The Aliko Dangote Foundation (ADF), a philanthropic endeavor of Aliko Dangote, has contracted 54Gene, a molecular diagnostics company specialized in research, and diagnostics, to immediately set up a 400 test/day capacity laboratory in Kano State.54Gene is accredited by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), and has already set up labs in Lagos and in Ogun States.The lab, which was inaugurated yesterday – May 3rd in Kano, will start with a testing capacity of 400 tests a day, increasing to 1,000 tests a day by May 10th.The lab will be set up at Muhammadu Buhari Hospital in Kano, where an isolation center is currently operational.The President/Chief Executive of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote said the foundation is directly supporting the Nigerian government’s COVID-19 containment efforts in Kano State.According to Dangote, this new investment in support of increasing nation-wide testing, comes in addition to ADF’s support through the Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID).He explained: “CACOVID is already setting up a 310 bed isolation center at Sani Abacha stadium in Kano. We are extending that capacity by another 150 beds at the Abubakar Imam Urology Centre in Kano, which is being converted into an isolation center now. These two centers will be operational pending the final validation by the Infection Prevention and Control team, which we expect will be completed in the coming days.”Dangote pledged the Foundation’s commitment to reduce the number of lives lost to diseases, such as COVID-19, Ebola and other deadly viruses in the State.He said the foundation would not relent in using its investments in health, education, and economic empowerment to help lift people out of sickness and poverty.Speaking on the efforts of the Foundation to assist the Federal Government in curtailing the spread of COVID-19, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of ADF, Zouera Youssoufou, added that ADF is also supporting the Rapid Response Teams in their work to identify suspected covid-19 cases across the healthcare centers in Kano. “ADF will immediately handover to the Kano RRT, 10 new ambulances (4 that ae immediately available and 6 over the next week), two vehicles and PPEs to support the transportation of patients from different parts of the state”, she said.She said that the Foundation is also supporting the Kano State Covid-19 contact call center that responds to citizen queries and concerns around Covid-19 and refers people to the proper place for follow up, by providing extra phone lines and ICT infrastructure as well as training for the call center staff.On training, she disclosed: “We are supporting training and incentives for covid-19 health workers. We will provide hazard incentives and protections for the healthcare and lab workers who are working on the covid-19 response. We are also providing training to them, initially online and via distance learning, and will complement his with in-person training in Kano under strict IPC protocols developed in conjunction with the NCDC.“ADF will continue to provide PPEs to the Kano State Covid-19 Taskforce, which will then be distributed to the hospitals as appropriate. Items already supplied include coveralls, gloves, masks, respirators, goggles, boots and sanitizers.“We are expanding the CACOVID communications strategy in Kano by adding more communications and advocacy around Covid-19 prevention across radio, TV and traditional and community leaders.”Commending ADF, Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje stated: “There’s no doubt we started on a shaky foundation, with assistance of ADF, we can see that a friend in deed is a friend in need. We are very grateful for the mobile testing Centre witch will launch with 400 samples per day and after a week, increase to 1,000 tests per day“It is now left for us to intensify efforts to collect samples. We will ensure that all that 44 Local Government Council have collection centres. Here in the metropolitan local government, we will have 100s of collection centres because this is where the majority of the population is”.The governor added that the state has intensify efforts to create awareness about the reality of coronavirus.He commended the Dangote Foundation for always occupying the forefront of helping in critical times like this.Speaking on the collaboration, the founder and Chief Executive Officer of 54gene, Dr. Abasi Ene-Obong, the 40ft structure built with container technology, provides a unique plug-and-play solution.Ene-Obong explained that the mobile laboratory is also fully kitted with vital instruments including an autoclave, bio-safety cabinet, centrifuge, heating blocks, vortexes, pipettes, and PCR machines to support COVID-19 testing.He stated: “Our mobile lab is fully equipped with all the vital instruments required for COVID-19 testing, and allows us to quickly offer our services to multiple states due to the ease of transport. Its unique plug and play feature eliminates the logistics of shipping samples to another location for the processing which reduces turnaround times for test results and allows clinicians to manage and treat patients accurately, sooner rather than later.”Ene-Obong said the company has also helped build capacity by equipping molecular scientists with the necessary skill set required to handle the instruments in the mobile lab as they would in regular molecular testing laboratories.
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Fitbit products are now available in Nigeria with Jumia
Fitbitt (NYSE: FIT), the global brand in wearable technology, is now available in Nigeria on Africa’s leading eCommerce platform, Jumia (NYSE : JMIA), in partnership with Redington Gulf.
Fitbit devices and services help people lead healthier, more active lives and this has never been more important than it is today. By empowering users with data, inspiration and guidance Fitbit is helping them reach their physical and mental health, and fitness goals. Its innovative products are sold at a wide range of accessible price points in nearly 39,000 retail stores across more than 100 countries worldwide.
“We are seeing increasing consumer demand for wearable technology on our platform, and bringing Fitbit products to our customers in Nigeria is an important step for us to address this demand and help Fitbit expand its reach across the country. Jumia delivers a seamless online shopping experience for consumers and from our platform with a dedicated official store on Jumia.” said Sandeep Narayanan, Head of Consumer Electronics, Jumia Group.
Fitbit supports healthier living
Fitbit is committed to inspiring those who want to lead a healthier and more active life through its range of innovative smartwatches and trackers that are compatible with most Android and iOS platforms, including Fitbit Versa 3 , Fitbit Versa 2, Fitbit Charge 4, Fitbit Inspire 2 and Fitbit Ace 2 (see www.fitbit.com/devices for more information).
Fitbit gives users a deeper understanding of their health with smart features such as 24/7 heart rate tracking, on-device sleep tools to help optimize your sleep, Active Zone Minutes to make the most out of workouts and help manage stress with guided breathing programmes.
Users in Nigeria can also benefit from purchasing a membership to Fitbit Premium, which when paired with any Fitbit device, your Fitbit experience through a deeper analysis of your data and more personalized insights that connect the dots across your activity, sleep and heart rate, while offering hundreds of workouts, motivating games and challenges. Users new to Fitbit Premium can benefit from the 90-day free trial through the Fitbit App.
Fitbit Health Solutions will also be offering corporate product discounts to local businesses through Fitbit’s distributor Redington Gulf.
LIRS URGES EMPLOYERS OF LABOUR TO FILE ANNUAL TAX RETURNS ON OR BEFORE JANUARY 31 DEADLINE
In line with the Personal Income Tax Act (PITA) Cap P8 LFN 2011 (as amended), The Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) urges all employers of labour in Lagos State to file their Company’s Annual Tax Returns on or before the statutory deadline of January 31, 2021 to avoid penalties.
The Agency’s eTax platform, launched in October, 2019 gives taxpayers the opportunity to comply with all COVID-19 protocols, by filing their tax returns from the comfort of their offices or homes. In addition, all digital platforms and tax portals are available for taxpayers’ use and convenience.
The Annual Tax Returns, which show each employee’s emoluments and tax paid in year 2020, are to be filed via LIRS online portals only, as manual filing is no longer acceptable. Tax assessments, payments and other tax administration matters can also be carried out on the same platforms. The LIRS customer care hotline: 0700 CALL LIRS (0700-2255-5477), website: www.lirs.gov.ng, chat rooms and the various social media platforms @lirsgovng are available for enquiries.
The Executive Chairman of LIRS, Mr. Ayodele Subair, stated that in the face of the prevailing realities of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on businesses, penalties and fines may be an additional burden on companies’ finances, and therefore urges all employers of labour to file their returns within the period stipulated by law. The essence of the ongoing media campaign and numerous reminders and appeals to companies on this statutory obligation, is to ensure they file early, to avoid sanctions.
The steps to file are available on all our communication channels, however, taxpayers with difficulties filing are also welcome to seek assistance with specially designated staff at our tax stations.
We have made the process simple, quick, secure and reliable for our esteemed taxpayers. We are also available on various digital platforms to assist taxpayers on the process of e-filing.
The LIRS urges all Lagos State residents and businesses to stay safe and obey all Covid-19 guidelines as stipulated by the relevant health authorities and the Lagos State Government
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