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Nigerian Ex- Minister, Pate gets World Bank, Harvard University appointments

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The Nigerian former Minister of State for Health, Muhammad Ali Pate, has received two appointments from the World Bank Group and the public health graduate school of Harvard University: Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health.

Dr. Pate was appointed earlier this May by the World Bank Group as the Global Director of Health, Nutrition and Population (HNP) and Director, Global Financing Facility (GFF), in Washington DC. At about the same time, he was also appointed by the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health as Julio Frenk Professor of Public Health Leadership in the Department of Global Health and Population.

Both appointments are effective from July 1, 2019. However, the Harvard T. H. Chan School said Dr. Pate will be on leave while he serves as the Global Director for HNP and GFF.

In his new position with the World Bank Group, Ali Pate will lead, develop and communicate the vision and strategic direction of the HNP and the GFF, as well as the linkages to the Human Capital Project; ensure that global priorities are effectively integrated into country programmes; oversee the delivery of high-quality global engagements; and work closely with the HNP practice affiliated regional directors. He will effectively oversee strategic staffing and talent management for staff in the HNP practice and the GFF to deploy and create knowledge and solutions.

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Established in 2015, the GFF’s goal is to end preventable maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent deaths and improve the health and quality of life of women, children, and adolescents. The GFF is a new model of development financing for the sustainable development goals (SDGs) that helps governments to prioritize critical health and nutrition areas and brings together multiple financing sources to close the funding gap for reproductive, maternal newborn, child, and adolescent health and nutrition (RMNCAH-N) by 2030.

The GFF monetary arm, which is the GFF Trust Fund, provides part of the financing countries need for their investment in RMNCAH-N and it is linked to funding from the International Development Association (IDA) and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD). In 2018, donors, including the Gates Foundation, the European Commission, Norway, Japan, Cote d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso, pledged over $1 billion for the GFF.

According to the World Bank, Dr. Pate was selected to the position through the Bank-wide competitive managerial selection process. He had previously worked with the World Bank: he joined the Bank as a young professional in 2000 and worked on health issues such HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria in several regions including Africa and the East Asia and Pacific.

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Until recently, he was the Chief Executive Officer of Big Win Philanthropy — a UK-based organisation that invests in children and young adults in developing countries – to improve their living standard and maximise demographic dividends for economic growth.

Prior to Ali Pate’s appointment as Nigeria’s Minister of State for Health in 2011, he had successfully served as the Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA). In 2013, he resigned as the Minister of State for Health to join the Duke University’s Global Health Institute, where he served as a visiting professor and taught comparative health systems to postgraduate students.

At NPHCDA, Dr. Pate introduced various reforms that dramatically increased immunisation coverage in Northern Nigeria. In two years, incidences of the Wild Polio Virus (WPV) fell to only 11 cases from a staggering figure of 803 in the country. He also led the reform that increased the pool of skilled birth attendants and improved delivery of services, helping to reduce high maternal and child mortality and morbidity.

Ali Pate studied at the Ahmadu Bello University, Nigeria. He obtained his Master of Science in health systems management from the London School of Hygiene and Tropic Medicine, and his Master of Business Administration with a Certificate in Health Sector Management from Duke University.

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2020 budget touched all sectors of economy inspite of COVID-19 – Makinde

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Governor Seyi Makinde has said that the 2020 budget of Oyo state touched every sector of the state’s economy has requested by citizens and stakeholders.

The Governor, who spoke through his deputy, Engineer Rauf Olaniyan, disclosed this at the 2021 town hall stakeholders meeting held at Igboho.

The governor lamented that COVID-19 brought a shrink to the budget on capital expenditure, adding, that the state is still managing to accommodate all the needs of each community as highlighted by the stakeholders.

 

He said that the state is poised to engage more stakeholders in the preparation of the 2021 budget by consulting across the seven geopolitical zones in Oyo state as opposed to the three senatorial districts for the 2020 budget for more openness and transparency.

 

Governor Makinde further asserted that his administration is predominantly about inclusion which is the fulcrum on which democracy rests, urging the people to come out and dialogue with government since they are the most affected by the decisions of government.

 

While x- raying some completed projects executed by his administration in Oke-Ogun region, the governor disclosed that government has begun the remodeling of OYSADA headquarters at Saki, upgrading of various primary healthcare centres and facilities and the set up of a specialist hospital.

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The state helmsman urged the people to be security conscious in the face of recent security challenges, saying, security is our collective responsibility.

While responding to the requests and submissions from all local governments and stakeholders, he assured that the state will ensure that the issues of security, education, employment and power supply will be looked into and will get budgetary attention in 2021 within the available resources.

 

Earlier, the Commissioner for Budget and Planning, Barr Adeniyi Farinto highlighted the projects the government executed as requested by the people of the region in the 2020 budget meetup with stakeholders.

 

He said the construction of the Moniya-Iseyin road, return of OYSADEP now OYSADA headquarters to Saki, fixing of Saki- Ogboro- Igboho road among other things are a promise kept by the current administration.

The commissioner urged the citizens of the food basket region of the state to make inputs and cooperate with government in fixing roads and other projedts to enable government in delivering on its promises.

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Makinde flags off construction of 360 housing units, Ajoda new town estate

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Oyo State Governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde, on Wednesday, flagged off the construction of 360 Housing Units at the Ajoda New Town Estate, located on the New Ibadan-Ife Expressway.

 

 

The estate, which is estimated to cost about Two Billion, Five Hundred Million Naira (N2.5 billion), according to the governor, will enhance affordable housing to all and sundry in the state.

 

A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Makinde, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, quoted the governor as saying that the strategic location of the new estate will ensure that the investors make quick returns on their investments.

 

 

In another development, Governor Makinde, also, on Wednesday, handed over the Agbowo Shopping Complex, Ibadan, to investors who have committed to turning around the fortunes of the abandoned complex in 104 weeks.

 

 

The complex, which is located opposite the Main Gate of University of Ibadan, was commissioned in 1984 but abandoned 12 years ago.

 

 

The statement indicated that Makinde, while speaking at the flag-off ceremony held at the Ajoda Housing Estate, New Ife Road, Ibadan, declared the determination of his administration to bridge the gap in the housing sector in Oyo State.

 

 

He said that the New Ajoda Housing Project is jointly sponsored by the Oyo State Government and Remax Realtors Limited, saying that, while the state provided thirteen (13) hectares of land for the scheme, the developer is expected to solely finance the project.

 

 

The governor, who stated that the flagging off of the Ajoda Housing Estate is a fulfilment of one of his campaign promises, said the project will consist of 2-bedroom semi-detached houses; 3-bedroom semi-detached houses and 3-bedroom detached houses.

 

 

This was just as the governor said that the project will be replicated in other parts of the state so that many residents of the state can benefit from such projects.

 

 

He added that investors have begun to repose confidence in the state and are willing to do business in Oyo State because of the way the government is now being run by the present administration.

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He said: “We are here today to flag off a project, which is in fulfilment of one of my campaign promises. Those who have taken time to study our Roadmap for Accelerated Development in Oyo State, 2019-2023, would have come across our promise to facilitate private sector-driven housing delivery through variants of public-private partnership (PPP) initiatives.

 

 

“And so today, we are flagging off the construction of three hundred and sixty (360) housing units here in Egbeda Local Government Area, Ibadan Zone.

“As I said earlier, this is a PPP initiative. We are working with Remax Realtors Limited. To make this project a reality, the Oyo State Government through the Oyo State Housing Corporation is providing thirteen (13) hectares of land for the scheme, while the developer will solely finance the entire project.

 

 

“The project will cost N2.5 Billion, and upon completion, the developers will recoup their finances when the houses are sold. We have seen the wisdom of getting contractors or developers to commit to projects by using their own monies to carry them out.

 

 

“Some people may wonder why we are starting off in the Ibadan Zone? Well, the need for an affordable housing scheme in Oyo State is clearly evident. Statistics show that the population of the capital city has been growing at over 2 per cent since 2018 with a peak of over 2.5 per cent in 2020. So, half of the population of Oyo State live in Ibadan Zone.

 

 

“But that the project is starting in Ibadan Zone does not mean that it will end here. Our plan is to replicate these housing units in other parts of Oyo State in the shortest possible time.”

 

 

He also charged members of the public who are interested in buying landed properties in Oyo State to patronize Oyo State Housing Corporation, adding that his administration will continue to operate an open-door policy.

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Similarly, while speaking at the flag-off of the renovation and remodelling of Agbowo Shopping Complex, Governor Makinde stated that the state will work in collaboration with Messrs Whitestone Global Ltd to convert the moribund facility into a premium commercial real estate and a 4-star hotel.

 

 

He said the collaboration will be in the form of a long lease concession for 50 years, with a capital injection of N4.9Billion, saying: “Our administration understands that the only business that the government should have in business is to create a conducive environment and the needed support for private enterprises to thrive. And this is what we are doing.

 

 

“You will readily agree that the injection of N4.9 Billion into the Oyo State economy is an economic stimulus in the short term which will translate to broader benefits in the long run.

 

 

“The process of selecting the concessionaires was also transparent. As everyone knows, the days of getting contracts from the government solely because a person knows the governor is in the past. I make bold to say that the PPP mechanism of the state has been re-engineered for effectiveness.”

 

The governor assured that shop owners in the complex would have the right of first refusal when the complex is finally remodeled.

 

 

He also promised to put up a revolving fund scheme to assist those who may not have the money to pay for the shops by the time the project is completed.

 

In his remarks at the two events, the chairman of the Oyo State Housing Corporation, Barr. Bayo Lawal, said the experience of the corporation in the past has not been palatable, stating, however, that the pains are gradually being addressed by Governor Makinde.

 

He also appealed to those desirous of owning lands in the state to approach the corporation for reliable landed property.

 

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Also speaking, the Managing Director, Remax realtors Limited, Adefunke Adesoji, said it was an honour to work with the Oyo State governor on the project, which was conceived as a public-private partnership.

 

 

In their separate remarks, the Commissioner for Lands and Housing, Barrister Abiodun Abdulraheem and his counterpart in the Ministry of Justice, Prof. Oyelowo Oyewo, enjoined investors and residents of the state to key into the projects, which they described as a landmark initiative.

 

 

Also speaking at the handing over of Agbowo Shopping Complex, the Managing Director of Whitestone Global Ltd., Mr. Woleola Oluwole, said: “Today is indeed a great day and another landmark in the trending capacity of Oyo State. This is not surprising because we have a governor that is an honour to follow; we have a governor who is a father to watch. Here we are today marking another trend for others to follow.

 

 

“In this place today, as it is, in the next few months, we will know, indeed, that the God of heaven has smiled upon us and the rest of Oyo State.

 

 

“This facility, when completed, will have a time level car park that will double as a drive-in Cinema in the evening; a 10-floor first class hotel; 600 capacity 3D Cinema in the evening, an underground gaming arcade; what I call the 22nd-Century E-shopping Mall. All of these will be inside 25,000 square metres.”

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Nigerian physician, Funsho named one of TIME’s most influential people in the world

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TIME named Nigerian physician, Dr. Tunji Funsho to the 2020 TIME100, its annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.

The list, now in its seventeenth year, recognizes the activism, innovation and achievement of the world’s most influential individuals.

Dr. Funsho, a cardiologist based in Lagos, Nigeria, is the first Rotary member to receive this honor for the organization’s work to eradicate polio, having played an essential role in ensuring Africa’s certification as wild polio-free in August of 2020.

“I’m honored to be recognized by TIME for my part in ensuring that no child in Africa will ever again be paralyzed by wild polio, a disease that once disabled 75,000 African children every single year,” said Dr. Funsho. “Eradicating the wild poliovirus in Africa was a team effort that required the cooperation and dedication of governments, partners, Rotary members, hundreds of thousands of health workers, and countless parents who chose to have their children vaccinated against polio.”

As the leader of Rotary’s Nigeria National PolioPlus Committee, Funsho has worked alongside Rotary members throughout the country to raise awareness about the importance of polio immunization, encouraged governments and public figures to support polio eradication, and served as a vocal leader and advocate for Rotary’s fight to end polio in Africa.

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Dr. Funsho works closely with Rotary’s partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI): the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. As a member of Nigeria’s Presidential Task Force on Polio, he has coordinated immunization and advocacy campaigns with the Minister of State for Health and the Inter-Agency Coordination Committee for Polio Eradication. He has also worked closely with the Sir Emeka Offor Foundation, the Dangote Foundation, the Traditional Leaders Council and the Federation of Muslim Women’s Association of Nigeria.

In August 2019, Nigeria reached three years without a case of wild poliovirus. Nigeria’s progress, led by Rotary, its GPEI partners and local and national governments, was the result of decades of sustained efforts, including domestic and international financing, the commitment of hundreds of thousands of health workers, and innovative strategies to immunize children who previously couldn’t be reached due to insecurity in the country’s northern states.

On 25 August, the African region was certified wild polio-free. This historic announcement means that five of the WHO’s six regions, representing more than 90 percent of the world’s population, are now free of the wild poliovirus. The virus is now endemic in just two countries, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

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Rotary’s nearly 32,000 members in Africa have played a critical role in helping the region achieve its wild polio-free status by holding events to raise funds and awareness for polio, and working with world governments and national and local leaders to secure funding and support for polio eradication.

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