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Iwu laments FGs failure to certify his COVID-19 drug discovery


CHRICED charges FG, OPS on protection of livelihoods
Former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Bioresources Development Group (BDG), Professor Maurice Iwu, has lamented Federal Government’s failure to certify COVID-19 drugs developed by his team of researchers.

Iwu wondered why the government was not committed to the treatment of the disease through the drug, which was presented by his team of researchers after rigorous processes.

He stated this during a Zoom Conference titled, “COVID-19 and the Proposed Vaccination Bill: Implications for Nigeria,” organised by Elombah Communications in collaboration with Njenje Media Limited at the weekend.

He disclosed that he led a team of researchers, who developed the plant-based patented treatment for COVID-19 to the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, but lamented that government was yet to show interest in the drug, just as he urged the National Assembly to organise an emergency public hearing on the issue.

Also speaking, Daniel Bwala, Special Adviser on Legal and Constitutional Matters to Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, said the vaccination Bill in the House of Representatives was poorly drafted.

He added that 90 per cent of provisions of the vaccination Bill sponsored by Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, were direct copy from Singapore, but that it was not bad to copy good legislations.

Meanwhile, the Resource Centre for Human Rights and Civic Education (CHRICED) has expressed concern over the continued loss of jobs in the economy as a result of COVID-19 pandemic, and what appears to be the absence of a clear strategy to preserve the livelihoods of citizens.

In a statement issued by its Executive Director, Comrade Ibrahim M. Zikirullahi, it said given the effect of the pandemic in terms of job losses, it was important for the government, and employers in the organised Private Sector (OPS) to be humane and compassionate at this difficult time.

Zikirullahi said, “this is not the time for employers, particularly government and the private sector to cut jobs and sack workers without consideration for the hardship and the untold sufferings millions of families would have to go through.

“In fact, this is the time for policy makers and captains of industry to think outside the box knowing that people are passing through one of the most trying times.

“In this regard, therefore, CHRICED condemns the haste and lack of consideration with which some businesses are sacking their workers.

“A good example is Access Bank PLC, which reportedly made known its readiness to sack 75 per cent of its workforce, while slashing the salaries of others in the middle of the pandemic before it was stopped by the bankers’ committee of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

“Ironically, this is the same bank that recently posted N211b earnings and N45b profit in the first quarter of 2020.”

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