around Africa. Before you hit ‘publish’. It is now a criminal offence to publish fake news online in Kenya. While many argue that this could stifle press freedom, the Computer and Cybercrimes Bill, which enforces the law, also touches on pertinent issues like […]
Read more on Techpoint.

Best Behaviour: Kids grip each other in fear when lunatic visited fried chicken restaurant

The outburst of a man believed to be mentally challenged only got the attention of kids at a TFC restaurant. Some kids appeared to be on their best behaviour after a man believed to be mentally challenged visited the Tasty Fried Chicken (TFC), restaurant in Ogba, Lagos.A clip shared via Instablog9ja’s IG saw the lunatic walk into the eatery while customers were having a meal. He seemed to be angry over a matter but his sentence construction failed to give a clear picture of the bone of contention.ALSO READ: Blood-sucking mad man ambushed by Sapele residentsWhile this was going on, little children who witnessed the uncontrollable outburst stayed glued in their positions until the mentally challenged man who visited TFC in his underpants left the scene.  Some customers however managed to remain oblivious of the uncomfortable scene.

Yannick Bolasie: Everton star to miss Super Eagles Vs DR Congo friendly

Yannick Bolasie has been dropped for the friendly between DR Congo and Nigeria. Everton star Yannick Bolasie will miss the international friendly game between the Super Eagles of Nigeria and DR Congo.Bolasie was among the 32-man initial list circulated for the game against the Super Eagles, but it has now been revealed that he will take no part.Florent Ikwange Ibenge head coach of DR Congo has officially released a 28-man list for the game with the majority of the players in the previous list but one of the notable omissions is Bolasie.No official reason has been given for the exclusion of Bolasie from the squad for the game.Big stars such as Wolves striker Benik Afobe, China based striker Cedric Bakambu and former Chelsea player Gaël Kakuta have been called up.Ibenge who is the coach of local side AS Vita Club called up 11 players from the domestic league to make up the squad. After the game against DR Congo on Monday, May 28, the Super Eagles take on the Three Lions of England at the Wembley Stadium before Gernot Rohr reduces his 30-man provisional squad to 23.The Super Eagles still have one more friendly against the Czech Republic before they go into their 2018 FIFA World Cup group stage fixture against Croatia, Iceland, and Argentina.

FIFA World Cup (24 Days to go) : Team Profile – FRANCE

France clinched their place at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia by topping Europe’s Group A, continuing a run of appearing at every tournament since 1994.
FIFA Ranking: 7
Continent: Europe
READ ALSO: FIFA World Cup : Team Profile – IR IRAN
World Cup History:
Qualifying Campaigns: 17
First stage appearances: 14
Semi final appearances: 5
Finals: 2
Titles: 1
First World Cup: 1930
Last World Cup: 2014
Best outing: Champions (1998)
Key Player: ANTOINE GRIEZMANN
The France forward will be out to make his mark on another major competition, having been top scorer and player of the tournament at UEFA EURO 2016. Griezmann provided four goals and four assists for Les Bleus in the Russia 2018 qualifiers.
MATCHES:
June 16: FRANCE vs AUSTRALIA
June 21: FRANCE vs PERU
June 26: DENMARK vs FRANCE
NEXT PROFILE (Tomorrow): AUSTRALIA
The post FIFA World Cup (24 Days to go) : Team Profile – FRANCE appeared first on Vanguard News.

NNPC loses N546b to failure of reforms in three years

NNPC tower
• ‘Kachikwu, Baru power tussle frustrating progress’
• We’re working towards profitability, says spokesman
• Experts proffer solutions to corporation’s woes
Failure by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to reform the oil and gas sector has pushed the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)’s revenue loss to over N546 billion.
The trend does not only represent the loss of potential revenue for government but also constitutes a major challenge for the 2018 budget expectations and implementation.
In 2015, the corporation lost N267.14billion. The following year, it was set back by N197 billion. And in 2017, data from its financial statements showed N82 billion in operational losses.
Also, while the corporation earned N2.046 trillion in revenue in 2015, it spent N2.313 trillion, leaving a loss of N267.138 billion. Its corporate headquarters recorded the highest loss of N162.736 billion, while its product supply and distribution arm, the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC) came second with N162.06 billion loss, followed by a combined loss of N82.09 billion from its three refineries.
Its financial and operational report in 2016 showed that the corporation earned N1.726 trillion, but recorded an expenditure of N1.923 trillion. Losses from its refineries alone totalled N78.95 billion. In a review by Bloomberg, the latest account, showed that losses from refineries and corporate headquarters alone stood at $500 million.
Industry experts told The Guardian that besides the absence of reform, NNPC’s self-regulatory and above-the-law modes were partly to blame. They also expressed concern over the leadership tussle between the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, and the NNPC Group Managing Director (GMD), Maikanti Baru.
They noted that the inability of the National Assembly and the Presidency to address the alleged bypass of due process in the signing of about $25billion contracts indicates transparency and accountability are lacking in the sector.
Though the current administration once blamed NNPC’s involvement in commercial, operational and regulatory roles for woes plaguing the sector, the stakeholders expressed surprise the situation has remained unchanged.
They added that unless NNPC becomes more like a private entity through a major reform that would abolish the extant law that created it, especially as outlined in the Petroleum Industry Bill, the company might not be able to make profit.
At a 2015 election eve debate organised by the Nigeria Political Parties Discussion Series (NPPDS), Lai Mohammed, the then National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), now Minister of Information and Culture, had said the APC government would not only unbundle the NNPC, it would ensure it publishes its balance sheets periodically for public scrutiny.
“The NNPC is too powerful and self-regulatory. There is no way the NNPC can regulate itself. It should concentrate on operations,” he said.
With the rising crude oil prices and the absence of functioning refineries, the analysts said things could worsen in 2018 as the cost of products, especially petrol that is largely imported, has been pegged at N145 per litre.
The larger part of the losses made by the company in the past three years came from the corporate headquarters, refineries, and mounting under-recovery from the import of petroleum products.
The President and Chairman of Council, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, Prof. Segun Ajibola, is unsure the company will make profits anytime soon, because government is backing revenue that falls below cost.
“If they continue like that, the deficits will continue to grow. But if the reverse happens, then surplus will be generated to take away the deficits,” he said.
He was, however, optimistic that the signing of the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill into law would address key issues, stressing that the government needs time to tackle the challenges.
Though the losses made by the company in 2017 showed signs of hope above the deficits made in 2015 and 2016, the operating income it budgeted in the three years was not met.
In April, the under-recovery or subsidy paid on petrol reportedly hit N1.4 trillion. Losses on refineries, which have a combined capacity of 445,000 bpd but turned out small quantity of refined product, stood at about $100 million in 2017 alone.
Sources close to the ministry said the face-off between Kachikwu and Baru has even prevented the ministry from holding board meetings. They said the vacuum created by the tussle has been delaying reforms promised by the current administration.
NNPC’s Group General Manager, Public Affairs Division, Ndu Ughamadu, however, denied this, saying board meetings were still being held. He insisted the corporation is working towards profitability with necessary mechanisms but did not outline what these mechanisms were.
The Spokesperson for the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Idang Alibi, had not responded to request for comments before this report was filed.
“How many times have you heard about the board meetings of the NNPC? When was its full account ever published or audited? We do not hear about the quarrel between the minister and GMD. But the two people remain there, and everything is buried under the carpet,” said one of the sources.
The Senate had set up a committee headed by former Sokoto State Governor, Aliyu Wamakko, to investigate claims by Kachikwu over lack of due diligence in the award of contracts. Nothing, however, has been heard from the committee since the matter broke last year.
The absence of properly outlined roles and accountability mechanism, and the failure by the president to relinquish the office of Minister of Petroleum Resources are holding the country’s economy to ransom, said Auwal Ibrahim Musa, Executive Director of the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC).
“The tension is not over because the issues that have been raised are not addressed. There is mistrust between the GMD and the minister. What we are seeing is window dressing. If they are working together collaboratively, and if the whole process is transparent, there won’t be these issues,” Musa said.
Nothing new has happened in the sector under Buhari’s administration, particularly in terms of accountability, transparency and openness, said Idayat Hassan, Executive Director, Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD).
“Subsidy is a good example. This is a government that told us it is not paying subsidy. Then all of a sudden, it introduced subsidy through the back door. The opaque system has remained as it was in previous years. The promises of unbundling the NNPC have not come to pass,” said Hassan.
She denounced ongoing leakage, adding that unless there is accountability, funds from the sector could be used to finance 2019 election campaigns.
Professor of Petroleum Economics and Policy Research, Centre for Petroleum Energy Economics and Law, University of Port Harcourt, Wumi Iledare, linked the poor performance of the NNPC to the delay in the passage of the PIB. He stressed that the eventual passage would remove government control and drive the company towards profit making.
He regretted that the absence of core reforms has resulted in decline in revenues, oil and gas production, national reserves and investments. Also, uncertainty in legal, regulatory, fiscal and commercial frameworks has led to declining competitiveness and infrastructure deficits.

IPOB, Ohanaeze set for showdown in Awka

Supporters of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) / AFP PHOTO / STEFAN HEUNIS
‘Every Igbo should attend an Igbo summit’
The banned Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) will either make good its threat today or risk being tagged as a group that issues empty ultimatums.
If its flood of fiery statements is anything to go by, the summit on restructuring by apex Igbo socio-cultural group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, will not hold in Awka, Anambra State.
But Ohanaeze has insisted it will hold the event, even as the police have assured the venue would be off limits to mischief-makers.
On the sidelines, meanwhile, residents of the town will be watching to see which of the parties might blink first.
“Anybody seen with Ohanaeze Ndigbo T-shirt will be regarded as a hired Hausa/Fulani thug and will be dealt with accordingly. In our finest tradition, we tell the world what we are going to do before we do it, because we are freedom fighters. Any hired thug that wants to waste his life should join anything called Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youths on Monday,” warned IPOB.
“If Ohanaeze leaders like, let them surround the venue with armoured tanks and soldiers. One thing certain is that the summit will not hold, unless Nnia Nwodo (President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo) and his collaborators will be prepared to kill us all on that particular day,” the group said.
Explaining its grouse, IPOB said: “On Monday, May 21, 2018, at Ekwueme Square in Awka, the longsuffering downtrodden people of the East will rise up to say enough is enough. Our 50 years of Fulani captivity, aided and abated by Ohanaeze Ndigbo, will finally come to an end. All agents of darkness and iniquity with red caps, recruited by the caliphate immediately after the war in 1970, to serve their interest and enslave Igbo land, will be exposed.”
The President of the Anambra State chapter of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Okeke Ogene, has been quoted as saying: “We are used to IPOB’s threats. For instance, they said there won’t be an election in Anambra State last year, but the election was held and peacefully, too.”
Sounding conciliatory, however, Mazi Chuks Ibegbu, Deputy National Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, said attacking persons at the summit would be counter-productive.
“We have told them that whatever grievances they have, they should bring them along to the venue. Every Igbo has right to come for an Igbo summit. You don’t spoil for war in your father’s land. You do it outside. If you kill us all, who will do the burial?
“When they come there, what we are discussing is restructuring Nigeria. They are talking Biafra. What they are saying is not different from what we are saying. We are saying, ‘Let’s discuss how Nigeria will be better’. If Nigeria gets better, they would get what they are seeking in a very easy way.
“But if we discuss the restructuring and there is no agreement, then there will be a basis for what they are saying. But saying we can’t stay as brothers and sisters and discuss, I don’t think it is proper. We are begging them not to come and spill the blood of their people. They should come peacefully and make their case; present their grievances,” Ibegbu said.
In its latest statement, IPOB spokesman, Emma Powerful, warned: “Anybody equating what is about to happen at Ekwueme Square in Awka on Monday 21, 2018 with what obtained in the November 18, 2017 Anambra governorship election is a very poor student of social dynamics.
“We don’t want another meaningless restructuring debate that will lead to further enslavement of our people for another 100 years. If some individuals and groups are comfortable with their slave status in Nigeria, they should permanently relocate to the North, as some of them have done already.
“We the Indigenous People of Biafra will not be slaves in our own land. We will sacrifice everything sacrificable, including our lives, to ensure we live as free men in the land of our ancestors, as God intended before the White Man came.
“We warn anybody contemplating attending the Fulani-sponsored restructuring jamboree to think twice before heading to Awka on Monday, because safety will not be guaranteed.
“The statement issued by one Fulani police officer, SP Mohammed Haruna Idris, yesterday in Awka, confirms what we have always known that Ohanaeze Ndigbo will rely on their Northern masters to protect them; a socio-cultural association relying on their oppressors to come and protect them.
“When the pandemonium starts on Monday, a codeine-charged Fulani army or police officer armed with an AK 47 will not know who is who. Documented incidents of stray bullets killing innocent bystanders abound. If you don’t want to be a victim, don’t venture into Awka on May 21, 2018.

My imprisonment was a blessing, says Obasanjo

Olusegun Obasanjo
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has said that his imprisonment by late maximum ruler, Gen. Sani Abacha over fathom coup charge turned out to be a great blessing to him.
Obasanjo who spoke in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital at the weekend insisted that his prison experience, not only taught him life lessons but it also immensely contributed towards his election as President in 1999.
The former president while delivering a lecture on causes of insecurity in the country disclosed that it was while in prison that he wrote four of his books.
The lecture, held at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) was organised by ASIS, an International Security Organisation aimed at bringing all security outfit under one umbrella.
Obasanjo told the audience, “My prison experience enriched me, In fact it contributed to my performance while I was in office. A leader must learn from every situation.
“ Honestly, the prison experience has enriched my life.”
To tackle the current insecurity in the country, Obasanjo canvassed for effective leadership, good governance, development and strong value system within the context of our culture and tradition to address security challenges confronting the country as a nation.
His words: “If it is the law that will require to be reviewed, there is nothing wrong in as much as it is for the goal of overcoming our security challenges.’’
Obasanjo noted that a good leader must have experience both good and bad sides of life that would help him to strategize on how to handle any threat.
The Chairman of ASIS 206 Lagos Chapter, Oluwaseyi Adetayo said that the Civil Defence law review would guarantee professionalism of security practice in the country.

Nigeria does not have vaccines for Ebola, says Ihekweazu

Dr Chikwe IhekweazuWHO, NCDC monitor outbreak in DRC, strengthen country’s preparedness
Despite the continuous spread of the dreaded Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the possibility of the virus crossing into other Sub-Saharan Africa countries, Nigeria does not have vaccines for the disease.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and National Coordinator of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, told The Guardian: “An Ebola vaccine is being used for the first time ever to respond to the outbreak in the DRC. The Ebola vaccine is currently administered to people who have been in close contact with those infected or those who are likely to be in contact with a case.
“Vaccines are not commercially available and only available through WHO when an outbreak has been addressed. Given that Nigeria does not have any case of Ebola currently, we do not have vaccines in country. However, we are working very closely with the World Health Organisation (WHO) to monitor the situation in DRC and strengthen Nigeria’s preparedness in the event of an outbreak.
“The most utilized route of entry by passengers from the DRC is through our major international airports in Abuja, Lagos, Enugu and Port Harcourt, but there is no direct flight. The National Port Health services have strengthened screening procedure in these locations.”
According to the WHO, there are now 17 confirmed Ebola cases in this outbreak, including one death, plus 21 probable cases and five suspected ones. It was not immediately clear what link the new cases might have to others.
An experimental Ebola vaccine to be deployed in an outbreak in DRC has conquered some major scientific hurdles in giving high protection, but it now faces extreme real-world tests including heat, humidity, language barriers and lack of roads.
Because it is not yet licensed, the Merck & Co vaccine has been offered to Congo under a “compassionate use” protocol agreed by national and international health and ethics authorities.
This means fully informed, signed consent is needed from every person who wants the shot. And in the current Ebola outbreak, that makes logistical, cultural and language barriers the ultimate challenges, global health specialists say.
The shot is designed for use in a so-called “ring vaccination”. When a new Ebola case is diagnosed, all people who might have been in recent contact with them are traced and vaccinated to try and prevent the disease’s spread.
The vaccine supplies so far will be enough to vaccinate 50 rings of 150 people, according to the WHO. It said that as of May 15, 527 contacts of Ebola cases and suspected cases had been identified and were being followed up.
Results of a trial using the ring vaccination technique with the Merck shot, which is known as VSV-EBOV, in Guinea in West Africa in 2015 showed 100 per cent protection in those vaccinated immediately.
Meanwhile, the 71st World Health Assembly (WHA) will begin this morning at the WHO Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, with how to control the Ebola virus top on the agenda.
The WHA is the decision-making body of WHO. It is attended by delegations from all WHO Member States and focuses on a specific health agenda prepared by the Executive Board.
The main functions of the WHA are to determine the policies of the Organization, supervise financial policies, and review and approve the proposed programme budget.