A Chinese pharmaceutical firm Sinovac Biotech has received $500m in extra funding to produce COVID-19 vaccine.
The firm said this on Monday as Beijing has largely brought the virus under control, with only 281 active cases still receiving treatment, according to official figures.
Sino Biopharmaceutical Limited, a Hong Kong-listed medical research firm, said on Monday that it will invest $515 million for the development and production of CoronaVac, one of Sinovac’s most advanced vaccine candidates.
Sinovac, one of China’s leading vaccine producers, said the funding would be used for “further development, capacity expansion and manufacturing” of CoronaVac.
It added it hoped to be able to manufacture 600 million doses by the end of the year.
Sino Biopharmaceutical will receive a 15 percent share in a Sinovac subsidiary, Sinovac Life Sciences, under the agreement.
Although regulators have yet to approve China’s vaccines for mass distribution, the country has approved some advanced candidates for emergency use.
Since July, a range of people from state employees to international students have been given jabs.
CoronaVac is being tested in multiple countries including Brazil, where final-stage clinical trials for the jab have restarted after hitting a setback in November when a volunteer experienced an “adverse incident.”
The vaccine “has reached critical milestones in clinical trials in Asia and Latin America,” Sinovac CEO Yin Weidong said in the statement.
The company earlier said almost all its employees and their families have voluntarily taken the vaccine.
Sinopharm, another Chinese vaccine maker, said in November that nearly a million people have already taken its experimental Covid-19 vaccine.
Last week Britain became the first to approve a vaccine for general use.
FG suspends VAT on diesel to avert workers strike
FG suspends VAT on diesel to avert workers strike
The Federal Government has suspended the value-added tax (VAT) on diesel for the next six months.
This was part of the decisions taken with leaders of the organised labour at a meeting on Sunday.
The move is meant to avert a nationwide workers’ strike over the impact of the removal of the petrol subsidy.
The labour unions involved in the four-hour meeting held at the State House Abuja on Sunday are the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC).
President Bola Tinubu’s Chief of Staff Femi Gbajabiamila said the government team and the labour leaders had agreed on the matter.
This was confirmed in statement by the Minister of Information and National 0rientation, Mohammed Idris.
It also said the FG was “committed to fast-tracking the provision of compressed natural Gas (CNG) buses to ease public transportation difficulties associated with the removal of PMS subsidy”.
Gbajabiamila said the government would see to the provision of funds for micro and small-scale enterprises, adding that the value-added tax (VAT) on diesel will be waived for the next six months.
“The Federal Government will commence payment of N75,000 to 15 million households at N25,000 per month, for a three-month period from October-December 2023,” the statement reads.
“A sub-committee is to be constituted to work out the details of implementation of all items for consideration regarding government interventions to cushion the effect of fuel subsidy removal.
“NLC and TUC will consider the offers by the Federal Government with a view to suspending the planned strike to allow for further consultations on the implementation of the resolutions above.”
Labour leader speaks
Speaking to journalists, after the parley, President of the NLC, Joe Ajaero, said the labour groups would take all the promises by the government to its organs for consideration.
FG, states, LGs get N1.1tn as August allocation
The Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) has shared a sum of N1.1 trillion to the Federal Government, states and local government areas as August 2023 federation account revenue.
A statement issued on Friday and signed by Director (Press and Public Relations) Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF), Bawa Mokwa, said the balance in the Excess Crude Account (ECA) was $473,754.57.
According to Bawa, a communique issued by the FAAC at its September, 2023 meeting indicated that the N1100.101 billion total distributable revenue comprised distributable statutory revenue of N357.398 billion, distributable Value Added Tax (VAT) revenue of N321.941 billion, Electronic Money Transfer Levy (EMTL) revenue of N14.102 billion, Exchange Difference revenue of N229.568 billion and Augmentation of NN177.092 billion.
In the communique, total revenue of N1.483 trillion was available in the month of August 2023.
Total deductions for cost of collection was N58.755 billion, total transfers and refunds was N254.046 billion and savings was N71.000 billion.
Gross statutory revenue of N891.934 billion was received for the month of August 2023. This was lower than the N1,150.424 billion received in the month of July 2023 by N258.490 billion.
The gross revenue available from the Value Added Tax (VAT) was N345.727 billion. This was higher than the N298.789 billion available in the month of July 2023 by N46.938 billion.
The communique stated that from the N1,100.101 billion total distributable revenue, the Federal Government received a total of N431.245 billion, the State Governments got N361.188 billion and the Local Government Councils went home with N266.538 billion.
A total sum of N26.473 billion (13% of mineral revenue) and N14.657 billion (13% of savings from NNPCL), were shared to the relevant States as derivation revenue.
From the N357.398 billion distributable statutory revenue, the Federal Government received N173.102 billion, the state governments got N87.800 billion and the Local Government Councils pocketed N67.690 billion.
The sum of N14.446 billion (13% of mineral revenue) and N14.361 billion (13% of savings from NNPCL) were shared to the relevant States as derivation revenue.
The Federal Government got N48.291 billion, the State Governments received N160.971 billion and the Local Government Councils went home with N112.679 billion from the N321.941 billion distributable Value Added Tax (VAT) revenue.
The N14.102 billion Electronic Money Transfer Levy (EMTL) was shared as follows: the Federal Government pocketed N2.115 billion, the State Governments got N7.051 billion and the Local Government Councils received N4.936 billion.
The Federal Government received N114.445 billion from the N229.568 billion Exchange Difference revenue; State Governments received N58.048 billion, and the Local Government Councils got N44.752 billion.
The sum of N12.027 billion (13% of mineral revenue) and N0.296 billion (13 % of savings from NNPCL) went to the relevant States as derivation revenue.
From the N177.092 billion Augmentation, the Federal Government received N93.292 billion; the State Governments got N47.319 billion, and the Local Government Councils pocketed N36.481 billion.
In the month of August 2023, Value Added Tax (VAT), Import and Excise Duties and Electronic Money Transfer Levy (EMTL) increased considerably while Petroleum Profit Tax (PPT), Companies Income Tax (CIT), Oil and Gas Royalties recorded significant decreases.
Subsidy: NRC to introduce Apapa (Lagos)-Kajola (Ogun) express train
Subsidy: NRC set to introduce Apapa (Lagos)-Kajola (Ogun) express train
The Nigerian Railway Corporation says it will soon introduce a mass transit express passenger train between Apapa in Lagos and Kajola in Ogun State.
The action is part of the Federal Government’s palliative measures to cushion the effect of the petrol subsidy removal on the citizens, according to a statement by the NRC.
The statement obtained on Thursday and signed by the NRC’s Deputy Director Public Relations Yakub Mahmood, quoted Director Operations of the corporation, Akin Osinowo, as giving the details of the new train service on behalf of the Managing Director, Fidet Okhiria.
Code-Named Apapa Express Train, he said the Apapa-Kajola express train would run on the standard gauge railway line.
He gave the stopping stations for the express train as Mobolaji Johnson, Agege, Agbado and Kajola.
He further said the train service would reduce the hardship being experienced by commuters especially those plying Apapa-Kajola route.
Osinowo appealed to all train passengers to ensure that they obtain tickets at the designated stations before boarding the train.
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