Five things to know to start your Saturday

Makinde signs 2023 Oyo’s budget of N310.4bn

Seyi Makinde, the governor of Oyo State, signed into law the state budget of N310.4 billion on Friday, barely 24 hours after the state lawmakers passed it.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the budget titled “Budget of Sustainable Development” was signed on Friday at the headquarters of the Oyo State Agribusiness Development Agency (OYSADA) in Saki Town, in Oke-Ogun zone.

The state House of Assembly had on Thursday passed the state’s 2023 Appropriation Bill of N310.4 billion after a clause-by-clause consideration of items in the financial proposal.

The passed budget is about N432.5 million higher than the proposed N310 billion earlier sent to the lawmakers by Makinde on Nov. 3.

While signing the bill, the governor lauded the support and cooperation of the state legislature for its timely passage.

He said the budget would aid in the completion of some of the ongoing projects in the state.

Obi promises end to incessant lecturers’ strike, if elected

Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, has pledged to end the incessant lecturers’ strikes that have disrupted academic activities in the nation’s tertiary institutions if elected.

Speaking in Yenagoa on Friday during the party’s campaign in Bayelsa, Obi also promised to clean up all the environmental pollution in the state as well as other Niger Delta states.

“We will ensure there is no strike again in our universities; four years will be four years, five years will be five years, and I and Datti will secure Nigeria.

“We will make sure there is rule of law in Nigeria; the police will not harass anyone on the road; and the police will not stop students from carrying their laptops again.

“We will ensure Bayelsa gets a fair share of what they are giving to Nigeria. I will clean up all environmental pollution in Bayelsa.

“People must be able to fish in their water again, and most importantly, we are going to dredge the rivers Niger and Benue to stop the problem of flooding,” he said.

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AfDB unveils foundation for pharmaceutical sector

The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group has introduced its new foundation, hosted by the Government of Rwanda in Kigali, and expected to commence operations in early 2023.

In a statement issued by the Communication and External Relations Department, AfDB announced that the African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation (APTF) would help Africa build its pharmaceutical sector.

The bank would join hands with the African Union to boost Africa’s capacity to produce drugs, vaccines, diagnostics, and therapeutics.

According to the statement, this was the focus of a forum hosted by the bank under the theme “Technology Access for Pharmaceutical Manufacturing: The African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation.”

The event was part of the second International Conference on Public Health in Africa in Kigali, Rwanda, on Dec. 14.

According to the AfDB, the continent imports more than 70 percent of the medicines it needs at a cost of 14 billion dollars annually. This is according to NAN.

PRP debunks Excos’ defection to APC in Katsina

The leadership of the People’s Redemption Party (PRP) has debunked a media report about the defection of some of its elected executive members to the All Progressive Congress (APC) or any other political party in Katsina State.

While addressing reporters on Friday, they regarded the news as rumour and just a propaganda stunt by the ruling APC to destabilise the party ahead of the February 2023 election.

The state chairman of the PRP, Hassan Hamisu, said the party received with shock the news of one Dr. Ahmad Alhassan, who claimed to be the state chairman of the party but decamped to the APC.

Dr. Alhassan, who was referred to as the state chairman of the PRP during the recent APC rally, announced his defection to APC together with all the party’s executives across the state.

Hamisu said the party does not have any factions, adding that he was duly elected in the presence of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and other officials.

He added that genuine members of the party were not even aware of Dr. Alhassan until he recently claimed to be its chairman.

U.S. awards defense contract of over $1 billion to Lockheed Martin

The U.S. awarded defence contracts to companies on Friday, including one worth over a billion dollars to Lockheed Martin Corp., the Department of Defense said in a statement.
“This contract procures long lead time materials, parts, components, and efforts necessary to maintain on-time production and delivery of 118 Lot 18 F-35 aircraft for the Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy, non-U.S. Department of Defense participants, and Foreign Military Sales customers,” the department said on the $1.05 billion Lockheed contract. This is according to Reuters.

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