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Jigawa, NEPZA agree to revitalise state’s free trade



Jigawa State Government

Jigawa State Government and the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) have agreed to revitalise the state’s Maigatari Export Processing Zone.

The duo agreed when the Jigawa State Governor, Umar Namadi, visited the Managing Director of NEPZA, Prof. Adesoji Adesugba on Wednesday in Abuja.
According to the Namadi, the Free Trade Zone(FTZ) has numerous potentials and benefits to the people and the country at large and needs to be made operational.

The governor said:“We felt that we have a free zone that has been lying fallow for some years and we need to bring it into operation.

“And the best place we should start this process is NEPZA, so we made contacts and the managing director agreed to see us in such short notice.

“We came here to solicit for their expert advice on how we can bring our free zone into operation and to solicit for the MD’s support in terms of licences and registration fees.


“We know that we are owing the authority and we feel that he (Adesugba) should be able to allow us some leverage so we can stagger the payment and resume operations.”

According to Namadi, the free zone has a lot of potentials and it is going to contribute to the economic development of this country.

“In addition to giving lots of opportunities to our youths to get employed among other things.

“So because of that, it is necessary that we put it into operation, and you cannot do that without consulting experts and I think NEPZA is the best place to come.

“And that is why we are here. We are happy with the discussions we had with the MD and the fact that he is so committed to make the free zone work. So we think the visit is fruitful,” Namadi said.


On time frame, the governor expressed optimism that before the end of 2023 the FTZ should come into operation as everything necessary to make it work was available.

On security, Namadi said:“Jigawa is so far the safest state in Nigeria but we are also security conscious and making sure that investors and the state is well secured.

Responding, the NEPZA boss expressed the committment of the Authority to support the state and all other states willing to drive trade and develop the country’s economy.

Adesugba said:“We have been trying to work with the state to activate that free zone because we see it as a critical infrastructure that could do a lot for that part of the country.

“So we cannot say more than we are happy and we are going to work straight away on our first meeting to determine and structure the way forward.


“The governor has given us ultimatum that before the end of this year we should make it work but you know of course that we have a track record.

“We have done it for Kano, Calabar free zone and we are confident that with the kind of Governor we have, working with NEPZA we will definitely deliver this reactivation programme within the shortest period of time. “

Some of the issues which the duo planned on discussing includes revitalisation of the zone’s infrastructure facilities and hibiscus sorting, grading and packaging.

Other areas are bulk breaking centres and warehousing facilities, payment of outstanding operational licence fees from 2017 to date and formation of steering committee to bring up recommendations within five weeks.



Diphtheria: Children at risk as 7,202 cases are confirmed in Nigeria



A staggering 7,202 cases of diphtheria, a highly contagious bacterial infection that can be fatal without treatment, were confirmed in Nigeria last week.

The outbreak has been particularly severe among children under 14, with three-quarters of cases (73.6%) in this age group.

Most cases have been recorded in Kano state, Nigeria’s second most populous state. In the past three months, there have been 453 deaths from diphtheria in Nigeria.

Diphtheria is a vaccine-preventable disease, but low vaccination rates in Nigeria have made the outbreak possible. Only 42% of children under 15 in Nigeria are fully protected from diphtheria.

Diphtheria symptoms begin with a sore throat and fever. In severe cases, the bacteria produce a toxin that can block the airway, causing difficulty breathing and swallowing. The toxin can also spread to other body parts, causing heart kidney problems and nerve damage.


Save the Children is launching a wide-scale health response in the three most impacted states of Kano, Yobe, and Katsina. The organization is deploying expert health and supply chain staff to help overstretched clinics detect and treat diphtheria cases and to support mass vaccination campaigns.

However, Save the Children warns that a mass vaccination campaign will only be successful if the vaccine shortage is urgently addressed.

Severe shortages in Nigeria of the required vaccine and the antitoxin needed to treat the disease mean that the situation could continue to escalate, placing many children at risk of severe illness and death.

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WHO releases $16m to tackle cholera, says Director-General



The World Health Organisation (WHO) has released 16 million dollars from the WHO Contingency Fund for Emergencies to tackle cholera.

Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General said this during an online news conference.

Ghebreyesus said that the organisation was providing essential supplies, coordinating the on the ground response with partners, supporting countries to detect, prevent and treat cholera, and informing people how to protect themselves.

“To support this work, we have appealed for 160 million dollars, and we have released more than 16 million dollars from the WHO Contingency Fund for Emergencies.

“But the real solution to cholera lies in ensuring everyone has access to safe water and sanitation, which is an internationally recognized human right,” he said.


According to him, in the previous week, WHO published new data showing that cases reported in 2022 were more than double those in 2021.

He said that the preliminary data for 2023 suggested was likely to be even worse.

“So far, 28 countries have reported cases in 2023 compared with 16 during the same period in 2022.

“The countries with the most concerning outbreaks right now are Ethiopia, Haiti, Iraq and Sudan.

“Significant progress has been made in countries in Southern Africa, including Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, but these countries remain at risk as the rainy season approaches,” Ghebreyesus said.


According to him, the worst affected countries and communities are poor, without access to safe drinking water or toilets.

He said that they also face shortages of oral cholera vaccine and other supplies, as well as overstretched health workers, who are dealing with multiple disease outbreaks and other health emergencies.

On COVID-19, Ghebreyesus said that as the northern hemisphere winter approaches, the organisation continued to see concerning trends.

He said that among the relatively few countries that report them, both hospitalisations and ICU admissions have increased in the past 28 days, particularly in the Americas and Europe.

WHO boss said that meanwhile, vaccination levels among the most at-risk groups remained worryingly low.


“Two-thirds of the world’s population has received a complete primary series, but only one-third has received an additional, or “booster” dose.

“COVID-19 may no longer be the acute crisis it was two years ago, but that does not mean we can ignore it,” he said.

According to him, countries invested so much in building their systems to respond to COVID-19.

He urged countries to sustain those systems, to ensure people can be protected, tested and treated for COVID-19 and other infectious threats.

“That means sustaining systems for collaborative surveillance, community protection, safe and scalable care, access to countermeasures and coordination,” he said.

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