With an unassuming personality, Mr Godwin Emefiele controls the monetary policies of Nigeria and the economic destiny for Nigeria depends on his judgment. So when COVID-19 came to the shores of Nigeria, the calm watchman designed mechanisms in safeguarding Africa’s largest economy.
At the just-concluded Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting, Godwin Emefiele said the recent decisions of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), were targeted at strengthening the financial system in order to alleviate the initial impact of the global crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
On tightening, Godwin Emefiele, the CBN governor stated that the MPC was of the view that it would help rein in the rising inflation in the economy as well as support reserve accretion.
In addition, he explained that the committee observed that tightening would result in a reduction in money supply and limit the capacity of lenders to create credit, thus resulting in increased cost of credit, with adverse impact on output growth.
“Tightening would also result in a reduction in aggregate demand as a fall in disposable income results in output compression; whereas policy emphasis at this time should be on stimulating aggregate supply and demand, both already weakened by COVID-19,” he added.
On whether to loosen, Emefiele buttressed further that the CBN felt the decision would stimulate the economy in the short term, and boost aggregate supply and demand.
Consequently, in the wake of the global crisis as a result of disruptions associated with the outbreak of the Coronavirus and the oil price battle between Saudi Arabia and Russia, the CBN announced a stimulus to protect the Nigerian financial system and the economy.
The stimulus package, which would involve an injection of about N3.5 trillion to support the Nigerian economy, include the extension moratorium on loans by an additional year beginning from March 2020, to ease the pressure on loan repayments by companies.
The apex bank also reduced interest rates from 9% to 5% on its existing intervention programs over the next one year; created a N50 billion targeted fund to support households and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) affected by COVID-19, and introduced credit support for the healthcare sector.
However, Silas Ozoya, President/CEO at SUBA Capital in a phone chat with Nairametics said:
“Considering the current COVID-19 situation and present lockdown, how would this fund get to the targeted end consumers and how would they execute with it in a lockdown? Those are the first set of question in my head begging to be answered. Injecting such fund into the economy is a good move by the CBN and yes, it would to some extent ease the effect of the looming recession.
“Since this is still developing, let’s see how the Central Bank intends to put this fund out and how the funds would be managed to effectively cushion the effect of this pandemic triggered recession we are gradually sliding into.
“Finally, announcing and injecting more funds into the economy isn’t enough on its own, the proper disbursement, management and recovery (where necessary) of such funds are more paramount to the continuous growth of the economy.”
Also, the CBN introduced regulatory tolerant measures to consider temporary and time-limited restructuring of loan terms and tenors to households and businesses affected by COVID-19 and strengthened the loan-to-deposit ratio policy.
To cushion the adverse effects of the pandemic on the economy, the CBN also announced the provision of N1 trillion from its intervention fund to support local manufacturing to boost import substitution, and another N100 billion to support the health services sector.
The fund was to provide loans to the pharmaceutical companies, hospitals and other health practitioners to build new hospitals and health facilities or expand existing ones to first-class health centres.
This is in addition to the N1.5 trillion private sectors-driven Infraco Project Fund, designed to target the construction of critical infrastructure across the country.
Again, pharmaceutical companies would be assisted through loan interventions to reestablish drug manufacturing firms in Nigeria and curtail the spread of the coronavirus.
Cristiano Ronaldo now tests negative for Coronavirus
Cristiano Ronaldo tested negative for coronavirus after nearly three weeks that he tested positive.
Juventus F.C. star, Cristiano Ronaldo, has tested negative for coronavirus, nearly three weeks after he tested positive.
This was disclosed by his club via its website on Friday.
It stated, “Ronaldo carried out a check with a diagnostic test (swab) for COVID-19. The exam provided a negative result.
“The player has, therefore, recovered after 19 days and is no longer subjected to home isolation.”
What you should know
Ronaldo had tested positive for COVID-19 on October 13, while playing with Portugal. He had been in self-isolation since returning to Italy.
The 35-year-old missed four games including Wednesday’s 2-0 Champions League defeat to Lionel Messi’s Barcelona, and Juventus’s 2-0 win at Dynamo Kiev in their Group G opener.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner’s return will be a boost for Andrea Pirlo’s faltering side who are fifth in Serie A, four points behind leaders AC Milan.
COVID-19 Update in Nigeria
On the 29th of October 2020, 150 new confirmed cases and 2 deaths were recorded in Nigeria
The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continues to record significant increases as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 62,521 confirmed cases.
On the 29th of October 2020, 150 new confirmed cases and 2 deaths were recorded in Nigeria, having carried out a total daily test of 3,008 samples across the country.
To date, 62,521 cases have been confirmed, 58,249 cases have been discharged and 1,141 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 620,758 tests have been carried out as of October 29th, 2020 compared to 617,750 tests a day earlier.
COVID-19 Case Updates- 29th October 2020,
- Total Number of Cases – 62,571
- Total Number Discharged – 58,249
- Total Deaths – 1,1141
- Total Tests Carried out – 620,758
According to the NCDC, the 150 new cases are reported from 9 states- Lagos (89), Rivers (19), Ogun (11), Bayelsa (9), Kaduna (8), Plateau (8), Taraba (3), Osun (2), Delta (1).
Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 21,106, followed by Abuja (6,028), Plateau (3,630), Oyo (3,433), Rivers (2,809), Edo (2,657), Kaduna (2,641), Ogun (2,027), Delta (1,814), Kano (1,746), Ondo (1,666), Enugu (1,314), Kwara (1,069), Ebonyi (1,049), Katsina (952), Osun (925), Abia (898), Gombe (883). Borno (745), and Bauchi (711).
Imo State has recorded 616 cases, Benue (491), Nasarawa (482), Bayelsa (412), Ekiti (332), Jigawa (325), Akwa Ibom (295), Anambra (277), Niger (274), Adamawa (257), Sokoto (165), Taraba (146), Kebbi (93), Cross River (87), Yobe (82), Zamfara (79), while Kogi state has recorded 5 cases only.
Lock Down and Curfew
In a move to combat the spread of the pandemic disease, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days, which took effect from 11 pm on Monday, 30th March 2020.
The movement restriction, which was extended by another two-weeks period, has been partially put on hold with some businesses commencing operations from May 4. On April 27th, 2020, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari declared an overnight curfew from 8 pm to 6 am across the country, as part of new measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19. This comes along with the phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos, and Ogun States, which took effect from Saturday, 2nd May 2020, at 9 am.
On Monday, 29th June 2020 the federal government extended the second phase of the eased lockdown by 4 weeks and approved interstate movement outside curfew hours with effect from July 1, 2020. Also, on Monday 27th July 2020, the federal government extended the second phase of eased lockdown by an additional one week.
On Thursday, 6th August 2020 the federal government through the secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 announced the extension of the second phase of eased lockdown by another four (4) weeks.
FG warns Nigerians about on-going N3million COVID-19 grant scam
FG has warned Nigerians to beware of scammers using phishing links to defraud unsuspecting members of the public.
The Federal Government has issued a warning to Nigerians about an ongoing N3million COVID-19 scam in circulation.
This was disclosed by the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning via its Twitter handle.
According to the government, the scam targets Nigerians looking to benefit from the Federal Government assistance to businesses affected by COVID-19.
In the tweet, it warned about some phishing links being shared on social media, requesting for applications for N3 Million FG Grants.
It tweeted, “The general public should note that these phishing links are generated by Scammers and intended to defraud unsuspecting Nigerians.
“Government requests for applications are only via official channels & websites.
“It has come to our attention that a link is being shared via social media requesting for applications for a FG N3 Million grant.
“The general public should note that this is a SCAM. Any requests for applications are only via official channels & websites. Pls beware! #FinMinNigeria.”
It has come to our attention that a link is being shared via social media requesting for applications for a FG 3 Million grant. The general public should note that this is a SCAM. Any requests for applications are only via official channels & websites. Pls beware! #FinMinNigeria pic.twitter.com/C0Z2EcUbQF
— Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning (@FinMinNigeria) October 27, 2020
What they are saying
Okebunmi Omolaja, has tasked the Federal Government to take its warning further from the social media to other publicity tools in order to spread the information across Nigeria.
He said, “The Ministry can help by carrying the awareness campaigns to States radio stations or federal officers in each States to meet the CDA Leaders of their traditional rulers palaces/govt schools premises.”
The Ministry can help by carrying the awareness campaigns to States radio stations or federal officers in each States to meet the CDA Leaders of their traditional rulers palaces/govt schools premises.
— okebunmi omolaja (@Okebunmilajman) October 28, 2020
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