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News Roundup: No one involved in Sylvester Oromoni’s death will be spared – Buhari, Nigeria receives 2.5m Pfizer Covid vaccines from U.S…

No one involved in Sylvester Oromoni’s death will be spared – Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari has vowed to get justice for Sylvester Oromoni, the late 12-year-old student of Dowen College, Lekki. The President, while reacting to the incident in a statement by Garba Shehu, his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, condemned the act maintaining that justice will be served no matter who is involved. “I share the anger and grief up and down the country following this incident. On behalf of my family and I, and the government of the federation, I convey our heartfelt condolences to the Oromoni family, the government, and people of Lagos State and give the firm assurance that this incident will be thoroughly investigated and the appropriate punishment meted out to all those who are culpable,” Buhari said. The President further asked the police to continue the ongoing investigation until they get to the root of the matter in order for the law to take its course.

Nigeria receives 2.5m Pfizer Covid vaccines from U.S
Nigeria this week received 2.5 million Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines as donations from the United States. The U.S Embassy made this known in a statement on Thursday in which it said the National Primary Health Care Development Agency received the vaccines, ensuring they were taken to cold storage to prepare for distribution to over 3,000 health facilities across all 36 states and FCT-Abuja. The statement disclosed that over the next several weeks, the vaccines will be available at major markets, shopping malls, event centres, motor parks, airports, places of employment, and religious institutions as part of Nigeria’s mass vaccination campaign. The embassy noted that the United States has to date, donated more than 13.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine in partnership with COVAX, or bilaterally to Nigeria. “Additionally, the United States has provided more than $119 million in COVID-19 related health assistance. The U.S embassy said the United States is committed to donating more than one billion vaccine doses around the world, by early 2022. This, it said, includes African countries primarily through the COVAX initiative. It noted that improving equitable distribution remains a priority for the United States to prevent the emergence of new variants that threaten populations everywhere.

Nigeria raises most startup capital but isn’t Africa’s prime investment destination
More than $4 billion of funding has been raised by start-ups in Africa through 754 deals and Nigeria ranks highest among the top four including South Africa, Egypt and Kenya, with $1.41 billion. Despite this feat, Nigeria has dropped from Africa’s top 10 investment destinations to 14 as Egypt remains the number one nation. This is according to a report by RMB, a division of FirstRand Bank Limited, titled ‘Where to Invest in Africa 2021’. The report positions Morocco as second and South Africa in third place, Rwanda and Botswana, now in fourth and fifth position respectively. For Nigeria, RMB attributed its 14th position on the list to constraints on the nation’s economy by a weak policy environment and sore infrastructure provision. RMB Africa Economist, Daniel Kavishe, said the criteria used in measuring the performance of countries that made it to the list took a new approach which was a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. “We created a new set of rankings that incorporated some of the unavoidable COVID-19-induced challenges, of which the operating environment score was one., as well as fiscal scores which are important indicators of how governments respond to COVID-19. This inclusion aimed to score governments’ fiscal positions and provided a basis from which investors can understand specific jurisdictions,” Kavishe said.

Read also: S/Arabia bans flights from Nigeria over COVID-19 new variant

Rising oil prices, shipping hitches worsen malaria in Nigeria
Rising oil prices are driving up the cost of mosquito nets produced using materials derived from crude oil, and orders are held up on the seasonal account of the global shipping and logistics challenges arising from COVID-19. The World Health Organisation (WHO) and its partners say this is fuelling malaria cases across Nigeria and the African continent. This situation has been worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has disrupted malaria services and driven attention and resources away from malaria and other diseases, leading to an increase in cases and deaths. Modelling analysis conducted by WHO and its partners has predicted that the number of deaths due to malaria could double in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) due to disruption in the accessibility of anti-malarial commodities in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to WHO’s latest World Malaria report, there were an estimated 241 million malaria cases and 627,000 malaria deaths worldwide in 2020. This represents about 14 million more cases in 2020 compared with 2019 and 69,000 more deaths. Approximately, two-thirds of these additional deaths (47,000) were linked to disruptions in the provision of malaria prevention, diagnosis and treatment during the pandemic. In comparison, there have been at least 8,887,000 reported infections and 224,000 reported deaths caused by the novel coronavirus in Africa so far.

U.S based Equinix to acquire Nigeria’s MainOne for $320 million
Equinix, a US-based global infrastructure company, is perfecting plans to acquire MainOne, one of the largest data centres in West Africa, for $320 million as it moves to become a dominant player in Africa. The acquisition is expected to be completed in the first three months of 2022, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions including the requisite regulatory approvals. Founded in 2010 by Funke Opeke, MainOne has a presence in three countries including Nigeria, Ghana, and Côte d’Ivoire. The acquisition marks the first step in Equinix’s long-term strategy to become an African carrier neutral digital infrastructure company. Equinix is betting on Nigeria’s growing population pushing demand for data centres and a spike in the number of operators. Since it was founded, MainOne has enabled connectivity for the business community of Nigeria and now has digital infrastructure assets including three operational data centres, with an additional facility under construction expected to open in the first quarter of 2022. The facilities generate approximately US$60 million annualized (Q2’21LQA) revenue with a purchase multiple of approximately 14x EBITDA. When the acquisition is completed, MainOne’s facilities are expected to add more than 64,000 gross square feet of space to the Equinix platform with 570,000 square feet of land for future expansions.

Entertainment, sports top Nigerians’ Google search in 2021
Interest of Nigerians in entertainment and sports related topics was prominent as Google released the 2021 ‘year in search results’, which reflect the most searched terms, topics, and questions in that year. Nigerians used the search engine to find answers and information on topics related to music, movies, TV shows, sports, food, celebrity personalities, pop culture, and lifestyle. Top search topics like ‘Paralympics’, ‘Euro 2020’, ‘EPL’, ‘Chelsea F.C.’ and ‘Champions league’ were reflective of the country’s uncompromising love for sports, according to Google. The results, which were released 8 December 2021, also included questions such as ‘How to check JAMB result 2021?’ and search terms such as ‘Alcohol lyrics,’ ‘TB Joshua,’ and ‘iPhone 13’. Tiwa Savage, Destiny Etiko, and Romelu Lukaku topped their respective categories, revealing Nigerians’ love for top entertainment personalities and athletes. Squid Game, a Korean TV series, topped the category of trending movies and series.

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