In a precautionary move aimed at curtailing the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19) disease in the country, the Federal Ministry of Education has ordered the immediate closure of all educational institutions which includes, tertiary, secondary and primary schools nationwide.
This directive was confirmed by the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Education, Mr Sonny Echono.
According to a statement which was released on Thursday by Mr Echono on behalf of the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, it also noted that all 104 Unity Schools throughout the country should close on or before the 26th of March, 2020 as a precautionary step which is aimed at preventing the spread of the dreaded Coronavirus (Covid-19) which has become a global threat.
All the Principals of the various Unity schools were asked by the Education Minister to fast track the second term examination which is going on at the moment and then shut the schools until further notice.
The Minister in his statement said, “We have directed all higher institutions to close this weekend. Unity Schools that have completed their exams are to close immediately.
“Others are to hurry and close the latest on 26th March,”
As part of his directive, the Minister expects that the management of all the Unity Colleges would as a matter of urgency activate the necessary emergency procedures and processes such as the provision of alcohol-based sanitizers, and handwashing facilities among others, in addition to these, the students are expected to strictly adhere to the principles and best practices of good hygiene.
Adamu Adamu also directed the Principals to immediately report any suspicious case to the nearest health authorities, emphasizing that nothing should be taken for granted at this delicate time of the global pandemic.
It should be noted that the announcement of a total of 12 confirmed cases in the country has made the Federal and some State Governments to take some measures which include flight restrictions on some high-risk countries, restrictions of public gatherings like churches and mosques, suspension of sports events, shut down of schools in some states, suspension of orientation and other activities by National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) and some others
Insecurity: FG to implement town hall meetings to reach a national consensus
The meetings are set to address the twin issues of insecurity and its concomitant effect on national unity and cohesion.
The Federal Government announced the launch of town hall meetings to address the twin issues of insecurity and its concomitant effect on national unity and cohesion.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, at the Town Hall Meeting in Kaduna on Thursday, themed “Setting Benchmarks for Enhanced Security and National Unity in Nigeria.”
What the Minister is saying
“The correct starting point towards addressing these myriads of problems is the building of an “elite consensus” on the security, unity, indissolubility, and peaceful existence of Nigeria.
“Such elite consensus had worked in the past. Can we make it work now and proffer solutions in order to stave off the threats to our unity as a nation?” he said.
The Minister disclosed that the meetings are necessary to bring all critical stakeholders together to deliberate on the issues and possibly reach a consensus on the way forward.
“We expect this Town Hall meeting to develop concrete, implementable resolutions because a lot of talks and postulations had taken place with little or no requisite outcome.”
In case you missed it
- Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar warned that the rising insecurity in Nigeria is a result of rising youth unemployment. He urged Nigeria to tackle out-of-school children cases, pay a monthly stipend to poorer families, incorporate youths who are above school age into massive public works programmes and others.
- Senator Ali Ndume insisted that the Federal Government needs to increase its total military spending to be able to tackle the rising insecurity in Nigeria which has seen a number of school students in 2021 kidnapped by bandits.
IMF lifts 2021 global GDP growth to 6%
The group also warned that economic recoveries are diverging dangerously across and within countries.
The International Monetary Fund has lifted its global growth outlook to 6% in 2021 (0.5% point upgrade) and 4.4% in 2022 (0.2 percentage point upgrade), after an estimated historic contraction of -3.3% in 2020 due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. This disclosure was made on the organisation’s website on Tuesday.
The group also warned that economic recoveries are diverging dangerously across and within countries, as economies with slower vaccine rollout, more limited policy support, and more reliance on tourism do less well.
What the IMF is saying
“The upgrades in global growth for 2021 and 2022 are mainly due to upgrades for advanced economies, particularly to a sizeable upgrade for the United States (1.3 percentage points) that is expected to grow at 6.4 percent this year.
This makes the United States the only large economy projected to surpass the level of GDP it was forecast to have in 2022 in the absence of this pandemic.
China is projected to grow this year at 8.4 percent. While China’s economy had already returned to pre-pandemic GDP in 2020, many other countries are not expected to do so until 2023.”
On divergent recoveries
The IMF stated that divergent recovery paths are likely to create wider gaps in living standards across countries compared to pre-pandemic expectations.
“The average annual loss in per capita GDP over 2020–24, relative to pre-pandemic forecasts, is projected to be 5.7 percent in low-income countries and 4.7 percent in emerging markets, while in advanced economies the losses are expected to be smaller at 2.3 percent,” they said.
“Faster progress with vaccinations can uplift the forecast, while a more prolonged pandemic with virus variants that evade vaccines can lead to a sharp downgrade. Multispeed recoveries could pose financial risks if interest rates in the United States rise further in unexpected ways.“
For Africa, IMF forecasts economic growth of 3.4% in 2021 and 4% by 2022, Nigeria is expected to grow by 2.5% in 2021 and 2.3% by 2022, while South Africa is projected to hit growths of 3.1% and 2.0% for the respective years in focus.
In case you missed it
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) identified some factors that hamper the economic recovery of low-income countries from the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic, factors including access to vaccines, limited policy space to respond to the crisis, the lack of means for extra spending, pre-existing vulnerabilities such as high levels of public debt in many low-income countries and sometimes weak, negative, total factor productivity performance in some low-income countries. These factors continue to act as a drag on growth.
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