The Federal Government of Nigeria has insisted that chloroquine has not been approved as a cure for the coronavirus disease.
The warning came from the Director-General of the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu while reacting to recent media reports that suggested that chloroquine could protect people from the coronavirus disease or treat patients that are already infected with the disease.
Ihekweazu said, ”Nigerians should please remember that the use of chloroquine and its derivatives for the management of COVID-19 disease has not been validated and approved by the World Health Organization (WHO).
“There have been promising results by researchers but until then, the drug is not approved for use for COVID-19 treatment.
“Nigerians should know that self-medication can cause harm and lead to death.
“Do not misuse drugs. We understand these are challenging times, and Nigerians may be worried, but the Federal Ministry of Health, through the NCDC is doing everything it can to continue to ensure the safety and health security of every Nigerian.
“Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine have not been licensed to treat COVID-19 related symptoms or prevent infection,” he said.
The NCDC boss pointed out that clinical trials were still in progress to test chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine as an agent in the treatment of coronavirus or to prevent its infection and have not been completed yet. So as a result, the safety and effectiveness of this medicine to treat or prevent coronavirus have not been ascertained yet.
He also said that until the WHO, have clear, definitive evidence that these treatments were safe and effective for the treatment of COVID-19, it should not be misused. In addition to responding to the outbreak, NCDC has begun a communications campaign to debunk misinformation and provide Nigerians with facts to protect their health.
It was reported some days back that the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) approved the production of Chloroquine for clinical trials.
However, the Director-General of the agency, Mojisola Adeyeye, pointed out that NAFDAC is not approving Chloroquine for the treatment of COVID-19 but only for clinical trials to find treatment for the virus
Meanwhile, the breakdown of COVID-19 cases by states in the country shows that Lagos State still has the highest number of confirmed cases in the country with 32 cases, followed by Abuja with 10 cases, Ogun State three, and Ekiti, Oyo Edo, Bauchi Osun and Rivers have one case each.
Most of the cases reported are travellers who returned from those high-risk countries. Other cases are people who have come in contact with infected people.
Lagos Govt Seals Acouns Medical Lab for conducting illegal COVID-19 tests
The lab conducted COVID-19 tests without required government approval.
The Lagos State Ministry of Health has sealed a private medical laboratory that was conducting illegal COVID-19 tests inside a pharmacy at Banana Island in Ikoyi, Lagos.
The ministry stated that the laboratory, Acouns Medical Laboratory and Diagnostic Centre, conducted COVID-19 tests without required government approval.
Yesterday, @LSMOH through @HEFAMAA_LASG sealed a private laboratory located on Banana Island, Ikoyi for carrying out #COVID19 tests without the required government approval. The lab; Acouns Medical Laboratory and Diagnostic Centre was also situated in a pharmacy! @followlasg pic.twitter.com/KkMzxYDBFq
— LSMOH (@LSMOH) July 11, 2020
According to a NAN report, the laboratory was sealed on Friday, July 10 by one of the agencies of the Ministry of Health – Health Facility Monitoring Accreditation Agency (HEFAMAA).
The ministry warned in its Saturday morning tweet, that such health facilities posed a danger to their communities and staff, and discouraged residents from patronising facilities that had not been duly accredited for such purposes.
“It is illegal to manage COVID-19 cases outside of an accredited facility. We implore the public not to go for tests or treatment in a private facility that has not been accredited by government.
“It is dangerous and it might put you at more risk,” it said.
The ministry promised to ensure that health facilities in the state adhered strictly to the standards put in place, and urged residents to cooperate with the authorities.
Recall that a few weeks ago, the Lagos State government announced it has added Seven Private Laboratories into its testing strategy to expand capacity in Nigeria’s commercial capital.
Lagos state has, through its accredited health facilities, conducted over 45,000 COVID-19 tests, with over 7000 confirmed cases from the number.
The ministry had also recently announced the private health facilities accredited for the purpose of COVID-19 testing.
The approved private labs are;
📍Total Medical Services
📍Medbury medical Services
📍Biologix Medical Services
📍02 Medical Services
📍Clina Lancent Lab pic.twitter.com/GS2f1FfP5j
— Prof. Akin Abayomi (@ProfAkinAbayomi) June 30, 2020
Ecobank Transnational appoints Alain Nkontchou as new Chairman
“I am honoured to be appointed as Chairman of Ecobank Transnational Incorporated.”
Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) has announced the appointment of Alain Nkontchou as its new Chairman of the board of directors.
Nkontchou, who is Camerounian by nationality, has been serving as an Independent Non-Executive Director of the pan-African banking group since 2015. A statement made available to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) confirmed that his latest appointment took effect on June 30, 2020.
The Camerounian is taking over from Nigeria’s Emmanuel Ikazoboh, whose six-year tenure as Chairman of Ecobank’s holding company ended last month, even as he just reached the retirement age of 70. The company also noted that the new appointment is in tandem with its Articles of Association.
While reacting to his own appointment as Chairman, Alain Nkontchou said he is quite honoured and that he was looking forward to working with the rest of the board members.
“I am honoured to be appointed as Chairman of Ecobank Transnational Incorporated. Having served on its Board since 2015, I have seen Ecobank’s resilience and its proud history, built on strong foundation to secure the Bank’s future success. I look forward to working with the Board and Executive team as we continue our journey ahead and I know that we are well-placed to navigate through the current environment and set the standards in financial services for our customers across Africa. I would also like to express my thanks to my predecessor, Mr Emmanuel Ikazoboh, for his leadership of the Board and to wish him all the best for the future,” he said.
Alain Nkontchou co-founded Enko Capital Management LLP, a London-based asset management company with Johannesburg office. He currently serves as the Managing Partner and of the firm which specialises in prospecting investment opportunities in Africa.
Prior to this time, ETI’s newly-appointed Chairman was a Non-Executive Director at Laurent Perrier champagne between 1999 and 2009. He was also the Managing Director of Credit Suisse’s Global Macro Trading from 1995 to 2008. He held a similar role at JP Morgan Chase & Co.
Meanwhile, from 1989 to 1994, Nkontchou worked with Chemical Bank first in Paris and then New York. At the bank, he rose through the ranks to become the Vice- President, Head of Trading, and Sales. Apparently, he is an accomplished business executive.
Alain Nkontchou obtained an MSc in Electrical Engineering from Supélec and P.M. Curie University, Paris, and another MSc in Finance and Accounting from ESCP (Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Paris).
It should be noted that ETI’s stock closed yesterday’s trading session on the Nigerian Stock Exchange with a share price of N4.80. The share price gained by +1.05% to appreciate from its previous close of N4.75. Year to date, ETI’s share price has declined by about 22%.
Nigeria’s public debt is officially N29.83 trillion
Further disaggregation of Nigeria’s total public debt showed that N9.99trn or 34.89% of the debt was external.
The total public debt stocks of the Federal Government of Nigeria, states within the Nigerian federation, and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) jumped to N28.63 trillion as of Q1 2020. This is according to a report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) which was released on Friday.
A breakdown of the report showed that the total debt stock of the states as of 31 March 2020 is N4.1 trillion. Meanwhile, these states’ total Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) for 2019 was N1.3 trillion. They also received N2.47 trillion from FAAC.
Note that as always, Lagos State recorded the highest IGR at N398.7 billion. The state also received N117.8 billion in FAAC disbursements and has a total debt stock of N444.2 billion, thereby making up 10.8% of the total debt stock of the states.
On the other hand, Yobe State recorded the lowest debt stock out of all the states with just N29.2 billion. This made up just 0.7% of the total debt stock of the states. Meanwhile, the state generated a total IGR of N8.4 billion in 2019.
Part of the report by the NBS said:
“Nigerian States and Federal Debt Stock data as at 31st March 2020 reflected that the country’s total public debt portfolio stood at N28.63trn. Further disaggregation of Nigeria’s total public debt showed that N9.99trn or 34.89% of the debt was external while N18.64trn or 65.11% of the debt was domestic.
“Similarly, States and FCT domestic debt was put at N4.11trillion with Lagos state accounting for 10.8% of the total domestic debt stock while Yobe State has the least debt stock in this category with a contribution of 0.7%.”
— Dr Yemi Kale (@sgyemikale) July 10, 2020
Meanwhile, the FCT had total debt of N106.8 billion, making up 2.6% of the total debt stock of the states. The FCT also recorded an IGR of N74.5 billion in 2019 and received N71.9 billion in FAAC.
The Federal Government’s total domestic debt stock by Q1, 2020 was N14.5 trillion, with FGN bonds making up 72.5% of the total portfolio followed by treasury bills at 18.24%.
The total public debt stock has risen by 4% since December 2019, as the previous figure stood at N27.4 trillion.
You may download NBS’ Nigerian Domestic and Foreign Debt report by clicking here.