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Impulse Dynamics Announces First Implant for CCM-D™ Clinical Trial

World’s First Device Combining CCM Therapy With an ICD in a Single Rechargeable Implant That Treats Both Heart Failure Symptoms and Sudden Cardiac Death

MARLTON, N.J., May 18, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Impulse Dynamics plc, a global medical device company dedicated to improving the lives of people with heart failure, announced the completion of the first implantation for the INTEGRA-D clinical trial, designed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of two proven cardiac therapies combined — CCM® and an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) — in a single device (CCM-D). The Optimizer® IntegraTM CCM-D System delivers CCM therapy to improve quality of life and reduce heart failure symptoms, and ICD therapy to treat life-threatening arrhythmias that may cause sudden cardiac death. The investigational technology is rechargeable with long battery life, potentially reducing the need for replacement procedures.

The journey of a heart failure patient often involves debilitating symptoms and declining quality of life.

CCM therapy delivered by the Optimizer System improves quality of life and helps patients feel better. Patients indicated for CCM therapy may also be at a higher risk for arrythmias and sudden cardiac arrest and are therefore often offered an ICD to treat their heart for life-threatening arrythmias, should they occur. The INTEGRA-D trial is the first to evaluate the Optimizer Integra CCM-D System that combines both therapies into a single device, designed to last for many years.

“The first-in-the-world implant of this novel technology has potential to advance treatments for patients living with heart failure,” said Niraj Varma, M.D., Ph.D., electrophysiologist at Cleveland Clinic and National Primary Investigator of the INTEGRA-D clinical trial. “The trial aims to study whether this device can protect heart failure patients from the risk of sudden cardiac death while also treating heart failure symptoms.”

“We hope combining cardiac contractility modulation therapy and ICD therapy with prolonged battery life will reduce the number of leads and the number of procedures a patient may have to endure,” said Bruce Wilkoff, M.D., Director of Cardiac Pacing and Tachyarrhythmia Devices at Cleveland Clinic and Principal Investigator of the INTEGRA-D trial. “The first implant went well, and we look forward to further studying this device.”

The INTEGRA-D trial is a multicenter study of 300 subjects from 75 centers that will evaluate the combination of CCM and ICD therapy in a single device via the Optimizer Integra CCM-D System. The study will assess the performance of the CCM-D device in effectively treating episodes of ventricular tachycardia and/or ventricular fibrillation while also providing CCM treatment for heart failure. Patients enrolled in the study will receive the Optimizer Integra CCM-D System, and will be followed for at least two years.

“This clinical study is important in proving the potential benefit of combining CCM therapy, which improves quality of life in patients with heart failure, with gold-standard ICD technology that delivers lifesaving therapy for sudden cardiac death,” said Nir Uriel, M.D., Director of Advanced Heart Failure and Cardiac Transplantation at New York-Presbyterian and National Co-Principal Investigator for the INTEGRA-D trial. Dr. Uriel is also a professor of cardiology at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons and an Adjunct Professor of Medicine in the Greenberg Division of Cardiology at Weill Cornell Medicine.

“Today’s announcement is another example of our commitment to a continuous pace of innovation to build a comprehensive platform in interventional heart failure and help improve the lives of many patients that suffer from this debilitating disease,” said Simos Kedikoglou, M.D., Chief Executive Officer of Impulse Dynamics. “We are proud to partner with physicians at leading centers around the world to conduct important research on this first-of-its-kind rechargeable combination device designed to address a major unmet need of a large patient group.”

About the Optimizer Integra CCM-D System and CCM Therapy

The Optimizer Integra CCM-D System is an investigational device that combines CCM therapy and ICD therapy into one device. “Investigational” means that the study device is currently being tested. It is not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Impulse Dynamics currently offers the Optimizer system that is FDA-approved and CE-marked. The Optimizer system delivers CCM therapy — the company’s proprietary technology — to the heart. CCM therapy has been designed by Impulse Dynamics to significantly improve the heart’s contraction, allowing more oxygen-rich blood to be pushed out through the body. CCM therapy is indicated to improve the 6-minute hall walk, quality of life, and functional status of NYHA Class III heart failure patients who remain symptomatic despite guideline-directed medical therapy, are not indicated for CRT, and have a left ventricular ejection fraction ranging from 25 to 45 percent.

CCM is the brand name for cardiac contractility modulation — a therapy that delivers non-excitatory electrical pulses from the implantable Optimizer device to improve heart contraction. CCM therapy sends unique electrical pulses to the heart cells during the absolute refractory period. In doing so, CCM helps the heart contract more forcibly. Impulse Dynamics has completed numerous clinical studies, including several randomized controlled trials, and CCM therapy has been published in more than 120 peer-reviewed journal articles.

About Impulse Dynamics

Impulse Dynamics is dedicated to advancing the treatment of heart failure for patients and the healthcare providers who care for them. The company pioneered its proprietary CCM therapy, which uses the Optimizer technology platform to improve quality of life in heart failure patients. CCM therapy is delivered through the Optimizer system, which includes an IPG implanted in a minimally invasive procedure and approved for commercial use in the United States and 44 countries worldwide. More than 9,000 patients have received the therapy as part of clinical trials and real-world use, where it is proven to be safe and effective for heart failure patients with debilitating symptoms who otherwise have few effective options available to them. To learn more, visit, or follow the company on LinkedInTwitter, and Facebook.

Forward-looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements. All statements other than statements of historical facts contained in this press release are forward-looking statements. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terms such as ‘‘may,’’ ‘‘will,’’ ‘‘should,’’ ‘‘expect,’’ ‘‘plan,’’ ‘‘anticipate,’’ ‘‘could,’’ ‘‘intend,’’ ‘‘target,’’ ‘‘project,’’ ‘‘contemplate,’’ ‘‘believe,’’ ‘‘estimate,’’ ‘‘predict,’’ ‘‘potential’’ or ‘‘continue’’ or the negative of these terms or other similar expressions, although not all forward-looking statements contain these words. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements concerning potential benefits of CCM therapy, and CCM therapy combined with an ICD delivered via a single device (CCM-D), and the absence of risks associated therewith; the ability for CCM therapy and our products to fill a significant unmet medical need for patients with heart failure; and the short-term and long-term benefits of the Optimizer Integra CCM-D System and CCM therapy in patients with heart failure, as well as to the physicians treating those patients. These forward-looking statements are based on management’s current expectations and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Other important factors that could cause actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from those contemplated in this press release include, without limitation: the company’s future research and development costs, capital requirements and the company’s needs for additional financing; commercial success and market acceptance of CCM therapy; the company’s ability to achieve and maintain adequate levels of coverage or reimbursement for Optimizer systems or any future products the company may seek to commercialize; competitive companies and technologies in the industry; the company’s ability to expand its indications and develop and commercialize additional products and enhancements to its current products; the company’s business model and strategic plans for its products, technologies and business, including its implementation thereof; the company’s ability to expand, manage and maintain its direct sales and marketing organization; the company’s ability to commercialize or obtain regulatory approvals for CCM therapy and its products, or the effect of delays in commercializing or obtaining regulatory approvals; FDA or other U.S. or foreign regulatory actions affecting us or the healthcare industry generally, including healthcare reform measures in the United States and international markets; the timing or likelihood of regulatory filings and approvals; and the company’s ability to establish and maintain intellectual property protection for CCM therapy and products or avoid claims of infringement. The company does not undertake any obligation to update forward-looking statements and expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing the company’s views as of any date subsequent to the date of this press release.

Rohan More, Global Vice President of Marketing
Impulse Dynamics

Harriss Currie, Chief Financial Officer
Impulse Dynamics

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 8841961

Africa Asean MENA Pakistan Press Releases South Africa

Chairman of Avia Solutions Group Gediminas Ziemelis: 10 big challenges for passenger aviation sustainability for the next 3 years

DUBLIN, Ireland, May 17, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Ensuring sustainable operations has become a primary driver for aviation businesses in recent years. Nonetheless, this dynamic industry faces a multitude of challenges that can impede companies’ efforts to enhance profitability. While several factors contribute to the aviation industry’s struggles, certain key issues merit highlighting as primary culprits.

High market $ interest rates for heavily leveraged and drowning-in-debt airlines will be even higher

In recent years, the aviation industry has experienced a significant drop in demand for air travel, resulting in many airlines facing financial losses. To stay afloat during this time, airlines have taken on additional debt. However, this increased debt has resulted in higher risk for lenders, leading to higher market interest rates for the airlines.

In addition to the impact of the pandemic on the industry, other factors such as rising fuel costs and increased competition have also contributed to the financial struggles of many airlines. These factors have made it increasingly challenging for heavily leveraged airlines to generate profits and pay off their debt, leading to concerns about the sustainability of their business models.

The combination of these factors has led to a situation where heavily indebted airlines are now facing even higher market interest rates, which can exacerbate their financial difficulties.

Much higher insurance costs — worsening war risks could push insurance premiums higher

The aviation industry is grappling with rising insurance costs due to worsening geopolitical risks. This is highly influenced by the fact that, as stated by leading insurance companies, around 500 aircraft leased to Russian operators remain trapped in Russia. Insurers are facing potential liability issues due to the uncertain situation created by the Russian government’s refusal to release the aircraft.

As a result, insurers are struggling to assess the level of risk involved, leading to a wide range of potential losses estimated to be up to $30 billion, according to industry sources. This uncertainty is likely to drive up insurance premiums for airlines, impacting the industry as a whole.

Passengers will remember compensations for flight delays, and it will impact airlines’ unplanned costs

The EU regulation 261/2004 provides compensation for passengers who experience delays, cancellations, overbooking, or denied boarding. Depending on the specific circumstances and subject to certain conditions, affected passengers may be eligible for a compensation claim ranging from €250 to €600 per person. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the rate of flight delays in the EU that fell under compensation was 1.5% of all flights, with an average compensation amount of €375 per delayed flight.

In 2019, EU airlines carried a total of 1.12 billion passengers, with 1.7 million flights experiencing delays and resulting in a total compensation pay-out of €6.3 billion. Only 10% of affected passengers currently file complaints directly with the airlines or via specialised service companies, such as Skycop or Airhelp.

However, this number is expected to increase significantly, as after COVID-19 the industry faces capacity shortages and other challenges. As a result, the number of claimable flights that experience delays could increase from 1.5% to 5%, potentially leading to a total compensation pay-out of €20 billion.

LEAP engines challenges will impact more aircraft on the ground and shortage of capacity;

According to our internal research, presently, the aviation industry operates a fleet of 1397 A320neo aircraft with LEAP-1A engines, totalling 3080 engines with an average of 2.2 engines per aircraft, and 1043 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft with LEAP-1B engines, totalling 2338 engines with an average of 2.2 engines per aircraft. To maintain these engines, there are 21 locations globally for LEAP-1A overhaul and maintenance and 22 locations for LEAP-1B engines.

However, the grounding of 16,000 aircraft (equivalent to 60% of the total fleet) in 2020-2021 has led to a staggering 60% postponement of LEAP engine maintenance. Consequently, there is now a significant maintenance gap across 43 locations, resulting in wait times of 9-10 months for engine maintenance, which could potentially disrupt airline operations.

OEM production and supply chain disrupted during 2023-2025 will cause a shortage of aircraft capacity;

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the aerospace industry. Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) such as Boeing and Airbus have experienced significant disruptions in their production and supply chains. In response to the global economic slowdown and reduced demand for air travel, OEMs have cut their production levels by around half compared to pre-COVID levels. However, this has led to a shortage of aircraft capacity, which is hindering the industry’s recovery efforts.

The production cuts have affected over 5,000 suppliers in the supply chain, all of whom have had to reduce their volumes during the pandemic. Consequently, the recovery of the aerospace industry is projected to take 2.5-4 years to return to pre-COVID production levels. This prolonged period of disruption is likely to have significant consequences for the industry and its stakeholders.

In 2020-2021, the cancellation of pilot cadet programs and planned retirements caused a pilot shortage in 2023-2024 and a rapid increase in costs for airlines;

The aviation industry faces a constant demand for new pilots, as approximately 3% of pilots retire annually. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a major setback in the industry, with all cadet programs being either postponed or cancelled.

Hence, there is now a significant pilot shortage issue, leading to rapid cost increases. It is estimated that industry will experience a shortage of 300,000 pilots within a decade. This shortage is expected to create significant challenges, particularly in India, which is anticipated to have the largest pilot shortage.

Challenges to book MRO slots after COVID-19, because scheduled maintenance events were postponed

Another issue caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is a significant accumulation of MRO services for aircraft worldwide. As a result of the unprecedented reduction in air travel and the grounding of many aircraft, scheduled maintenance was delayed or deferred.

Nonetheless, as air travel demand begins to recover and airlines return to full operations, the challenge of booking MRO slots to perform necessary maintenance on these aircraft has emerged. Many airlines are finding that MRO facilities are already operating at full capacity, resulting in long wait times and potential disruptions to airline operations. This accumulation of maintenance is expected to persist for some time, creating obstacles to the aviation industry’s recovery efforts.

Challenge to find engines maintenance slots for V2500, and RR engines due to deferred maintenance

Airlines that operate aircraft with V2500 and RR engines are also encountering difficulties in scheduling maintenance for their engines due to high demand and limited availability. This has created a challenging situation, particularly for airlines with large fleets of such aircraft.

The lack of available maintenance slots has forced airlines to ground some of their aircraft, leading to operational disruptions and revenue losses. In addition to the financial impact, the situation also poses safety concerns as delayed maintenance can compromise the safety and reliability of the engines, potentially leading to more significant problems in the future.

ESG requirements for greener aviation didn’t disappear in the medium term

The International Civil Aviation Organisation’s (ICAO) 41st Assembly, held in Montreal in October 2022, marked a significant milestone for the aviation industry’s commitment to sustainability. The assembly committed to a Long Term Aspirational Goal (LTAG) to achieve net zero CO2 emissions by 2050, which has brought Environment, Society, and Governance (ESG) issues to the forefront of the sustainable aviation conversation.

The LTAG’s ambitious target is challenging, but it has the potential to encourage airlines to accelerate the development and adoption of greener jet fuels and other technical improvements to decarbonise flying. This will require a significant shift in industry-wide mindset, investment in research and development, and collaboration between airlines, manufacturers, and governments to achieve the long-term goal.

After COVID-19, debts for spare parts, MRO services, and aircraft leasing will impact that some aircraft will still be grounded, which will cause capacity demand

The challenging situation in the industry has pushed airlines to take on additional debt to finance various aspects of their operations, such as spare parts, MRO services, and aircraft leasing. However, the increase in outstanding debt for the industry could have significant implications, with some airlines potentially struggling to pay off their debts, which could result in a reduction in capacity as airlines are forced to ground some of their aircraft or cut routes to minimise costs.

Insider data shows that the industry’s outstanding debt has jumped over 20% since 2020, reaching more than $300 billion. To raise capital, global air carriers have sold $63 billion in bonds and loans so far this year.

Media contact:
Silvija Jakiene
Chief Communications Officer
Avia Solutions Group
+370 671 22697

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 1000810732

Health Care

Inspire Minds Conference: Teenagers flay excessive social media use

Some teenagers have said that excessive and uncontrolled use of social media by teenagers can lead to mental health issues.

They mentioned this on Wednesday in Abuja at a conference on Mental Health Awareness for Teenagers, organised by Inspire Minds Education Foundation.

According to the teenagers, addiction to social media can lead to no or less time for them to study or do other things that are beneficial to them or lead them to pornographic sites.

Drawn from different secondary schools in Abuja, the participants also said that depression could come as a result of seeing things on social media that they could not attain.

They added that depression could also come from seeing the fake lives some people live that they would want to have at all costs.

They, however, said that reduced time on social media to focus on studying, engaging with their peers and others constructively and parental guidance could help teenagers to avoid the pitfalls of mental health issues.

Miss Victory Ekong, teenage ambassador for the foundation said anxiety, depression, constant pressure on a teenager are things that can lead to mental health for teenagers.

She also said that apart from social media, issues from homes, school and the society at large could lead to mental health issues.

She, however, said that through interventions and workshops by the foundation, she had been made to understand that having a stable mental health is paramount to a teenager’s wellbeing.

She added that “I have also been made to understand that teenagers need attention and mental health is not something you joke with; it is actually a more serious matter than people think it is.

“I am more stable in my mental health now because I am aware that it is a natural condition and I try to avoid issues that may lead to mental health breakdown.”

Mrs Constance Egwuatu, a professional Child and Adolescent Counsellor and one of the facilitators at the

conference, said many young people now battle with mental health issues.

She added that they could not talk about the mental health issues for fear of stigma or being perceived as having spiritual issues.

She said that many did not even know what exactly was wrong with them because they did not seek help for depression.

“Some isolate themselves and begin to have suicidal thoughts or engage in vices.

“Some are being raped or abused and they go through a lot of things. So, these mental health issues should be

a concern, especially for all our young people, children and teenagers.

“We should mind what we say or what we do around them and what we do to them and we should also encourage the children to begin to talk to us or talk to counsellors who can help them.

“However, it should start from home so the awareness really should start from home so parents can know what to look out for in the children to detect if something is wrong with them.”

About social media, she said contents being created should be responsible so that teenagers could learn from

them rather than causing them harm.

Egwuatu said that social media should not just be about getting followers but should also serve as veritable tool

to guide them appropriately.

She advised parents to give the needed attention to the young ones to encourage them, adding that attention

broken at home could make them run to others to get it which might be disastrous.

“That is why I tell teachers and parents that they should not aggravate the problems of the children. They need to be understood; don’t push them to the social media.

“When you don’t give them what they need, social media is there with different kinds of content.”

Mrs Rosemary Uwaleme, the Founder of the foundation, said that the conference was aimed at creating awareness, reducing stigma and mitigating social vices.

According to her, mental health issues in Nigeria were not taken seriously which has led to many cases of suicide even among teenagers.

“Today we hear of different cases of suicide, they started from somewhere.

“So we need to create awareness for people to know what these issues are, know when they need to speak to someone about problems that they have, so that they can avoid getting into such problems.

“Now bringing teenagers into this, many teenagers don’t like to talk about their problems, so you have to make talking about mental health with them be like a normal language, just like you speak English.

“In Nigeria when you say mental health people think you are talking about madness.

“So the aim of this organisation is to create mental health awareness so that we can cope with cases like depression, abuse, and all sorts of mental health issues.

“We want to create that awareness and help young people to be able to communicate freely about their problems.”

Uwaleme said that this could be achieved through sensitisation and counselling programmes for young people.

She said that the foundation also provided financial support for the teenagers when necessary.

She added the foundation also partners with the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) and Universal

Basic Education Commission (UBEC) to provide facilities for them.

Rep. Nsikak Ekong, Member representing Ikot Ekpene Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, said that the conference was impactful because it addressed issues that have to do with social media and teenagers.

“So this kind of workshop is very good because it educates the young ones, you catch them young; you tried to change your attitude towards life, try to change their mentality.

“You try to make them believe and know that whatever you want to be depends on you, no procrastination.

“In terms of laws, we are getting there somehow. Most states have domesticated the Child Rights Act, which is a law that protects the child from bad experiences, trauma and child abuse, so I think we will get there.”

Another parent, Mr Abubakar Ndaputu, said that giving children an opportunity to be themselves was very important because it was the best way to know how they feel about certain issues.

He, however, said that the government has a role to play by creating an enabling environment for them to be able to express themselves.

He added that the government could facilitate trainings and workshops for teachers on mental health issues so they could in turn give the necessary help to the children when needed.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Government Politics

Miners association inaugurates electoral committee

The Miners Association of Nigeria (MAN) has inaugurated members of its electoral committee to oversee election into various offices of National Executive Council of the Association.

The Secretary, Board of Trustees of MAN, Mr Niran Ajibade, on Thursday in Abuja, said that the committee would ensure a smooth conduct of the election.

Ajibade enjoined the members to avail themselves of further communications, commitment and cooperation with the committee for a credible process and progress of the association.

“In accordance with provisions of the association’s constitution and consequent upon the resolution of the Extra Ordinary Virtual General Congress held on March 29, the Board of Trustees has constituted an electoral committee.

“The committee will oversee the election into the various offices of the National Executive Council of the association,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the members of the committee include Mr Majidadi Mainasara, Chairman, Mr Simon Adogba, Secretary, with other five persons are members.

Ajibade said the committee would come up with the election time-table, candidate qualifications and other necessary guidelines for the smooth conduct of the election.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria


May & Baker holds walk to raise awareness on hypertension

May & Baker Nigeria Plc held a 7.5 kilometre walk on Wednesday in Lagos to raise awareness towards reducing morbidity and mortality from hypertension.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the `Walk For Life’ was organised by the company to mark the 2023 World Hypertension Day.

Mr Patrick Ajah, the Managing Director, May and Baker, during the ‘Walk for Life’ programme, said that the company was commited to improving the quality of people’s life.

According to Ajah, hypertension, dubbed the ‘silent killer’, affects a large percentage of the population with many people ignorant about their blood pressure level and proper management of the disease.

He said that hypertension was one of the reasons why people suddenly collapse as well as many avoidable deaths.

Ajah said the company adopted the day as part of its corporate social responsibility initiative to reduce the burden of the disease.

“To celebrate the day, we embark on the walk to sensitise the people on the need for physical activity and to always check their blood pressure.

“To demonstrate that, we check people’s blood pressure, if it’s high we advise them on what to do and also encourage them to go to the hospital.

“Already, we’ve seen quite a number of people with high blood pressure.

“One of our mission at May and Baker is to improve the quality of life, throughout life and for all lifes.

“You cannot have a good quality of life if your blood pressure is high,” he said.

He advised people to adopt healthy lifestyles such as reducing salt intake, increasing fruits and vegetables consumption, embracing physical activity and avoiding tobacco and excessive alcohol consumption.

Similarly, Mrs Joy Osonde, a nurse with May and Baker, said that effective prevention and control of hypertension starts with individuals knowing their blood pressure level.

Osonde said that hypertension causes damage on body organs, noting that proper knowledge and management would reduce the disease burden.

Also, Mrs Edna Afegbua, a trader, said that she had minimal knowledge about hypertension and the importance of checking her blood pressure due to her busy schedule.

Afegbua commended the company for the medical outreach saying she would regularly check her blood pressure and adhere to medications as prescribed by medical practitioners.

NAN reports that the walk was through the major streets of Ikeja with stops at strategic locations where people were screened on BP, offered medical advice and treatment by medical personnel.

The World Hypertension Day is celebrated annually on May 17 with this year’s theme as: “Measure Your Blood Pressure Accurately, Control It, Live Longer.”

The theme seeks to draw attention to combatting the low level of awareness of hypertension as well as the limited availability of calibrated devices for accurate blood pressure measurement.

According to the World Health Organisation Africa Region, close to 40 per cent of adults aged 30 to 79 years are hypertensive and only a quarter of them are taking medicines.

WHO noted that optimal blood pressure control was only attained in 11 per cent of patients on medication.

It noted that hypertension was an important risk factor for cardiovascular diseases mostly heart attack, stroke, and heart failure which account for a significant burden of premature mortality from non-communicable diseases.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria


Mega millions Naija: Gaming firm deploys renewed technology to secure winners’ claims

International Gaming and Entertainment Limited (IGE), promoters of “Mega Millions Naija”, says it is deploying more technology and meticulous record keeping to protect winners’ claims.

The Managing Director of IGR, Mr Okwy Okeke, said this in a statement on Thursday in Abuja.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that IGE is licensed by the National Lottery Regulatory Commission to operate a national lottery promotional scheme, “Mega Millions Naija.”

According to Okeke, the deployment of more technologies are additional measures to safe-guard wins in case players lose their tickets.

“Our commitment to deploying technology to protect players from losing their winnings to store clerks, agents, or other forms of theft is second to none.

“We are doing more to sustain the security of our platform, If players in Nigeria lose their physical ticket, they can rely on the platform’s secure record-keeping system, which retains a digital copy of all tickets purchased.”

Okeke said the technology had inbuilt features of eliminating the possibility of losing out on winnings due to misplaced or stolen tickets.

He said in the event of loosing tickets, players could readily access their records and pursue their claims accordingly.

“This is complemented by electronic transmission of each ticket’s numbers to the email account or phone number of each player.

“For this reason, the company verifies all email accounts and phone numbers for the purposes of protecting customers’ winnings by employing these proactive measures.”

He assured subscribers that their participation in the lottery was not only convenient but also safeguarded against potentially fraudulent activities.

Okeke said that mega millions naija was committed to transparency and security, hence created a trustworthy environment for lottery enthusiasts to enjoy their gaming experience while having the assurance that their claims were protected.

“The measures follow an incident where a 23-year-old liquour store clerk, Carly Nunes, was indicted on charges related to an alleged scheme to steal a $3 million winning Mega Millions ticket in Lakeville, Massachusetts, USA.

“At Savas Liquours, where Nunes served as a checkout counter clerk, a customer dropped his purchased lottery tickets, including the winning Mega Millions ticket, while leaving the store with his bag of chips.

” Nunes, with a co-worker, tried to cash the ticket,” he said.

To avoid such incidents in Nigeria, Okeke said mega millions naija lotteries, set up a platform where all players could secure their tickets via digital means.

He said the lottery prioritised player convenience, protection and also gave Nigerians the opportunity to access over 20 international lotteries across the world, such as the US Powerball, Eurojackpot, US MegaMIllions, EuroMillions, SuperEnalotto, and UK Lotto.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Business Market

FGN securities aids national development, says DMO

The Debt Management Office (DMO) says investment in Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) Securities is a way of contributing to national development.

The Director-General of the DMO, Patience Oniha, said this on Thursday at the FGN Securities Issuance Awareness Programme in Benin, Edo State.

The awareness programme is a collaborative effort between the DMO and CSL Stockbrokers Limited, the stockbroking firm for the Federal Government.

According to Oniha, who was represented by Elizabeth Ekpenyong, Head Strategic Programme DMO, the success of the awareness programme so far encouraged the DMO to take it further across the country.

She said that investing in FGN Securities was the safest place for Nigerians to grow their investments.

“The safest place to grow your investment is through the FGN Securities. They help to fastrack national development, ” she said.

She said that the various FGN security instruments, which constitute the local component of country’s public debt, also contributes to developing the local financial market and deepening financial inclusion.

“The federal government has various investment platforms like the FGN Bond, FGN Savings Bond, Treasury Bills, the Green Bond, the Sovereign Sukuk and Eurobond.

“One function of these FGN Securities is to raise capital to finance deficits in the budget, and also to raise funds to execute critical infrastructure projects.

“FGN Securities also contribute to the development of the domestic capital market, and they they serve as a benchmark for other private institutions to issue their own securities.

“They are backed by full faith and credit of the Federal Government of Nigeria, and are default risk-free,” she said.

Mr Abiodun Fagbulu, Managing Director, CSL Stockbrokers Limited, FGN Securities are designed to accommodate all categories of Nigerians.

Fagbulu, who was represented by Mrs Foluke Samuel, Lead Sales, Northern Region, CSL Stockbrokers Limited, said that government securities also enhanced the saving and investment opportunities of the populace.

He described FGN Securities as financial instruments issued by the DMO on behalf of the Federal Government.

“They are mostly fixed-income securities under which the government is obliged to make payments of a fixed amount on a fixed schedule, once or twice a year, and repay the principal amount on maturity.

“Investors in fixed-income securities are, therefore, guaranteed a constant and secure return on their investments,” he said.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Business Market

Netherlands to Restart Investment, Dev’t Projects Disrupted Due to Conflict

The Netherlands, which is one of the biggest investors in Ethiopia, will restart investment and development projects halted due to the war in the northern part of the country, Ambassador Henk Jan Bakker said.

The ambassador told ENA that Ethiopia is in much better situation at the moment and sincerely hopes that it will continue on the path of economic and democratic reform as well.

The European Union has decided two weeks ago at the council of ministers level to re-engage with Ethiopia.

“We already have very large development cooperation program with Ethiopia. In fact, Ethiopia is the largest recipient in the world of our development cooperation funds and we will restart that part of the project we had stopped because of the war, “Ambassador Bakker revealed.

According to him, the most important thing for the Netherlands to do is on agriculture, water, health, and restart the projects in those areas in the north.

However, he also pointed out that the one very exciting and big project at the moment is the Africa Improved Foods that announced to invest in Ethiopia at the investment forum held here recently in Addis Ababa.

New investment will of course come in the coming years and we also have regular projects in development cooperation, the ambassador stated.

“We are one of the biggest investors in Ethiopia. There are many Dutch companies, about 90 in Ethiopia, creating tens of thousands of jobs. Most of them are in horticulture, agriculture, flowers; but we have also big investments in food and beverages. Heineken and Bavaria NV (which bought stakes in Habesha Breweries) are especially big beer investors.”

Many companies that have invested here are actually exporting to Europe. So almost all of the flowers that are produced by Dutch companies are being exported to the Netherlands and finding the way into the rest of Europe and even further away, he elaborated.

That brings a lot of much needed forex to Ethiopia, and the Netherlands is actually the second largest export destination for Ethiopia worldwide. “We are very important partner for Ethiopia.”

Moreover, the Netherlands is Ethiopia's second-largest export market as many Dutch flower growers are in Ethiopia.

The world’s largest rose farm, employing 13,000 workers, is found some 200 km from Addis Ababa, it was learned.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency