There appears to be a ray of hope for the citizens of Africa’s most populated country, Nigeria, as the latest report released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) shows that the country’s Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) have created 59.6 million jobs across the country.
According to the latest report, MSMEs generated 59.6 million jobs as of December 2017, with 5% or 2.8 million of those jobs created by Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
Similarly, it was revealed that a large majority of micro businesses are sole proprietorships. However, SMEs are more distributed with 65% sole proprietorship, private limited liability (21%), faith-based (6%), and 5% partnerships.
Booming Sectors: According to the report, the composition of sectors is different for each business type classification, primarily due to staff requirements of more formal establishments.
- Education and Construction are the top five (5) for medium-scale enterprises.
- Wholesale/Retail Trade, Agriculture, as well as other services and activities, make up 76.3% of Micro-enterprises.
- Education, Manufacturing, and Wholesale/Retail Trade make up 68% of small enterprises in Nigeria.
- Manufacturing, Wholesale/Retail Trade, and Human Health & Social Works make up 68% of medium enterprises.
- Accommodation and Food services is a preferred sector (top 5) across all business classification types.
Startup funding: The majority of micro-businesses started with less than N50,000 in initial startup costs. Only 4.7% started with more than N300,000.
- Wholesale/Retail Trade, Transport & Storage, and Agriculture were the most capital intensive for micro-enterprises.
- Similarly, 75% of SMEs had startup funding with less than N10 million capital, while 6% of MSMEs started with over N40 million in capital.
Majority of the enterprises – Micro and SMEs, personal saving was the most common source of capital. Nationally, only 49.5% of SMEs (that are sole proprietorships) reported having access to bank credit.
- The NBS report shows that Personal Savings was the most common source of
- 61.2% of Medium Enterprises explored personal savings to raise funds, while 55.6% of SMEs do the same.
- Only 17.5% of SMEs owners got loans, while 11.7% resorted to family as a source of capital.
- 23.6% of Micro Enterprises source funds from families and cooperatives/Esusu.
- For SMEs who had access to bank credit, commercial banks were the main source of
these funds (91.9%), while 4.7% accessed credit from Micro-Finance Institutions, and
1% from Development Institutions.
- SMEs in Oyo, Jigawa, Lagos, Kano, and FCT reported having the most access to bank
Low business registration: The report further reveals that 97.8% of microenterprises are not registered. Basically, NBS stated that these unregistered businesses are hard to track for development and policy planning, regulation, and revenue generation purposes.
To establish the Bureau’s claims, about 96.6% of Micro businesses are not insured while 63.9% SMEs are also not insured. To say the least, MSMEs in Nigeria are particularly vulnerable to business shocks, and lack of integration into financial markets increases risks.
Some critical downsides: Despite growth recorded in Nigeria’s MSMEs, NBS highlighted several factors affecting small businesses in the country.
• High fuel prices, taxes, and power supply are the top unfavourable factors affecting micro-enterprises. These reflect a challenging operating environment for micro-enterprises and the importance of policies that mitigate these challenges.
• High electricity tariff, high taxes, and high interest rates are top unfavourable policies for SMEs. These reflect the challenges of formalization, including access to the financial markets, and the importance of financial market initiatives in mitigating these challenges for SMEs.
Way forward: The Bureau proposed policy recommendations with the top on the list being a review of the system of classification of business.
• NBS recommends that the large sub-sector of microenterprises can still be further broken down based on pro-establishment behaviour.
• An additional criterion of classifying small businesses by employment, assets and formal registration should be introduced.
• Policies aimed at both business types should not be generic or lumped together.
Covid-19: Sanwo-Olu discloses how Lagos intends to fund vaccination programme
Lagos government has disclosed that it is in talks with the organised private sector to raise funds required to purchase vaccines.
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has revealed how the state government intends to fund the vaccination programme as they fight the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Governor said that although the Lagos State Government had earmarked billions in fighting the scourge of the Covid-19, his administration was engaging with the private sector as the amount they had would not be enough.
This disclosure was made by the governor while appearing on a Channels Television programme, Sunday politics, on Sunday, January 24, 2021.
What the Lagos State Governor is saying
Sanwo-Olu said, “The conversations are still at various levels. We are speaking with the organised private sector so they can help us raise some of the finance that is required.
“We have our friends in the private sector who are saying to us that they understand this is a public health issue but we also can work with you. The citizens are your citizens but they also are our staff.’’
The governor also said that his administration did not need to vaccinate over 20 million residents of the state against the deadly coronavirus pandemic.
He said, “It is important for me to make this. We don’t have to vaccinate the 20 or 22 million population that we have. The plan is to ensure that there is herd immunity and that typically speaks about 50 to 60 percent of your population, that is the kind of target that you really meet.
“We have started a conversation with some of the vaccine manufacturers. Pfizer for example. I have made contact with them. Johnson and Johnson are not out yet; the Moderna has written to us and we have written back to them.”
What this means
- The Lagos State Government is looking for private sector participation to help raise funds to fund the purchase of Covid-19 vaccines due to budgetary shortfalls.
- The state, which has become the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the country through the vaccination programme, is trying to get most of its population immune from the Covid-19 disease.
Cost of Ivermectin soars after research suggest 75% chance of cutting Covid-19 deaths
Ivermectin prices have risen after Research published by the International Ivermectin Project Team shows drug can reduce Covid-19 deaths
As Azuka laid down in bed feverish, he had resigned to his fate believing he was not going to make it to the next day.
Just 3 days into the new year and all the fun he had, attending weddings and burial ceremonies in the east all seemed like a big mistake. He must have caught covid-19 at one of those events, he thought.
Since attending the last event, he fell sick and has been exhibiting the symptoms of Covid-19 and just waiting to die until someone recommended Ivermectin, a little known drug as a potential medicine that could help save his life.
A few days later he recovered and spread the news to friends and family – he believes Ivermectin cured him.
The rush to purchase Ivermectin in Lagos has increased of late after stories similar to that of Azuka (not his real name) spread. As Nigeria’s caseloads rise past 120k cases, some Nigerians are increasingly worried about contracting Covid-19, rushing to pharmacies to purchase a drug that they all believe is the most portent to fight Covid-19.
What is Ivermectin?
According to the World Health Organisation, Ivermectin was originally produced in the 1980s as a veterinary drug used largely for nematode control in cattle, horses, pigs, and dogs and became the standard for control of the ectoparasitic disease, scabies. It soon became the world’s most profitable veterinary drug.
Since then, Ivermectin has been used on humans for controlling strongyloidiasis, a human pathogenic parasitic roundworm causing the disease strongyloidiasis. According to medical sources, it is also known in the US as threadworm, UK, and Australia as pinworms.
In Nigeria, it has been used to treat worms, according to a pharmacist who spoke to Nairametrics.
“Originally it’s a worm expeller (Antihelminthic) used in the elimination of parasitic worms from the body. They use it in combination with doxycycline. They also use Vitamin C in combination with Axrthromycin.”
However, more recently, the drug is now being used for the treatment of Covid-19 pushing demands for the drug high across pharmacies in Lagos. A Nairametrics survey suggests the drug cost as high as N100,000.
Another pharmacist who craved anonymity explains.
“It was one of the available free drugs dispensed to patients at clinics in Nigeria – for eliminating different types of worms from the body. People usually don’t buy it from pharmacies because of the low price, thinking it’s not good quality tabled for expelling worms. It was not expensive and almost cost next to nothing, but now it sells for as high as N200 per tablet”
At N200 per tablet, a pack of 500 tablets could go for as high as N100,000. From all indications, the prices are unstable and could be purchased from as little as N20,000 per pack of 500 tablets to as high as N100,000. It all depends on demand and supply and who is under pressure to get a “cure”.
Is the drug credible?
Several social media posts and videos allude to the efficacy of the drug in “preventing and curing” Covid-19 but this is yet to be certified by the WHO.
The drug however came into the limelight after a Financial Times article claimed the drug had a chance of cutting covid-19 deaths by up to 75%.
The article was based on research published by the International Ivermectin Project Team led by the University of Liverpool lecturer Andrew Hill. A Nigerian Olufemi Emmanual Babalola, from Bingham University/Lagos University, Nigeria is also part of the group.
Here is an excerpt of the result of the research conducted by the group
“Ivermectin was associated with reduced inflammatory markers (C-Reactive Protein, d-dimer, and ferritin) and faster viral clearance by PCR. Viral clearance was treatment dose- and duration-dependent. Ivermectin showed significantly shorter duration of hospitalization compared to control. In six RCTs of moderate or severe infection, there was a 75% reduction in mortality (Relative Risk=0.25 [95%CI 0.12- 0.52]; p=0.0002); 14/650 (2.1%) deaths on ivermectin; 57/597 (9.5%) deaths in controls) with favorable clinical recovery and reduced hospitalization. “
Currently, the only other drug with the same level of worldwide unofficial approval for treatment of Covid-19 is Remdesivir, after it also showed an effect on improving recovery rate for Covid-19 patients.
The choice between waiting for a vaccine or self-medication
More recently, the search for cures for Covid-19 has been overshadowed by vaccine breakthroughs across the world. For most governments, preventing covid-19 is better than curing it which is why more effort is geared towards vaccine distributions and other preventive measures such as insisting on facemasks and introducing new lockdowns.
But for developing economies like Nigeria, where self-medication is prevalent, drugs like Ivermectin are easier to purchase over the counter as well as administer. Just like the demand for chloroquine, zinc, and vitamin C soared in the first wave of Covid-19, demand for Ivermectin is rising along with its price.
Fortunately, Ivermectin is backed by research even though the researchers expressed caution as more trials need to be conducted.
“Despite the encouraging trend this existing data base demonstrates, it is not yet a sufficiently robust evidence base to justify the use or regulatory approval of ivermectin. However, the current paucity of high-quality evidence only highlights the clear need for additional, higher-quality and larger-scale clinical trials, warranted to investigate the use of ivermectin further.
“The maximum effective dose of ivermectin needs to be clarified and new clinical trials should use a consistent multi-day dosing regime, with at least 0.4mg/kg/day. The appropriate dose and schedule of ivermectin still requires evaluation and the current randomized clinical trials of ivermectin need to be continued until ready for rigorous review by regulatory agencies.” International Ivermectin Project Team
Asides Ivermectin, Nigerians have also resorted to traditional medicine such as a beverage of lemongrass, dogonyaro leaves, garlic, ginger, and bitter kola to prevent and cure Covid-19, despite orthodox vaccines proven to be effective.
Perhaps it is because no one is sure when the vaccine will get to Nigeria after it was initially meant to arrive in January and since pushed to February 2021. And even if it does arrive in Nigeria, most people do not believe it will get to ordinary Nigerians on time especially when they cite the way the Covid-19 palliatives was handled.
For now, the need for self-reliance is driving people towards any drug they believe can cure covid-19.
Veteran talk-show host, Larry King dies at 87
Legendary longtime CNN talk show host, Larry King is dead.
Larry King, the multiple award-winning TV and radio host has died at the age of 87.
King who had a long-running show on CNN, Larry King Live was a household name for his many interviews with political leaders, celebrities and newsmakers.
King’s death was announced on his official Twitter handle stating that he passed on Saturday morning at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, USA.
The statement read in part:
“With profound sadness, Ora Media announces the death of our co-founder, host and friend Larry King, who passed away this morning at age 87 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.
“For 63 years and across the platforms of radio, television and digital media, Larry’s many thousands of interviews, awards, and global acclaim stand as a testament to his unique and lasting talent as a broadcaster.”
— Larry King (@kingsthings) January 23, 2021
The statement did not however, reveal the cause of death, but sources say King was hospitalised for COVID-19 in early January.
Since the news broke, friends, colleagues and admirers have taken to different social networks to express their sadness and condole with the family of the celebrated broadcaster.
What you should know about Larry King
- King rose to fame in the 1970s with his radio programme The Larry King Show, on the commercial network Mutual Broadcasting System.
- He hosted the Larry King Live on CNN for 25 years, between 1985 and 2010, carrying out more than 30,000 interviews, including every sitting president from Gerald Ford to Barack Obama.
- King also wrote a column for the USA Today newspaper for over 20 years.
- After leaving CNN, King hosted another programme, Larry King Now, broadcast on Hulu and RT, Russia’s state-controlled international broadcaster.