COVID-19: Stanbic IBTC bank plc offers customer relief initiatives.


Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC, a subsidiary of Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, has introduced customer relief initiatives aimed at reducing the unease felt by its customers as a result of the coronavirus global pandemic.

The movements of individuals had to be curtailed to discourage physical contact between people as a way of containing the spread of the virus.


Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC has also announced the closure of some of its branches, to safeguard the lives of its customers and employees.

Branches that are operational can be found on the bank’s website www.stanbicibtc.com.


The bank has also encouraged its customers to make use of its digital banking platforms for transactions during this period.

The management of the bank has introduced further relief measures for its customers beginning from April 1, 2020:


• Full Waiver of Merchant Settlement Charge (MSC) for two weeks for all merchants who accept payments using Stanbic IBTC Bank Point of Sale (POS) terminal for two weeks
• Full waiver of Current Account Maintenance (CAM) fees and interbank transfer charges for one month for customers who reactivated their Dormant or inactive accounts
• Waiver of transfer charges on the first five Interbank transfers they effect within the month of April 2020 for other customers with active accounts.

Speaking on the customer relief initiative, Mr Yinka Sanni, Chief Executive, Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC said the measure was aimed at ameliorating the pains of the customers while also preventing the spread of coronavirus.

He said: “As a responsible financial institution, we are not unaware of the effect of Covid-19, especially on our staff and customers. The decision by the bank to set aside the Merchant Settlement Charge for two weeks for those who use Stanbic IBTC POS terminals, waive current account maintenance fees and free interbank transfers for inactive/ dormant account holders and zero interbank transfer charges for the first five transactions for all other customers within the month of April; is our way of easing the pains and discomfort they are going through during this period.”


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: ‘Star Wars’ Actor, Andrew Jack Dies Of Pandemic At 76. (Britain)


Andrew Jack, British actor and dialect coach, has passed away at 76 after contracting coronavirus.

Jill McCullough, Jack’s agent, said the veteran actor died in a hospital in Surrey on Tuesday, following complications from COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.


“Andrew lived on one of the oldest working houseboats on the Thames, he was fiercely independent but madly in love with his wife, also a dialect coach,” he said.

Gabrielle Rogers, his wife, who is currently quarantined in Australia, also disclosed that Jack’s death came two days after he was diagnosed with the novel disease.


“We lost a man today. Andrew Jack was diagnosed with Coronavirus 2 days ago. He was in no pain, and he slipped away peacefully knowing that his family were all ‘with’ him. Take care out there, lovers,” she wrote on Twitter.

Greg Grunberg, fellow ‘Star Wars’, also took to his social media page to mourn the late actor.

“Devastated to hear of the passing of the wonderful, talented, beloved gentleman #AndrewJack. He is one of the kindest people I’ve ever worked with. Please stay safe. Please stay home!!! #RIPAndrewJack,” he wrote on Twitter.

Born January 28, 1944, the actor had a blistering career which saw him perform on over 80 motion pictures since 1982. The actor garnered huge popularity after starring in ‘Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi’ as General Ematt.

He also featured in ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ and ‘Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens.’


#Newsworthy. …

COVID-19: Osinbajo, Soyinka clash on lockdown in Nigeria. [Must Read]

… Osinbajo says criticism of presidential order pointless

… ICPC warns corrupt persons to steer clear of funds


Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has disagreed with Nobel laureate Prof. Wole Soyinka and others who have questioned the legality of the presidential order restricting movement in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Lagos and Ogun States.

Lawyers like Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa and Femi Falana also faulted the lockdown , following the announcement on Sunday. Osinbajo, however, maintained that the move by President Muhammadu Buhari is important and backed by extant laws.

“I am not so sure some of the people who have commented on the issue have come across the Quarantine Act. There is a Quarantine Act of 1926. It’s been published in all of the Laws of Nigeria, every edition of the Laws of Nigeria, it is there.”

Referring specifically to the part of the legislation that empowers the president to order restrictions to movement in any part the country, Osinbajo said: “What the Act does is that it allows the president to designate any local area, any part of the country, as a place that may be infected or under the threat of a communicable disease. He can then make regulations of any kind.

“For instance, he can say people should not go out; no public gatherings etc. So, it is a regulation that gives the president powers, and these powers come from the National Assembly because, of course, it is an Act of the National Assembly.”

The vice president made the disclosure in Abuja on Monday while responding to questions at the Google Hangout programme organised by HACK COVID-19 Call Centre, a private sector initiative supporting Nigeria’s battle against the pandemic.

The worst development I can conceive is to have a situation where rational measures for the containment of the Corona pandemic are rejected on account of their questionable genesis. This is a time for Unity of Purpose, not nitpicking dissensions. So, before this becomes a habit, a question: does President Buhari have the powers to close down state borders? We want clear answers. We are not in a war emergency – Soyinka

“The president has extensive powers under the Quarantine Act of 1926. Also, governors have extensive powers under the same Quarantine Act,” Osinbajo said.

He urged individuals and groups to peruse the legislation, to understand the provisions therein, noting: “It is barely a one-page legislation, so it is not particularly difficult to find the relevant provisions, and it is not particularly difficult to read, very straightforward. So, the president has all the powers.”

He further said confronting the pandemic was an effort requiring the cooperation of all Nigerians.“We must see this as a joint effort. Everyone is involved in this. It really is an all-Nigeria effort and I am happy that everyone is responding,” he said.

Asked how the administration was supporting the most vulnerable during the restriction to movement, Osinbajo said Buhari had established the Economic Sustainability Committee, “which he has asked me to chair.”

He said the committee would take care of the economic challenges and fallouts of the pandemic in the FCT, Lagos and Ogun States. He also said the committee would develop further palliatives, and a sustainability plan to reposition the economy and grow the non-oil sector.

He added: “Part of the work of the Economic Sustainability Committee is to look at some of the concerns that affect the poor, especially in the context of what has already been done and the data that we already have on informal workers and informal traders, and how to implement some strategy that will be able to alleviate the sufferings of the poor (and the informal workforce) at this time, and integrate some of the data that we have in other respects.”

In his reaction on Monday to the lockdown order by Buhari, Soyinka described it as illegal and unconstitutional.Soyinka, in a statement, said the president did not have the powers to unilaterally lock down a state, as there was no war or emergency.

In the statement titled “Between COVID and Constitutional Encroachment,” Soyinka said “constitutional lawyers and our elected representatives should kindly step into this and educate us, mere lay minds.

I am not so sure some of the people who have commented on the issue have come across the Quarantine Act. There is a Quarantine Act of 1926. It’s been published in all of the Laws of Nigeria, every edition of the Laws of Nigeria, it is there. It is a regulation that gives the president powers, and these powers come from the National Assembly because, of course, it is an Act of the National Assembly – Osinbajo

“The worst development I can conceive is to have a situation where rational measures for the containment of the Corona pandemic are rejected on account of their questionable genesis.

“This is a time for Unity of Purpose, not nitpicking dissensions. So, before this becomes a habit, a question: does President Buhari have the powers to close down state borders? We want clear answers. We are not in a war emergency.

“Appropriately focused on measures for the saving lives, and committed to making sacrifices for the preservation of our communities, we should nonetheless remain alert to any encroachment on constitutionally demarcated powers. We need to exercise collective vigilance, and not compromise the future by submitting to interventions that are not backed by law and constitution.”

According to Soyinka, “a president who had been conspicuously AWOL, the Rip van Winkle of Nigerian history, is now alleged to have woken up after a prolonged siesta, and begun to issue orders.

“Who actually instigates these orders anyway? From where do they really emerge? What happens when the orders conflict with state measures, the product of a systematic containment strategy – `including even trial-and-error and hiccups – undertaken without let or leave of the Centre. So far, the anti-COVID-19 measures have proceeded along the rails of decentralised thinking, multilateral collaboration and technical exchanges between states.

“The Centre is obviously part of the entire process, and one expects this to be the norm, even without the epidemic’s frontal assault on the Presidency itself. Indeed, the Centre is expected to drive the overall effort, but in collaboration, with extraordinary budgeting and refurbishing of facilities.”

Soyinka advised: “The universal imperative and urgency of this affliction should not become an opportunistic launch pad for a sneak re-centralisation, no matter how seemingly insignificant its appearance. I urge governors and legislators to be especially watchful. No epidemic is ever cured with constitutional piracy. It only lays down new political viruses for the future.”

The FCT administration, meanwhile, has begun enforcing the restriction to movement. Many streets were deserted. Personnel from the military, police, Civil Defence Corps and Federal Road Safety Commission were seen manning strategic positions around the city centre.

“We will not allow any individual or groups, as a result of their inability to honour this medical advice, to jeopardise the health of many,” warned FCT Minister Mohammed Musa Bello.

But many residents in Kaduna, Kaduna State yesterday defied the 24-hour restriction to movement put in place by Governor Nasir El-Rufai.At the Kawo Market for instance, buyers and sellers moved about freely, while security operatives posted to enforce looked on.

“The curfew has brought hunger and tiredness. We are doing nothing at home. I have come out to sell to the people. People are hungry and as a trader, I don’t have money to feed my family until I sell my goods,” said one Hassan, a tomato trader.
Reacting to the development, the state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) issued a statement signed by Publicity Secretary Abraham Alberah Catoh, which said: “Realising that hunger is another dangerous disease, the party makes a passionate but strong appeal to the government to effect an intermittent but controlled relaxation of the curfew currently in force, to allow people to either stock or re-stock household needs like foodstuffs, drugs etc.”

Also, to contain the pandemic, Speaker of the House of Representatives Femi Gbajabiamila yesterday announced that the 360 members of the chamber had donated two months’ salaries.

“Our contribution will support provisions for the welfare of frontline medical professionals and health workers, and other interventions to provide for the wellbeing of all Nigerians through these trying times.

“Accordingly, I have directed the Clerk to the National Assembly to see to it that all members’ salaries are transferred to the National Relief Fund for this month and the next,” the Speaker said.

This came as the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) warned that unscrupulous persons might take advantage of the fight against COVID-19.

“Responding to this or any other emergency or implementation of government policy should not increase integrity deficit or risky behaviour,” spokesperson, Rasheedat Okoduwa, said in Abuja yesterday.

“The noble desire of government to ameliorate the pain of citizens in these difficult times should not be converted to another rue de la corruption. COVID-19 should not be used as excuse for corruption in any sector of the economy.

“This very attitude of greed and impunity is what has consistently undermined positive outcomes from otherwise well thought-out national response programmes and laid-out plans that covered everything except keeping corruption in implementation at bay,” she added.


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: New case affirmed in Ogun state as all cases in Nigeria jump to 139.


The Ogun State Government has confirmed that a 30-year-old daughter of the third case in the state who is a United Kingdom-returnee in Sagamu has tested positive for COVID-19.

The 4th case was confirmed on Monday night few hours after 128 bed-isolation centres were inaugurated.


Prior to the recent confirmed case of COVID-19, the state had recorded three cases which included the first index in Nigeria.

The Commissioner for Health in the state Dr Tomi Coker, disclosed this on Tuesday while briefing newsmen on the update of the coronavirus in the state.


Coker said the state ran 68 tests after which four persons were confirmed to be positive while 58 persons were negative.

She added that six cases were pending while 112 contact tracing of individuals had been made.


Coker said:

“Last night, we had a new confirmed COVID-19 case which is a 30-year-old female and a contact of the third case.


“So far in Ogun State, we run 68 tests of which we have four positive. The four positive are actually two clusters. The second case is the contact of the first. And the fourth case is the contact of the third.

“As I said we ran 68 tests, four positive, 58 negative. And six are pending.

We also have 112 contacts tracing of individuals of which 40 have completed their 14 days follow – up. We are currently, actively following 72 cases.”


#Newsworthy…

Shocking: Kane to dump SPURS because of Mourinho.


Arsenal legend, Paul Merson, has urged Harry Kane to leave Tottenham.

Merson feels Kane will not become the Premier League’s greatest goalscorer or win trophies under manager Jose Mourinho.


The England has netted 181 goals in 278 appearances for Spurs and 32 for the Three Lions.

However, Merson has claimed that Kane will not flourish under Mourinho’s style of football.


“If Harry Kane wants to win stuff, he may have to leave Tottenham,” Merson told Sky Sports.

“Will Kane get six or seven chances a game playing the way Jose Mourinho does? I don’t think so. For me that’s what he needs to weigh up.

“He loves scoring goals, he wants to play for an attacking team, but I don’t see that happening next season, if Mourinho makes it tight and starts playing the way that made him one of the best managers of all time, and I think that’s what Kane is weighing up.”


#NobleSport

Manchester United to forcefully pay £1.1M on Alexis Sanchez.


Manchester United will be forced to pay Alexis Sanchez a £1.1million loyalty bonus, upon his return from Inter Milan, NobleSport report

Sanchez is currently on loan at the Serie A club, after enduring a miserable spell at Old Trafford since his move from Arsenal.


The Chilean attacker is on a massive £400,000-per-week with United, who are paying part of his wages while he is with Inter.

However, the Red Devils were hoping the Nerrazurri would make the move permanent.

But Inter boss, Antonio Conte, does not want to keep Sanchez due to his poor form.

Sanchez’s return to United will activate a clause in his initial contract, with the 31-year-old entitled to the seven-figure bonus in July.


#NobleSport

COVID-19: Over 50 vaccine trials ongoing – WHO.


The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said there are more than 50 trials for a vaccine on COVID-19.

The Country Officer for WHO in Nigeria, Fiona Braka, said there is also a multi-country trial for a drug for the virus.


Braka said while there is no vaccine for the disease yet, WHO is fast-tracking the process of producing one.

She said:


“We currently have over 50 vaccine trials that are in place, trying to work round the clock to fast-track the vaccine development process, and we continue to keep countries informed of that process.

“When it comes to treatment, WHO is leading a multi-country clinical trial. So far, 45 countries have signed up for that.”

The WHO country director added that what is being adopted is a “solidarity trial” that would “test different drugs in four different arms against the normal standard of care we are currently implementing.”


#Newsworthy…

Damini Ogulu ‘Burna Boy’ set to drop new album this year.


Nigerian Grammy Nominee, Bura Boy has revealed his decision to drop an Album this year.

He made this known in a Question & Answer session with fans on social media yesterday.


The Q&A session was controversial though. Some gbas gbos occurred between him and Reekado Banks, a warning to Ceeza Milli and WizKid FC.

Oops!! by the way he praised WizKid though) but most importantly guys, there is a new Burna Boy album coming!

When he was asked how he felt losing the Grammy Awards, Burna Boy said he felt sick for loosing but because Anglique Kidjo already educated him on Grammy Awards, he now feels “Twice As Tall“, exactly the name of his forthcoming album to be released in July.


#Newsworthy…

#NobleSong

Breaking: Fuel price deteriorate to N123.50k per litre from N125. (Nigeria)


The federal government has announced further reduction of the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), also known as petrol.

It said the product has been reduced from N125 to N123.50k per litre. N.Rs report


The new rate takes effect from Wednesday, April 1, 2020.

The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) made the announcement in a statement Tuesday night by the Executive Secretary, Abdulkadir Saidu.


“PPPRA in line with the government approval for a monthly review of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) pump price, hereby announces Guiding PMS pump price of N123.50 per Litre.

“The Guiding price which becomes effective April 1 2020, shall apply at all retail outlets nationwide for the month of April, 2020.”

Saidu assured that said PPPRA and other regulatory agencies would continue to monitor compliance.

The agency had on March 18 reduced the pump price of PMS from N145.00 to N125.00. NobleReporters report


#Newsworthy…