Suspected members of the Islamic States West Africa Province have attacked Garin Giwa village in Kukawa LGA, Borno and killed at least 10 soldiers, military sources told The Cable. Many soldiers were also said to have sustained injuries in the attack, which happened Wednesday morning. Two gun trucks were reportedly taken from the troops who were on a routine patrol when their convoy came under attack. One of the sources told the online newspaper that the troops engaged the terrorist in an encounter that lasted for about 30 minutes. The 10 soldiers that died in the encounter are members of the special forces. The wounded soldiers have been taken to Mile 4, while those killed have been transported back to Maiduguri. DespiteDespite repeated claims of defeating the sect, insurgents have continued to launch attacks across the north-east. Meanwhile, governor of the state, Babagana Zulum, has inaugurated a committee for the resettlement of internally displaced persons back to Baga. TheThe governor said after his visit to Baga in August, a formal letter was sent to Tukur Buratai, chief of army staff, notifying him of the desire of the people to relocate to Baga.
Ahead of the resumption of international flights, Nigeria’s government has released a list of international airlines denied approval to operate in the country. Aviation minister, Hadi Sirika, speaking at the bi-weekly Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 briefing on Thursday, said only approved airlines will be allowed into the country’s airspace. Sirika said that Air France, KLM, Etihad, Rwandair, Lufthansa, TAAG Angola Airlines, Air Namibia, and Royal Air Maroc have been denied entrance into the country, while Middle-East, British Airways, Delta Airlines, Qatar Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, Egyptair, Air Peace, Virgin Atlantic, Asky, Africa World Airways (AWA), Air Cote-d’Ivoire, Kenya Airways, Emirate, and Turkish airlines have been given approval to operate within the COVID-19 protocols. Nigeria had in August vowed to implement a reciprocity clause by banning flights and airlines from countries that put similar bans on flights from Nigeria as nations open their airspace amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Sirika also hinted that passengers who fail to present a valid COVID-19 test or refuse to go for a repeat test may be placed on a travel watch list for six months.
The World Health Organization has announced a plan to secure an initial 230 million doses of any COVID-19 vaccine for Africa. It emphasised that any vaccine in development should also be tested on the continent, officials of the organisation said Thursday. COVAX, the global vaccine allocation plan aims to help buy and fairly distribute, deliver 2 billion doses of approved vaccines by the end of 2021. According to the WHO, the initial batch will cover 20% of the African population, initially prioritising those who are the front line, health care workers, and later expand to vulnerable groups. The programme area manager for WHO Africa, Richard Mihigo, said in an online news conference that the scheme, which has nine COVID-19 vaccine candidates covering a range of technologies and scientific approaches, has some in late-stage clinical trials and could have data available by year-end. Richard Hatchett, chief executive officer of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations added that so far, only two of the potential COVID-19 vaccines are being tested on the continent. The official, which co-leads the COVAX project with the WHO and the Gavi vaccines alliance, said testing vaccines in Africa ensures that sufficient data is generated on the safety and efficacy of the most promising vaccine candidates for the African population so they can be confidently rolled out on the continent.
The CBN has granted approval to four agro-processing companies to import 262,000 tons of maize and corn in the bid to complement an anticipated shortfall of the commodity in the country. An internal memo of the Nigeria Customs Service dated 6 August 2020 was endorsed by the deputy comptroller–general, Tariff and Trade, T.M Isa, and was confirmed by the service’s spokesman, Joseph Attah. According to the memo, the regulator granted approval to Wacot and Chi Farms to import maize of 60,000 tons each, while Crown Flour Mills and Premier Feed Mills Company Limited will be importing maize of 22,000 and 120,000 tons respectively, in August, September and October. Data from the United State Department of Agriculture shows that Nigeria imported its second-largest volume of maize in a decade in 2019, maintaining the same level it recorded the previous year, despite calls by farmers for a restriction on the importation of the cereal. Nigeria imported 400,000 tons of maize in 2019, as it did in 2018, which is the second-highest volume imported by the country since 2009. The highest was recorded in 2016 when 650,000 tons of maize was imported by the country. However, Nigeria’s annual need for maize is estimated at 15 million metric tons while the country’s local production is 10.5 million tons.