In 2014, when the deadly Ebola virus was discovered in the Democratic Republic of Congo and spread to nearby African countries, the European world took a self-protective stance. They issued a travel ban to the worst-hit countries, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
The result kept rippling for months – flight shutdowns, visa bans, Ebola screening protocols at the airports, and quarantine regimes that affected thousands of travellers from the three West African countries at the heart of the outbreak, as well as Liberia.
Only last week was the Democratic Republic of Congo finally declared Ebola-free.
Now, Congo has placed travel ban with a 14-day self-quarantine rule for all visitors who insisted on coming in from Italy, France, Germany and China. DR Congo cannot be accused of being too careful, after battling with Ebola virus for years.
It is quite interesting how the tables have turned. Within three months of its discovery, the Coronavirus has spread to over 100 countries majorly in Australia and Europe.
We now have a growing number of African countries imposing restrictions on visits by Europeans, whether for business or tourism.
There seems to be a rise in fear and suspicion of foreigners almost leading to stigmatization, as Africans are even afraid to do business with them. Even President Trump of the United States has declared and enforced sweeping travel restrictions on 26 European countries.
Despite the less advanced nature of the healthcare system in Africa, the virus seems to be under control. The experience with the Ebola virus, as suggested by experts, had equipped African countries with the experience needed to contain the COVID-19, something the European countries did not have.
In almost all of the African countries, where coronavirus cases have been reported, it was a case of importation by travellers from Italy, France, Germany or other European countries. It is therefore expected, that they should adopt precautions to prevent the figures from rising above the 121 cases reported so far.
Twelve of the 13 cases recorded in South Africa so far had travelled to Europe while the other one was married to one of the travellers. Definitely a reason to place ban restrictions, if you ask the experts.
Uganda has also done the same, placing restrictions on visitors from 16 countries including the much ‘revered’ United States of America and 11 European countries. According to the Ugandan Ministry of Health, anyone who insists on coming should be prepared to be quarantined for at least two weeks.
Health Minister Jane Ruth Aceng added that plans were underway to spray disinfectant on all travellers from head to foot, as soon as they disembark from their aircraft. Really extreme moves, as some have described it, but definitely necessary.
The restriction did not go down well with tourists, many of whom have been reported to be resisting the self-quarantine instruction, but it has been enforced anyway.
Zanzibar, the semi-autonomous island region of Tanzania, imposed a temporary ban only on all flights coming from Italy. Kenya also banned direct flights from Italy, a move which is again being resisted by tourists.
The largest number of African cases so far has been reported in Egypt, with 67 infected persons. The first case was a visitor from China, and the later outbreak on the Nile River tourist Cruise ship is still yet to be traced.
For countries like Senegal, where no restriction has been placed, the conversation is on already with people blaming the Europeans for importing the virus. It is expected that Senegal will toe the same path soon.
Nigeria has taken the conservative line, refusing to place any travel bans, and instead resorting to conducting screenings at the airports and borders.
In response to the question of whether the government was prioritising the economy over citizens welfare, Health Minister Osagie Ehanire said, “Countries are taking the decision based on their peculiar situations. If the situation calls for it, we will consider it.”
The impact of any travel ban on the economy of the countries is major, as most travellers either bring business or tourism to their guest country. Airlines are greatly hit by these restrictions and some like the Delta Airlines and British Airlines are already announcing temporary sack. Businesses wrapped around the tourism industry are on the low and several others are barely pulling through these times. Stocks have crashed in the last week with recorded losses of billions of naira and dollars for investors. Crude oil prices are on a downward slide.
With the restrictions adding to the current challenges, experts predict that the world might be on a slide to another recession.
But then, is recession the price to be paid in order to stay alive and healthy…
Dangote Sugar appoints Ravindra Singhvi as GMD/Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Ravindra Singhvi has been appointed as the substantive Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc.
The Board of Directors of Dangote Sugar has appointed Mr. Ravindra Singhvi as substantive Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc, effective October 30, 2020.
This disclosure was made by the company in a notification of the resolution of its board meeting, to the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
The statement partly reads:
“Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc. wishes to notify the Exchange and the investing public that at the Board of Directors Meeting of the Company held today, Friday October 30, 2020, the Board approved (a) the Unaudited Financial Statement for the Quarter Ended September 30, 2020, and (b) the appointment of the current Ag. Managing Director, Mr. Ravindra Singhvi as substantive Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc. effective October 30, 2020.”
What you should know
Prior to his new appointment, Mr Singhvi had been the ag. Managing Director of Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc since 18th June, 2019, after serving as the company’s Chief Operating Officer.
The Board’s stance on the appointment
The Board has stated that it is “confident that he is a great asset to the Company, particularly at this time when it is on a rapid growth trajectory, in view of its recent acquisition and it’s several backward integration projects (BIP) to position itself for further job creation in local plantations and factories, import substitution and deeper contribution to national economic development.”
Mr. Singhvi is wished the very best in his endeavors.
About Mr. Ravindra Singhvi
He has over 39 years of proven experience in leadership positions in Manufacturing and Processes in Sugar, Petrochemicals, Cement, and Textiles products industries in India.
He is a Chartered Accountant with background in Company Secretarial Practice, Corporate Governance and Management, and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in B.Com (Hons) and Law(I) from the University of Jodhpur, India.
Prior to joining Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc, Mr. Singhvi had served as the Managing Director & CEO of NSL Sugar Limited, Hyderabad, India, and Managing Director, EID Parry (1) Limited, Chennai, India, one of top three sugar producing companies in India.
IGP says protesters attacked 205 public, private facilities
Data collated when the #End SARS peaceful protest started indicated that 14 states recorded major violence.
The Nigerian Police Force has stated that about 205 critical national security assets, corporate facilities and private properties were razed down and vandalized during the EndSARS protest, which was hijacked by hoodlums and arsonists.
This was disclosed by Mr Mohammed Adamu, the Inspector-General of Police, during a virtual conference of Senior Police Officers in Abuja, according to a news report by NAN.
Adamu disclosed that data collated between Oct. 11, when the #End SARS peaceful protest started as a demonstration, and Oct. 27, after it was hijacked by the vandals, indicated that 14 states recorded major violence.
He said that some of the states severely affected by this civil unrest are Lagos, Edo, Delta, Oyo, Kano, Plateau, Osun, Ondo, Ogun, Rivers, Abia, Imo, Ekiti, and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The violence had resulted in attacks on critical national security infrastructure, other corporate and private properties, as well as injuries or fatalities to civilians, the police, and other security agents.
What you should know
- 71 public warehouses and 248 privately owned stores were looted in the course of the protests nationwide.
- 51 civilian fatalities with 37 injured, and 22 policemen gruesomely murdered with 26 others injured were recorded during the protest.
- 10 firearms, including 8 AK 47 rifles, were carted away during the attack on police stations, and a locally made pistol had been recovered from elements operating under the guise of the EndSARS protest.
- 1,596 suspects have so far been arrested in connection with the violence and widespread looting across the country.
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Nigeria’s food Inflation rises by 110.5% in five years
Nigeria’s Food Inflation has risen by 110.5% between September 2015 and September 2020.
Nigeria’s food inflation has risen by 110.5% in 5 years, between September 2015 and September 2020.
A comparison of the Composite Food Index within the period under review indicated that food inflation rose from 181.8 index points to 382.7 index points.
This means that the price of food items has not only increased, but more than doubled in the last five years of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
Explore the Advanced Financial Calculators on Nairametrics
Similarly, the All Items Index rose by 92.4% during the same period.
Food items that have witnessed significant increases
Data obtained from Nairalytics, the research arm of Nairametrics, revealed that:
- Foreign rice (Caprice) which sold for an average of N14,500 as of May 2019 is now sold for an average of N30,000.
- A 50kg bag of Ijebu garri that sold for N7,200 in May 2019, now costs N13,700.
- A 25-litre keg of vegetable oil sold for N9,750 in May 2019, now sells for N14,625.
- A piece of frozen fish which cost N417 in May 2019, now sells for N625.
Why are the figures going up?
The hike in the cost of staple food items could be attributed to the border closure directive of the federal government that was announced in August 2019.
It is projected to hit 20% by the first quarter of 2021, when the effects of the increase in petrol and electricity prices are accounted for.
Also, yield per hectare for most farming is well below global standards, driving up the cost of whatever is left to be sold to Nigerians.
Farmers also face insecurity, flooding, and sometimes famine affecting their ability to plant and harvest. Even after harvesting, supply chain challenges still persist, leaving farmers to contend with middlemen, transportation, and storage. The result is far less farm produce reaching the final consumer.
What they are saying
Prof. Steve Hanke, an American Applied Economist at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, expressed his dissatisfaction over the performance of Buhari’s administration.
According to him, the Federal Government could do more than what it is doing; he described the administration as a failure over security of its citizens, unemployment, and inflation.
He tweeted, “President Muhammadu Buhari has failed. Nigeria is in the grip of chaos. Bandits control major highways.
“The government can’t protect its own citizens from Boko Haram or the corrupt Police. Unemployment stands at 27.1%, and Inflation, which I accurately measure every day and that soars at 30.37%/yr.”
.@MBuhari has failed. #Nigeria is in the grip of chaos. Bandits control major highways. The government can’t protect its own citizens from #BokoHaram or the #Corrupt police. #Unemployment stands at 27.1%, and #Inflation – which I accurately measure every day – soars at 30.37%/yr. pic.twitter.com/LZOzHWkiau
— Prof. Steve Hanke (@steve_hanke) October 28, 2020
What you should know
- On October 15, 2020, Nairametrics reported that Nigeria’s inflation rate rose to 13.71% (year-on-year) in September 2020, indicating 0.49% point higher than 13.22% recorded in August 2020. This was contained in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) report, released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) about two weeks ago.
- According to the report, Nigeria has endured persistent increase in inflationary rate —growing from 12.13% in January to 13.71% in September—the highest recorded in 30 months.
- A closely watched component of the food inflation index rose by 16.66% in September 2020 — a 0.66% increase compared to 16% recorded in the previous month.
- On a month-on-month basis, the food sub-index rose by 1.88% compared to 1.67% recorded in August 2020.
- Meanwhile, the rise in the food index was caused by increases in prices of bread and cereals, potatoes, yam and other tubers, meat, fish, fruits, and oils and fats.