Tag Archives: government

2020: Nigerian govt to reduce oil benchmark from $30 to $20 per barrel – Finance Minister.

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Plans are ongoing by the Federal Government to review the 2020 budget to reflect an oil benchmark of $20 per barrel.

A report gathered by NobleReporters quoted that the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning Minister, Zainab Ahmed, who disclosed this on Tuesday during a web conference about the impact of low oil prices on Nigeria’s economy.

A further downward revision will mean that the Federal Government has now dropped the benchmark from an initial $57 per barrel to $30.

NobleReporters learnt that Mrs Ahmed also intimated on plans by FG to cut oil production to 1.7 million barrels per day (mbpd), from the 2.1 mbpd previously proposed in the budget.

“We are in the process of an amendment that is bringing down the revenue indicator to $20 per barrel.”

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Other key highlights from the conference include; plans to defer debt service obligations to 2021 and beyond until macro conditions improve.

An 80% drop in estimated net oil & gas revenue available for Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) distribution to N1.1 trillion against the N5.5 trillion previously earmarked.

A marginal drop in Customs projected revenue to N1.2 trillion in 2020 from the previous N1.5 trillion.

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While the amount accruable to the federation account is now projected at N3.9 trillion from the initial N8.6 trillion.

The government is also looking at providing support for the aviation sector as part of measures to alleviate the impact of COVID-19.


#Newsworthy…

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[Nigeria] Obasanjo-Atiku’s Tenure and Buhari’s Govt impossible to compare – PDP tackles APC.

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The Peoples Democratic Party, on Sunday, declared that the All Progressives Congress, APC, lacks the parameter to compare the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo and that of President Muhammadu Buhari.

PDP made the remark in response to APC’s claim that ex-Vice President Atiku Abubakar admitted that Obasanjo administration was short-sighted and failed to diversify Nigeria’s economy.

APC’s spokesperson, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, had stated this in a statement where he commended Atiku for suggesting how Buhari should improve Nigeria’s economy.

However, PDP berated the ruling party for its comment, stressing that APC has “reversed all our national gains in a space of five years.”

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The former ruling party stated this in a statement titled: “You Lack Parameters to Compare Obasanjo/Atiku Tenure with Buhari’s”

The statement signed by its spokesperson, Kola Ogbondiyan reads: “Our attention has been drawn to a knee-jerk reaction by the dysfunctional APC to the well-received suggestions by former Vice President and PDP’s candidate in the 2019 Presidential election, Atiku, on how to revamp our ailing economy.

“While the PDP had chosen not to allow the fizzling APC to distract us from our focus, particularly in finding solutions for the COVID-19 pandemic, we cannot keep quiet and allow those who had reversed all our national gains in a space of five years, to continue to engage in distortions, outright lies and appropriation of projects executed by the PDP to continually spit on the memories of Nigerians.

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“It is sad that a patriotic and non-partisan rescue effort by Atiku was met with insults, animus and aspersions by an administration under which Nigeria is collapsing economically, just because it lacks the required competence and brilliance for modern governance.

“This is a government under which our nation has become the poverty capital of the world; our foreign debts have quintupled from $7 billion in 2015 to $30 billion today; our once highly rated banking sector is now shedding its workforce.”


#Newsworthy…

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Reduce interest rates – Tinubu advise Nigerian govt, Banks.

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The national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, is of the opinion that if the COVID-19 crisis is to have any positive economic aspect, then it should be that Nigeria used this moment to drive down interest rates.

Chief Tinubu in a lengthy communique on Sunday, advised the Federal Government avail tax reliefs that would aid financial institutions in the country to reduce their interest rates.

In his statement, the elder statesman noted that by doing this, the government will saving the nation from a monumental drag on national economic growth.

According to him, lower rates will increase domestic investment and production, as well as create jobs.

While noting that lower rates may have some negative short-term impact on inflation and the exchange rate, the former governor of Lagos argued that the economic dislocations caused by the coronavirus will serve to mitigate those temporary negative consequences.

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Below is the full statement by Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

THE CASE AGAINST HIGH INTEREST RATES IN TIME OF CONTAGION

THE TIME IS NOW – CORRECT THE INTEREST RATE

The economic fallout from the coronavirus may present the best, most pressing case for revising the CBN’s high interest rate policy. The undue rates penalise domestic investment and consumer borrowing. This reduces both aggregate domestic supply and, to a lesser degree, aggregate domestic demand. The chronic gap between domestic supply and demand has been filled by bloated levels of imports and encouraged an overvalued exchange rate that the high interests have helped produce. In normal times, the high interest rates also attract significant foreign financial speculation, the ever-ominous hot money. While in the short-term, the foreign speculation boosts financial inflows. Over time, as compound interest payments become due on these foreign investments, the nation will lose an ever-increasing amount of money to satisfy foreign debt obligations. In the short run, high rates seem to attract foreign capital and spur the economy while giving it discipline against inflation. In the longer-term, all of this is untrue. High rates give us the worst of both worlds. They stifle domestic investment and incomes while pushing up inflation and exposing an ever-increasing share of our financial system to foreign manipulation and dependence. Put another way, if you take a single picture early in the process, the high interest rate policy looks good at that moment in time. However, if you view the entire movie, you will see an ending that is both painful and unnecessary.

The Central Bank of Nigeria has demonstrated its financial agility by establishing a growing number of special financing programs for various industries and sectors of the economy. While these programs look good at first glance, they also expose important contradictions in the CBN’s position. The special schemes are an implicit admission that normal rates stifle investment borrowing and thus suppress the economy. The extraordinary schemes would not be required if the general interest rate was at a proper level. By establishing the special programs, the CBN attempts the impossible. On one hand it defends the general rate as prudent. On the other, it proliferates special exceptions in order to spur investment borrowing that the general rate has heretofore stifled.

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This complex CBN rear-guard action does not serve the greater purpose. It merely prolongs the inevitable: We must retreat from high interest rates if we want investment borrowing to attain levels that actually increase private-sector growth and job creation.

This point bears repetition. If the financial sector functioned properly, servicing the needs of the economy in general, there would be no need to constantly resort to specialised sectoral plans (one for this industry, another for that industry and so on) for concessionary lending below regularly available rates of interest. Each such scheme is evidence that the overall financial system is fragmented in a manner that artificially reduces investment and the positive consequences increased investment has on growth, production and employment. The schemes are akin to a homeowner who, confronted with severe structural damage, commissions a fresh coat of paint to obscure the obvious structural flaws. Just as the homeowner should focus on fixing the core problem to prevent the house from crumbling, the Bank should do the one great thing it can do to free the economy from an unpayable burden. It should reduce interest rates.

The modern global economy is built on credit. Prosperous nations have built success based on the sustained ability to use credit to generate high levels of domestic investment as well as allow for significant consumer financing. Unlike two centuries ago, most business investment is not derived from the self-generated funds of the businessman or investor. Investment comes mainly from bank loans. However, the current rate of interest in Nigeria prohibits most normal business investment. Thus, the productive sector stagnates as innovation and creative endeavour are discouraged. Employment and aggregate demand are dragged down. The economy becomes a slave to a negative, impoverishing dynamic.

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THE STORY THIS FAR

The current form of our financial system is antithetical to growth. Our financial system was originally structured to serve the colonialists who wanted a highly centralised system that provided little chance of prosperity for indigenous business beyond that which the colonial master would allow. Though the years have passed since the end of the colonial era, the basic structure of that old financial system remains intact. The system has not kept pace with the needs and challenges of our evolving nation.

After national independence, the system was but slightly modified to fit the requirements of highly centralised military rule. Broad and diffused growth was not the goal. Such growth contravened the underlying tenet of military rule – tight, centralised control of political power and economic resources.

Only those allied to the power core were enabled to access credit and favoured to prosper in business. A high interest rate regime was integral to this centralised and closed system. High interest rates prevented the growth of independent business. One had to seek the alliance and friendship of the government of the day to overcome the strong impediments that high rates caused. This rendered business an appendage of government, dependent on government favour to survive. There were no nodes of power truly independent from the centre. Nor did this situation foster creative and innovative economic thinking leading to sufficient business start-ups that might have grown and diversified the economy.

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All things were thus reliant on the goodwill of those at the core of national power. There were few successful businesses that did not have a patron seated in the high ranks of government. In many nations, prosperous businessmen can rightfully claim they know no one in government. In Nigeria, such claims were nigh impossible. Genius was declared upon those who could get close to the men in uniform and did not always depend on whether a person could efficiently organise an enterprise or invent a useful device.

Thus, the banking system became one intended to bar most businesses and people from access to sufficient commercial and consumer credit, a system constructed to suppress large-scale independent economic activity unless expressly sanctioned and approved by arbitrary power. Thus, it suppresses wealth and job creation. It keeps the economy on crutches so it cannot run too fast as to get beyond the grasp of whosoever wields that arbitrary power. As such, we are in a situation where the banking system is not sufficiently governed by the rational dynamics of economic maximization. As a result, the system sputters and fails to reach full throttle. Without optimal financial sector support, the productive economy has failed to grow as it should. We all suffer, especially the poor man who would have been employed and earning enough money to take care of a family and contribute to national wealth if only sufficient levels of investment had been attained.

In decades past, this model could survive because our economic situation was more benign than it now is. Oil prices were such that the nation gained enough revenue given its then existing population. The nation could stay afloat and even record modest growth rates when oil prices climbed to their highest levels. Yet, this economic model was never meant to last as it risked all based on the price of one commodity.

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This model led to an overvalued currency, which has caused Nigeria long-term harm. It undermined the global competitiveness of local producers. It also made imports cheaper. We became an import-reliant nation with a dwindling productive capacity. Over the long haul, such a position is high risk. Underlying economic fundamentals have become more adverse over time. Oil revenues, in real terms, have not and cannot keep apace population growth.

As oil revenues lose their potency to carry the economy, this financial model becomes an increasingly heavier albatross impeding economic growth. We remain too import reliant even though our supply of funds to buy imports dwindle. We seek to maintain a strong currency because of this import reliance and because of national pride. However, this reliance drains funds to support the exchange rate that could be better invested in strengthening our productive capacity. Moreover, pride is fleeting for who can maintain pride in a weakening economy with a stubbornly high incidence of abject poverty.

At this moment, we need business and industry to take up the slack generated by the weakening of the oil sector. However, the productive economy is barred from this needed increase in activity because the high interest rates, along with an unreliable power supply, combine to form a steep obstacle to sufficient real-sector investment, growth and productivity.

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The high interest rate financial model runs contrary to the ideals of a progressive democracy to which Nigeria aspires. A nation cannot become a genuine democracy while access to credit remains under a semblance of authoritarian lock-and-key. Lending schemes under which a central bank has sole authority to prescribe lower interest rates may appear to open the system. In truth, they do no such thing. Instead, they merely move the discretionary power to give financial concessions from where it formerly resided (the military in times past) to the central bank.

LONG TERM POSITIVE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN HIGH RATES AND INFLATION

Over time, high rates cause more inflation than they prevent. In the initial phase, high rates might lower inflation. However, an economy is dynamic not static. Feedback loops created by the initial high rates will eventually encourage inflation. First, the suppressed levels of private sector activity will result in higher levels of government borrowing than otherwise would be the case had private sector incomes and productivity been unhindered by the high rates. This means that government must spend an increasing sum merely on interest charges. This places more naira in circulation without a corresponding increase in goods and services. This is inflationary.

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Second, to the extent domestic firms can borrow, they must charge high prices in order to achieve profit levels sufficient to repay their high interest loans. This too is inflationary.

Third, we attract initial dollar inflows as private loans or investments in government bonds because of the high rates. Yet, the interest payments on the underlying bond, being computed as compound interest, compels us to pay an increasing percentage of our dollar intake through oil sales just to service the interest charge on the foreign debt. Consequently, we must engage in all manner of tricks to cover the widening gap between ever increasing foreign debt calculated at compound rates and foreign currency revenues which tend to remain flat and linear, if not decline during times of economic weakness. Debt servicing as a percentage of overall public and private sector spending will increase, causing more naira to be misdirected; exchanged into dollars instead of being used for productive economic discourse that would create wealth and jobs on these shores. This not only is an unproductive way to use the extra naira, such practices are historic drivers of inflation in any nation that measures inflation. Such practices are avoided by the best central bankers because their abuse courts ruin. This is why the best managed developing economies shy from heavy borrowing of foreign currency.

However, we have become too reliant on foreign borrowing. In our case, we have created a highly imbalanced and imperfect economy. On one hand, high rates are used to scare domestic investment borrowing thus undermining income, production and consumption. On the other hand, high interest rates are used to attract foreign creditors who must be repaid with an increasing percentage of our intake of dollars. This indifference to domestic investment yet open encouragement of foreign financial speculation is a rather odd mis-arrangement that makes little sense if the true objective is to grow the overall economy.

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Given the inescapable dynamics of compound interest, a dollar borrowed today will have to be repaid with 2 dollars some point in the future. This drains our reserves to the benefit of foreign creditors. If we must borrow dollars better to first borrow from our own people, then the DFIs (World Bank, etc.) at concessional rates. We should only borrow from the foreign private sector as a very last resort.

EXCHANGE RATE AND THE ECONOMY

If we went to a freely floating exchange rate, the naira would devalue. This means our currency is overvalued in terms of our trade with the outside world.

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This overvalued exchange rate is buoyed by high interest rates. Yet to maintain both interest rate and exchange rate levels simultaneously over time requires that money be siphoned from use in the productive economy in order to prop up both rates. High rates drain liquidity from the system. However, here the multiplier effect works terribly against us. For every naira drained from the system, we lose more than one naira of productive wealth, activity and income.

This provides a higher exchange rate but a shrunken domestic economic base. This combination of a high exchange rate and a diminished domestic productive base gives strong impetus to high import levels. In a well-functioning economy, import levels should shape the exchange rate. In our economy, the exchange rate determines import levels. Our demand for unnecessary imports is much too high. This unhealthy appetite drains or limited supply of foreign currency. We are again relegated to placing more and more naira in circulation in the futile chase of the dollar, the pound and the euro. Again, this is a most unproductive way to use our currency. Had or currency issuance power been used to fund domestic infrastructural development, the economy would be much improved.

To maintain the exchange rate, we must sacrifice both naira and dollars that could have been invested in strengthening our productive capacity and job creation. Instead of bolstering the economy, we give these financial resources to international finance arbitragers who care little for our well-being, who invest little in our productive economy and who gain too much influence over our national economy as insensitive creditors. We have to progressively pay them increasing amounts just to sate their demands while giving our population relatively less.

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CORONA VIRUS AND THE OPPORTUNITY TO LOWER INTEREST RATES

To stimulate their economies, the central banks of all major economies have driven their prime interest rates below 1 percent and nearer to zero percent. These central banks are lending vast amounts at low rates just to support to their industries and firms.

My position has always been one of reticence to foreign denominated debt due to repayment challenges. However, if we need foreign currency to buy items essential to protecting the nation from the coronavirus now is the time to borrow. The World Bank and other DFIs have said they will grant loans at concessionary rates. We should hold them to their word and demand a renegotiation of existing loans or debt relief.

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While we are not yet inundated with the medical fallout of corona, we too suffer gravely from the economic and financial effects of the contagion. The rest of the world understands the imperative of lower interest rates. We should not pretend to be blind to that which every other major nation sees.

If this crisis is to have any positive economic aspect, let it be that we used this moment to drive down interest rates. To apply the rate reduction only to future loans would be prejudicial to current bank debtors. Thus, the financial authorities should consider formulating regulations that banks must reduce the high interest rates on existing business loans to the new lower general rate. This can be achieved through regulations requiring banks to automatically roll-over existing loans at the lower rate or regulations stating this must be done if the borrower so requests.

Any such change will alter the profit structure of most banks. To help moderate the change, government should provide generous tax relief to the banks. Additionally, government should institute a special bond-purchasing program where banks can purchase interest bearing government bonds at a significant discount or even on credit for a period of years. The central bank should give banks liberal access to its discount window in order to participate in such programs. These programs are intended to be transitional and thus will sunset in 3-5 years. During the transitional period, banks will have time to alter their lending practices. They must begin to earn profits from higher volumes of business and consumer lending at much lower profit margins per loan. In this way, our banking system will finally advance into the modern banking practices that have served as the linchpins for growth in any prosperous nation one can name.

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There will be some initial jitters and anxiety. In the end, this will materially help us by sparking much needed private sector investment borrowing and encouraging suitable levels of consumer borrowing. Such borrowing will complement and thus lessen the amount of direct fiscal stimulus government must provide. The lower rates will be politically popular as well as economically benign at this time. Lower rates might dissuade some foreign speculators, but most speculative money has returned to its host nation at this point. So, the effects of lower rates will be muted. For those speculators still sensitive to arbitrage opportunities, our rates, albeit lower, will still be visibly above those obtained in any Western economy.

Yes, the lower rates will put pressure on the exchange rate. However, much of that pressure has already been priced into the exchange rate due to capital flight and lower oil prices caused by the viral outbreak. Moreover, shipping and the import-export business are at a minimum. With trade at a minimum, this is again an opportune moment to allow downward pressure on the exchange rate; the practical effects will be minimised since trade has already been materially reduced.

Another consideration we must weigh regarding interest rates is how lowering rates along with other innovations may unlock the potential for real estate to be catalyst for economic growth at this moment. The global economy will not rebound for several months if not longer. We must seek ways to inject liquidity into the economy and foster activity. Should the CBN lower rates as well as allow for longer-term mortgage notes, real estate would become a better functioning collateral for investment borrowing not only for the housing industry,but for the general economy. Reform of government mortgage agencies and policies will further allow us to deepen both the primary and secondary mortgage markets in ways that increase liquidity and spur economic activity independent of what may be happening in the outside world.

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CONCLUSION

High interest rates are a fundamental drag on national economic growth. Only our unreliable power supply may loom as a bigger impediment to national prosperity.

Lower rates will spur domestic investment and production. This creates both jobs and wealth. High rates serve only to suppress these vital factors. Lower rates will have some negative short-term impact on inflation and the exchange rate. However, in a twist of irony, the economic dislocations caused by the coronavirus serve to mitigate those temporary negative consequences. If there is a time to reduce interest rates, that time is now.

SIGNED
Asiwaju Bola Tinubu,
APC National Leader,
May 3, 2020.


#Newsworthy…

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Group – Nigerians are lucky to have Buhari, they will miss him.

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The Hajo Sani Youth Network for Buhari Support (HSYNBS) has declared that Nigerians will miss President Muhammadu Buhari when he leaves office.

This was contained in a statement on Sunday by its Coordinator, Salisu Bala Hassan and Secretary, Nwafor Odochukwu.

Their comment followed outrage over the arrest of some critics of the president in Katsina.

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Katsina is the home state of the Nigerian leader.

Police command spokesman, SP Isah Gambo, gave the names/ages of three citizens arrested as Lawal Abdullahi Izala – 70; Bahajaje Abu – 30 and Hamza Abubakar – 27.

Gambo warned that the Police will “not fold its arms and watch while disgruntled elements violate the sacred laws of the land”.

He added that anyone found to have made disrespectful remarks about others, contrary to the provisions of Cyber Crime Act, will face the wrath of the law.

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Reacting, HSYNBS lamented that many other Nigerians had been “insulting” Buhari on social media.

“It was disgusting when we heard that some people from North allegedly insulted the President and the Governor (Aminu Masari) in a viral video”, they noted.

“A day will come when Nigerians will miss President Muhammadu Buhari. For now, some people don’t know how lucky we are to have him.

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“As for us, we appreciate all he has done for us. May Almighty God make it easy for him and give him the ability to keep doing good for Nigerians.

“If we keep running away from our responsibilities of being good citizens, we fear for our fatherland when it is our time to rule. Only a good citizen can make a good leader.”


#Newsworthy…

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COVID-19: Osun Extends Lockdown. [Nigeria]

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Governor Gboyega Oyetola of Osun State has announced the extension of the lockdown period in the state to help curb the spread of coronavirus.

The lockdown period which was supposed to end on Thursday will now end on May 4 as extended by the governor.

Oyetola also revealed that “There will be a partial lockdown between 6 am and 5 pm from Monday to Thursday to enable the people to go about their businesses and allow the government to run.

His statement reads: “Good people of Osun, as you are all aware, the two weeks lockdown expires at midnight today.

“But to avoid escalating community transmission of COVID-19, we have decided to extend the lockdown by another three days, starting from 11.59 pm on Thurs. 30th April till Sunday, 3rd May.

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“All the prevailing lockdown conditions shall continue during this period, and violators shall be dealt with in accordance with the law.

”Therefore, I urge you all to continue to adhere with the lockdown directives.

“However, starting from Monday, 4th May, 2020, the lockdown will be eased and new rules shall be enforced in line with the recommendations of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, the approval of Mr. President and our peculiar situation in Osun.

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“There will be a partial lockdown between 6 am and 5 pm from Monday to Thursday to enable the people to go about their businesses and allow the government to run.

“However, total lockdown shall be in force from 6 pm on Thursday to Sunday.

“There shall also be a dusk to dawn curfew from 6pm – 6am starting from Monday to Thursday until further notice.

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“Movement of vehicles and persons is outlawed during the period of the curfew except for verified medical emergency cases and those on essential duties.

“The ban on public, religious, political & educational gatherings remains in force. Also, all major markets shall remain shut.

“Citizens must observe such protocols as social distancing, hand-washing & wearing of masks at all times in public places.

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“Businesses are expected to provide liquid soap and running water and hand sanitisers, while supermarkets should not have more than 10 persons at any time in their store.

”Inter-state travels are forbidden and as such, our boundaries remain closed.

“There shall be no vehicular & human movement into & out of the State except trucks carrying medicals, beverages, foods, petroleum, construction & agriculture supplies.

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“These supply vehicles shall not carry more than three persons.

“Also, intra-city commercial transportation will be permitted from Monday to Thursday every week from 6 am to 5 pm, but transporters are required to adhere to strict social distancing directives.”


#Newsworthy…

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Man who reject son gets appointment from Ekiti Governor. [Nigeria]

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The Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, has appointed one Mr Femi Adeoye, as the state’s COVID-19 response ambassador.

Kemi Filani News recalls that Mr Femi Adeoye went viral on Wednesday after he reported his son for sneaking into Ekiti from Lagos.

The Ekiti State Government announced the appointment in a statement on Thursday.

The Ekiti government commended Adeoye, “for refusing to cover-up his son’s travel history and for denying him access into the house without confirming his COVID-19 status. Mr Adeoye epitomizes the Ekiti ethos of selflessness, which places greater premium on the collective good of the society above personal and emotional considerations. This is the core of the Values Orientation policy of the Fayemi-led Administration.”

The statement further reads “He will help to propagate the message as a member of the COVID-19 Task Force in the State.By, in accordance with existing regulations, denying his son entry into his household having travelled from places under Federal lockdown against his fatherly advice, Mr. Adeoye has proved to be a worthy ambassador of Ekiti State resolve to end the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The Government and the good people of Ekiti State are very proud of this chivalrous act of courage and principle which are the hallmarks of the Ekiti person. Mr. Adeoye represents the kind of self-discipline, selflessness, and sense of collective responsibility that Ekiti State and Nigeria need desperately today to progress.

Ekiti State will in future recognise Mr. Adeoye’s valour as an example of the rebirth of Ekiti Values Orientation which is the central focus of Governor Kayode Fayemi’s administration.”

Adeoye, retired road safety officer, had been seen in a video which went viral on social media asking his son to get tested for Coronavirus or isolate himself for 14 days before he would allow him into the house.

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His son was said to have defied his instruction to remain in Lagos until the pandemic was over by traveling from Lagos to Ekiti State despite the lockdown in those states.

Governor Fayemi hosted Adeoye at the Ekiti State government house on Thursday, where he handed him his appointment letter.


#Newsworthy…

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Lagos Governor State New Measures To Ease Lockdown, Ban Okada Activities. [Nigeria]

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Ahead of the May 4th expiration of the lockdown imposed by the Federal Government on Lagos State, Ogun State and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), the Lagos State Government has introduced a strict framework for movement and re-opening of businesses.

The set of new guidelines, according to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu in his ninth briefing at the State House in Marina on Wednesday, are to safeguard the gains which the State had made in the past four weeks in the fight against the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

From next Monday, Sanwo-Olu said the State Government will be implementing the dusk-to-dawn curfew announced by President Muhammadu Buhari last Monday as part of the phased measures to reduce risk of contagion of the COVID-19 disease among the residents and to consolidate on the response strategy deployed to combat the pandemic.

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The Governor’s new framework made fundamental changes to public transportation system and business dealings at corporate offices, local markets and malls.

All passenger buses are not permitted to load to full capacity, Sanwo-Olu ordered in the new guidelines. All commercial vehicles, the Governor said, must carry maximum of 60 per cent of full capacity and their drivers must use face mask and observe other prescribed hygiene tips.

The Governor also suspended the operation of commercial motorcycles, popularly known as Okada, across the state, with the exception of those used for courier and logistics purposes.

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Sanwo-Olu directed the drivers of tricycles (Keke NAPEP) operating in unrestricted areas not to carry more than two passengers per trip, adding that the passengers must keep appropriate distance.

Besides, food handlers at public eateries and restaurants have been mandated by the State Government to wear masks and hand gloves at all times, especially during the preparation and serving of foods.

Only take-out meals and delivery services will be permitted at eateries and restaurants, Sanwo-Olu ordered, warning that in-dining services will not be allowed at the moment.

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The Governor said all businesses that will re-open next week must operate between the hours of 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. The new directive on business operating hours affects all corporate firms, banks, malls and local markets.

He said: “Following the culmination of the second phase of the lockdown on Lagos, Ogun and the FCT, and the nationwide address by President Muhammadu Buhari, it has become imperative for me to address our residents and to share a broader framework for the implementation of the President’s directives here in Lagos.

“There will be a dusk-to-dawn curfew from 8:00 pm to 6:00 am daily. This means that we expect all Lagos residents to stay in their homes in these hours, except those in essential services.

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“All commuters are mandated to wear face masks at all times, sanitise with alcohol-based sanitizer or wash their hands with soap and running water before and after of every trip. All motor parks and garages must avoid overcrowding. Social distancing is required for passengers queuing up to board buses.

“All buses should be loaded to a maximum of 60 per cent of full capacity. No standing allowed in all BRT and LBSL bus operations. All air- conditioning systems in public transport systems must be switched off.

“Commercial Motorcycles, popularly known as Okadas, are to suspend their operations statewide, except for those motorcycles used for courier and logistics purposes. Tricycles (Kekes) operating in unrestricted areas, must not carry more than two passengers per trip and must ensure appropriate social distancing is maintained between passengers.”

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In addition, the Governor announced the restriction of operating hours of water transportation companies to the period between 6:00 am and 6:00 pm daily.

He said under no circumstance should vehicles carrying food items have more than seven passengers.

All public and private schools from primary level to tertiary education must remain closed, Sanwo-Olu directed. He said online classes and lessons that had already been started must continue until further notice.

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The Governor added that businesses will be allowed to operate within “Controlled Easing Phase” framework, clarifying that the expiration of the lockdown was not a directive for the full reopening of the economy.

“It is a gradual and controlled easing of the lockdown. We will continue to monitor the public health situation; the economic impact of the lockdown and always adjust our responses accordingly,” the Governor said.

The Governor acknowledged the role of banking sector in sustaining the economy, urging banks to open all their branches and offer full complement of their services to the public. He, however, said banking operations must fall within the stipulated hours of 9:00 am to 3:00 pm, adding that banks’ managements must ensure regular cleaning and decontamination of their ATM machines and devices regularly used by the public.

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He said: “Companies that choose to operate within this Controlled Easing Phase are to operate between 9:00 am and 3:00 pm. They are also directed to operate at a maximum of 60 per cent of their staff capacity. Some non-essential workers can continue to work online and remotely from the office. Online and work-from-home arrangements are highly encouraged to continue as much as is practicable.

“All entertainment centres, such as event centres, cinemas, arcades, bars, casinos, day clubs, nightclubs and beaches shall remain closed till further notice. Swimming pools, gyms, barber-shops, Spas, beauty salons, and all public parks, including those in private and residential estates, will continue to remain closed for another two weeks in the instance, at which point we will review and advise on the permissible opening date for these establishments.”

Sanwo-Olu said the Government’s whistleblower channels would be fully opened to report companies that would flout the new directives. He said whistleblowers would be guaranteed full protection and their identities will be kept strictly confidential.

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The Governor also announced that he would inaugurate a Committee on Thursday, which will comprise representatives of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN), Private Transport Operators, Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), and the Lagos State Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget.

The committee, he said, will be charged with the responsibility of communicating the new State Government’s framework to their members for ease of implementation and compliance.


#Newsworthy…

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[Nigeria] Governor Fintiri Loses His Mother.

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Hajia Fatimah Umar Badami, the mother of Governor Ahmadu Fintiri of Adamawa state, has passed on.

She was 68 years old.

According to a statement from the Adamawa State Government, Hajiya Fatimah Badami died Wednesday at the Federal Medical Centre, Yola, after a protracted illness.

The statement signed by the Director-General of Media and Communication, Government House, Mr Solomon Kumangar, said the late Hajiya Fatimah Umar Badami is survived by Governor Fintiri, four grandchildren, siblings and other relations.

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“Her death at this critical moment creates a huge vacuum not only for the immediate family but the entire State. She was a strong pillar in her community, a disciplinarian and devout Muslim,” the statement said.

It added, “The Governor has taken the death in his stride but will require the prayers of all citizens for God to grant the mother peaceful repose while granting him the fortitude to bear the great loss.”


#Newsworthy…

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COVID-19: Invest in Trado-Medical experts – Nigerian Govt plead.

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A trado-medical expert, Alhaji Hassan Ajeigbe, has urged the government to look for local solutions in the fight against COVID-19 in the country.

According to him, trado-medical experts should be consulted to combat the pandemic which now has 1532 cases in Nigeria.

He also advised the government to divert some of the funds spent on testing kits to equip trado-medical experts in researching on the virus towards a cure.

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“Sometimes, we do not appreciate what we have and view it as less important. I will suggest that traditional doctors should be involved in the fight against Coronavirus.

“We should invest in traditional medicine and encourage its practitioners to come up with a cure for some deadly diseases. We can achieve it if giving necessary backing,” he said.


#Newsworthy…

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Akeredolu feud as COVID-19 patient sneaks into Ondo amid border closure. [Nigeria]


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Ondo State has recorded its fourth confirmed case of COVID-19 otherwise known as coronavirus.

The fourth case, which was discovered in the state on Saturday, was said to be a police officer, who sneaked into the state after discovering his status in Lagos State.

Disclosing the confirmed case on his verified twitter handle, the Governor of Ondo State, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, said that the patient was already being attended to at the state’s Infectious Disease Hospital, IDH, Igbatoro road, Akure, the state capital.

The governor, who was furious over the development, berated the security personnel stationed at the entry point of the state considering that he had earlier ordered the closure of borders across the state in a bid to contain the spread of deadly virus.

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The governor’s tweet read, “Earlier today, I got news of another positive case of COVID19 admitted to our facility in Akure. The case of this individual who is a police officer is unique. He was tested in Lagos but came to Ondo state while awaiting his results.

“Upon receiving a positive result, he claimed to have returned back to Lagos. According to him, he waited a few days in Lagos to be picked up. When this failed, he panicked and rushed back to Akure for treatment.

“While we appreciate the confidence reposed in our facilities, We do find it most reckless on the part of the officer of the Law to risk the lives of others. I am most disappointed in the level of porosity of the entry points to the state. The police officer should know better.

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“I have contacted the commissioner of police to double up on securing our entry points.”

Recall that the index case was recorded in the state on April 3, 2020 following the arrival of a military officer in the state from official duty in India.


#Newsworthy…

Let Pastors Pray For COVID-19 Patients In Isolation Centre – Apostle Suleman Beg FG. [Nigeria]


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Apostle Suleman of Omega Fire Miracles has begged the Nigerian Government to allow pastors to pray for coronavirus patients in isolation centers.

Apostle Suleman stated this while delivering a sermon to his congregation as seen in the video below..

According to the clergyman, coronavirus patients will be healed of the virus if pastors are allowed access to the isolation centers.

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Apostle Suleman also stated that now is the time for Nigeria to see that their country has true and genuine prophets of God.

Meanwhile, Nigeria now has over 1000 coronavirus cases with 32 deaths. This is according to the Nigerian Center for Disease Control, NCDC.


#Newsworthy…

[Nigeria] Farmers should resume farm works – Buhari Government give reasons.


Boss Mustapha, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, has said farmers should prepare to return to farm amid the COVID-19 outbreak in the country.

Mustapha, who is the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) for COVID-19, said this would avert food crisis as Nigeria was currently battling with health and economic challenges.

He spoke during the daily PTF press briefing on COVID-19 in Abuja, yesterday.

The PTF Chairman assured that the federal government, through the Ministry of Agriculture, will make adequate arrangements to make things go smoothly for farmers.

“​I also wish to use this opportunity to restate that food security and self-sufficiency remain important to our national life.

“I therefore, urge all our farmers to begin to prepare for their return to the farms as the planting season.

“The Federal Ministry of Agriculture has put in place arrangements for access to farm inputs, extension and others services,” Mustapha said.


#Newsworthy…

May 01: Wear Face Mask Or Get Arrested – Ogun Governor. [Nigeria]


From May 1, anybody who goes out without wearing a face mask will be arrested by the government of Ogun State, Gov Dapo Abiodun has said.

Gov Abiodun said the violators will be quarantined for 14 days and be made to undergo compulsory community services for attempting to spread Coronavirus in the State.

This was disclosed on Friday, by Governor Dapo Abiodun, during a press conference at his Iperu residence.

Abiodun said his government had always encouraged the use of face mask, stressing that with the reality facing Ogun, “the use of face mask in public by all individuals in Ogun is now compulsory as from Friday, 1st May, 2020.”

According to him, the state will start the distribution of face masks to millions of residents, who may not have the financial strength to afford same.

This, he said, was in addition to other materials to vulnerable groups across the State.

He said that efforts of the government towards fighting the COVID-19 pandemic to a stand-still was achieving desired results, and the State cannot relent.


#Newsworthy…

Lockdown: FG Should Expect disobedience from Nigerians soon.


A professor of Psychology at the University of Lagos, Oni Fagbohungbe, has called on the Nigerian Government to change its approach in containing the spread of Coronavirus in the country, stressing that there was likely to be a breakdown of law and order if hunger persists in the land.

Fagbohungbe was reacting to government’s palliative measures, which has been largely characterised by corruption and inefficiencies just as the lockdown continues across the country.

Speaking in an interview with SaharaReporters on Thursday, the psychologist said the “Nigerian mentality” in the distribution of foods should be jettisoned.

He said, “There will be a fear of breakdown of law and order. When you have a goal and the realisation towards that goal is blocked, what happens is that you would become frustrated and the frustration manifests into aggression.

“The aggression can be self-directed, if it is self-directed, you find people talking about suicide but in most cases it is usually socially-directed, you direct it against the society that you perceive is depriving you of your needs.

“So, there is likely to a breakdown of law and order, people will not obey it (lockdown) because what will make them survive is not available.

“The Nigerian mentality is a situation whereby you find officials filling their homes with what the government has provided, then after Coronavirus is no more, their wives become sellers of the food. In any situation policy and programme, most people think of what they will gain from the situation.

“How can you say you want to distribute food to those who are hungry and then you go to an open field or a school, it would be disrupted. Federal and state governments, as well as individuals are releasing foods but does it reach the people?”

Fagbohungbe cited the case of other countries where food distribution was done efficiently, urging the government to emulate those societies.

On what government should do next, he said, “People must be given reassurance and it must be in practical terms.

“Get the addresses of people and ask them to stay in their homes, you know the LGA and street, have a time table and tell them you’ll be coming. If those who are in another street see that you are close to their street, they will stay at home because they know you are practicalising what you have organised.

“If not, hunger would push people out. That is why you have people say that there is another virus that is more devastating than Coronavirus and that is hunger virus. It’s a physiological need and our survival is tied around it.”


>>> COVID-19: Nigeria Governors agree on 2 weeks national lockdown <<<


The 36 state governors in Nigeria have recommended a national lockdown over the next two weeks to further curb the spread of Coronavirus.

The decision was reached at a meeting of the governors on Wednesday.

Chairman of the forum, Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, in a statement said the inter-state lockdown had become necessary following a continued rise of in number of infected persons and fatalities recorded.

Fayemi said the governors also resolved to set up COVID-19 committees at the regional level to be headed by health commissioners.

The governors also expressed concern over the rising infection among health workers in the country.


>>> COVID-19: Group reject Nigerian Governor’s 2 weeks national lockdown decision, give threat to defy orders <<<


A group, Oodua Youth Coalition, has condemned the decision of the 36 state governors across Nigeria to institute a further two-week national lockdown in the country in order to curtail the spread of Coronavirus.

The group said any attempt to force the people to remain indoors without adequate preparation for their welfare and well-being shall be resisted.

The 36 state governors had on Wednesday recommended a national lockdown for another two weeks in addition to the almost elapsing four-week lockdown in Lagos, Federal Capital Territory and Ogun State to deal with the pandemic.

According to Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, who made the announcement, the inter-state lockdown became necessary following the continued rise in the number of infected persons and fatalities in the country.

In a statement by its President, Oluyi Akintade Tayo, and Publicity Secretary, Ajongbolo Oluwagbenga, the OYC said it was disheartening that the governors could agree to lockdown in their respective states without recourse to how the people had been living in hunger since the partial lockdown.

The statement reads, “Save for Ondo and Oyo states, the remaining four states in Yoruba land have been on total lockdown for weeks now and the resultant effects are clear to the blind.

“In Lagos and Ogun, criminals are having field and free days terrorising the people and looting their properties.

“Every night, hungry and angry Nigerians, who should be sleeping soundly in their homes, have turned emergency vigilantes while the ones indoors only sleep with one eye closed.

“Unfortunately, there are reports of unreasonable and unnecessary attacks on innocent citizens by security men stationed on major roadblocks in towns and highways.

“It was also reported that the Nigerian Security Forces have killed more person than the Coronavirus itself.”

The OYC observed that the palliatives being shared around by political office holders and government officials were ridiculous and cannot sustain the people.

According to the group, a further lockdown could lead to chaos in the country that government may not be able to curtail.


#Newsworthy. …

[Nigeria] Benue Governor, Ortom calls for 30 days fasting over Herders attack


Gov. Samuel Ortom of Benue has called for 30 days of fasting and intense prayers by the Benue people to seek God’s favour in combating the renewed herdsmen attack in some parts of the state.

Ortom made this call on Thursday in Makurdi while interacting with newsmen on the occasion of his 59th birthday.

The governor, who regretted the renewed onslaught on his people by the herdsmen, said he had resorted to prayers for divine intervention.

He appreciated God for granting him 59 years of age and described the journey so far as “tough”.

He said some of his school mates were not as lucky and assured that he would continue to work hard to deliver good governance to the people for their acts of uncommon love to him.

“You voted for me in 2015 and again you returned me in 2019. I owe you a great deal, I will continue to work hard to provide good governance”.

He called for patience during the COVID-19 lockdown, saying, the stay-at-home order was for the overall good of the people.

Ortom said Benue was signatory to the 14 days proposed lockdown of the economy and described it as the right thing to do in order to contain the spread of the pandemic.

The highpoint of the interaction was the presentation of the governor’s life portrait to him by members of the Correspondent Chapel, led by their Acting Chairman, Mr Attah Ede of the Punch Newspapers.

Ede had extolled the virtues of the governor in exemplary leadership, stressing that the chapel was proud of his achievements.


#Newsworthy…

Kano govt seek financial help as COVID-19 cases surge. [Nigeria]



Kano state continued to witness a steady upsurge of positive cases of COVID-19 pandemic with the latest figure standing at 73, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.

Overwhelmed by the rising cases of the virus and burden of curtailing its spread, Governor Abdullahi Ganduje has solicited Federal Government financial support.

The governor made the call when he received the director-general of Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu at Government House.

The NCDC boss was in Kano as part of a national tour to access the level of preparedness in the fight against the disease.

Ganduje said based on population size, Kano state requires more support at this point than Lagos state, stressing already dispensed resources to curtail the burden.

While describing how much the state has done so far, he mentioned the basic challenge was lack of sufficient funds and called on the federal government to assist Kano.

Meanwhile, a senior medical doctor who is working under the taskforce regretted that health workers are more exposed to the virus. Other doctors lamented inadequate provision of basic amenities and facility to efficiently manage the pandemic.

Already the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) Kano chapter has directed doctors in the state to consider their safety first while attempting to render clinical services.


#Newsworthy…

[Nigeria] Court of Appeal return Wada as Kogi PDP governorship candidate


The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja Tuesday returned Musa Wada as the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of the November 16, 2019 gubernatorial election held in Kogi State.

Delivering judgment in the suit between Musa Wada and Abubakar Mohammed Ibrahim Idris and others, the court held that “it is crooked colt of discretion for a court to raise an issue suo motu (raising issues that were not raised by any of the parties in the litigation) and determine same without hearing parties.”

The three-man panel of Justices led by Justice Ibrahim Muhammad Saulawa and comprising Justices Joseph E. Ekanen and Yasir Nimpar also set aside every order made by the trial court to the effect that there was no primary election by PDP in the state and that the appellant was not a candidate in the election.

“Every order made by the trial court that there was no primary election and that the appellant was not a candidate in the election is hereby set aside,” the court held.

Abubakar Idris, also of the PDP had on September 27, 2019, approached Kogi State High Court to challenge the outcome of the primary election conducted on September 3 and 4, 2019 in the state in which Musa Wada won, on the ground that he, Abubakar Idris won the primary instead.

The trial court presiding Judge, Justice R O Olorunfemi, dismissed the claim and held that he did not substantiate his claim.

The trial judge proceeded to hold that the PDP did not have a candidate in the last election in Kogi State.

Aggrieved by the decision of the court, Wada filed an appeal at the Court of Appeal through his lawyer, Jibrin S. Okutepa (SAN), challenging the judgment on the ground that the trial judge did not have jurisprudence to grant reliefs not sought before him.

The court, however, allowed the appeal which sought to prove that PDP presented a candidate in the last election in the state in the person of Wada.


#Newsworthy…

Borno govt order 2 weeks lockdown. [Nigeria]


Borno State Government has announced a 14 day lockdown after 3 cases of Coronavirus was confirmed in the state.

Governor Umara Zulum made the announcement in a statewide broadcast and he said it will take off from 10:30pm on Wednesday, 22nd of April, 2020.

Residents of the state have been enjoined to observe the lockdown, as public gatherings are restricted while offices and businesses in Borno State are to be fully closed during this period.

Zulum said;

In the exercise of the powers conferred on me, I have signed an executive order, declaring Covid-19 a dangerous disease. For this, I am hereby directing a lockdown that will require cessation of all movements in Borno State for an initial period of 14 days with effect from 10:30pm on Wednesday, 22nd of April, 2020. All citizens in Borno State are to stay in their homes. This means all public gatherings are restricted while offices and businesses in Borno State are to be fully closed during this period. Security and intelligence agencies have been briefed for enforcement.

Government will use this period of restriction to accelerate the tracing and isolation of persons who have been in contact with the index case.

This is coming after the state’s Deputy Governor and Chairman of the State Committee on the Control and Prevention of COVID -19, Alhaji Umar Kadafur disclosed that they have identified 97 people who had contact with the dead index case.


#Newsworthy…

[Nigeria] Edo govt ban street trading.


Edo State government on Thursday announced the ban on street trading across the state as it continues to restrict movement and enforce social distancing in the state.

This is coming as part of measures to contain the spread of Coronavirus in the state, which unfortunately is among the worst hit in the country with 15 confirmed cases so far.

The state deputy governor and Chairman, the technical committee of Edo State’s COVID-19 taskforce, Philip Shaibu who made the announcement while briefing journalists, said the state government will continue to take decisions in the best interest of the people.

“As part of these measures, we hereby announce a ban on street trading to restrict contacts among people and enforce social distancing. This is in the light of the fact that markets have been moved to public school premises to facilitate trading in essential commodities such as foodstuffs and medicine,” he said.

The Health Commissioner, Patrick Okundia also at the event announced that the state government will commence screening for residents starting with 10 dedicated centres in Oredo Local Government Area of the state.

According to him, the state government has set up screening centres across Oredo including six primary healthcare centres and four private hospitals to actualise plans to screen 500,000 persons with the ultimate goal of testing 5,000


#Newsworthy….

[Nigeria] Sanwo olu set to organise feeding programme for 100,000 youths in Lagos State.


Lagos State Governor Banajide Sanwo-Olu on Tuesday announced a daily food kitchen programme to feed at least 100,000 youths in the state.

“In the next couple of days we will commence what we call a daily food kitchen programme, which will be an attempt to feed 100,000 youths,” Sanwo-Olu said in a press briefing.

“This we believe will meet some of the immediate challenges that we have seen in the street,” he added.


#Newsworthy…

[Nigeria] Uzodimma fed inmates in Imo, send food items to orphanage homes.


Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State has extended palliatives to inmates of Owerri and Okigwe Correctional Services to alleviate their difficulties at this period of economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19).

Presenting the items, which included cooked food and drinks to the inmates at the Owerri Correctional Services on behalf of the Governor, the Chief Press Secretary/Media Adviser to the Governor, Mr. Oguwike Nwachuku said the gesture was Governor Uzodimma’s way of extending love to the inmates during Easter, and to assist the authorities of the Correctional Services meet the needs of the inmates because of the statewide lockdown.

While urging the management of the Correctional Services to ensure that the food and drinks get to all the inmates, Mr. Nwachuku further enjoined them to adhere strictly to all government directives as they concern the prevention of the spread of Covid-19 pandemic.

He also advised the inmates of the Correctional Services to use the period of their incarceration to reflect on how they will impact positively on the larger society when they eventually regain their freedom.

On the coronavirus pandemic, Mr. Nwachuku encouraged them to be more conscious of their personal hygiene by washing their hands regularly and using sanitisers.

Responding, the Controller, Owerri Correctional Services, Mr. Chris Okoye thanked Governor Uzodimma for his magnanimity.

He expressed delight over the governor’s goodwill, noting that it will go a long way in ameliorating the sufferings of the inmates in the Correctional Services across the state.

Mr. Okoye recalled that Governor Uzodimma had on Easter Sunday extended similar gesture to the Correctional Services across the state, represented by his Special Adviser (Special Duties), Nze Chinasa Nwaneri.

Mr. Okoye promised that the food and drinks will be equitably distributed to the over 2,000 inmates in their custody.

In a similar development, Governor Uzodimma has reached out to the orphanages in the state with various food items to further cushion the effects of the lockdown occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Delivering the food items on behalf of the government to the various orphanage homes in the state, the Commissioner for Gender and Vulnerable Groups, Mrs. Nkechinyere Ugwu stated that the Governor was passionate about the fate of the vulnerable in the state, especially at this period of lockdown.

Consequently, she said the Governor had mandated that all the registered orphanages in the state be given food items and relief materials as a palliative to cushion their sufferings.


#Newsworthy…

Lockdown: Nigerian govt end cash transfer with 4 states.


Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq, on Tuesday, directed the immediate termination of the contract with two Payment Service Provider.

Salisu Na’inna Dambatta, media aide to the Minister said in a statement that the order followed the failure to meet the contractual agreement to commence Conditional Cash Transfer to beneficiaries in four states of the federation.


The affected states are Bayelsa and Akwa Ibom in the South-South; Abia in the South East and Zamfara, in the North West.

The statements released noted that the immediate termination of the contract was in line with the guidance of the World Bank.


However, a new procurement process has been launched also using World Bank procurement guidelines to ensure that payments commence in the affected states on or before April 28, 2020.

Salisu Na’inna Dambatta quoted the Minister as saying the Federal Government cannot accept delays in the current payment round of N20,000 stipends to beneficiaries in poor and vulnerable households under any excuses in the four states or any other states of the federation.

“The failure of any payment service providers to meet their contractual agreement is unacceptable. The Federal Government through the Ministry cannot allow contractors to derail the immediate Conditional cash transfers to the poor and the vulnerable,” the Minister added.


#Newsworthy…

[Nigeria] Benue govt to review total COVID-19 measures.


Governor Samuel Ortom has reassured the people of Benue State that he will meet with the COVID-19 Action Committee on Wednesday, April 16, 2020, to review the measures put in place to prevent the spread of the pandemic in the state.

The Governor said the meeting, which was to hold on Monday, April 13, has been shifted to Wednesday, as a result of the public holiday.


He appreciated Benue people for their understanding and cooperation, noting that they have significantly complemented the efforts of the State Government against the virus.

Ortom further called for sustained cooperation from the people in the face of the difficulties the dusk to dawn curfew, closure of markets and other public places might have caused them.

Meanwhile, Governor Ortom will on Tuesday attend a joint security meeting of Benue, Nasarawa and Taraba States scheduled to take place in Lafia.

The meeting was scheduled to discuss renewed violence in border communities of the three states such as last week’s attack on Jootar in Ukum Local Government of Benue State by armed militia.


#Newsworthy…