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Coronavirus

What is on  Godwin Emefiele’s mind?

With an unassuming personality, Godwin Emefiele controls the monetary policies of Nigeria and on his judgment, depends the economic destiny for Nigeria.

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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.

Late budget cycles, food price hike fuel MPR retention - Experts , policy rates, CBN postpones first 2020 MPC meeting 

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.

[READ MORE: CBN pays $4.45 billion external debt to World Bank, others in 2-month)

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.

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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.

READ ALSO: CBN, Bankers committee back N3.5 trillion stimulus package for Nigeria

However, Silas Ozoya, President/CEO at SUBA Capital in a phone chat with Nairametics said:

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“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.” 

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[READ ALSO: CBN issues guidelines to access N50 billion COVID-19 credit facility)

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.

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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.

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Olumide Adesina is a France-born Nigerian. He is a Certified Investment Trader, with more than 15 years of working expertise in Investment trading. Message Olumide on Twitter @tokunboadesina. He is a Member of the Chartered Financial Analyst Society.

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COVID-19 Update in Nigeria

On the 10th of April 2021, 84 new confirmed cases and death was recorded in Nigeria

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Covid 19 update symptops

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 163,736 confirmed cases.

On the 10th of April 2021, 84 new confirmed cases and 1 death was recorded in Nigeria.

To date, 163,736 cases have been confirmed, 154,098 cases have been discharged and 2,060 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.

A total of 1.8 million tests have been carried out as of April 10th, 2021 compared to 1.7 million tests a day earlier.

COVID-19 Case Updates- 10th April 2021,

  • Total Number of Cases – 163,736
  • Total Number Discharged – 154,098
  • Total Deaths – 2,060
  • Total Tests Carried out – 1,803,177

According to the NCDC, the 84 new cases are reported from 13 states- Lagos (26), Akwa Ibom (16), Rivers (10), Ebonyi (9), Abia (6), Kano (6), Osun (3), Bauchi (2), Delta (2), Edo (1), Jigawa (1), Kaduna (1), and Ogun (1)

Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 57,950, followed by Abuja (19,703), Plateau (9,030), Kaduna (8,984), Rivers (6,986), Oyo (6,838), Edo (4,892), Ogun (4,620), Kano (3,924), Ondo (3,226), Kwara (3,120), Delta (2,615), Osun (2,547), Nasarawa (2,378), Enugu (2,259), Katsina (2,097), Gombe (2,034), Ebonyi (2,008), Anambra (1,909), Akwa Ibom (1,794), and Abia (1,677).

Imo State has recorded 1,655 cases, Bauchi (1,538), Borno (1,337), Benue (1,188), Adamawa (1,051), Niger (930), Taraba (910), Bayelsa (871), Ekiti (868), Sokoto (774), Jigawa (525), Kebbi (450), Cross River (385), Yobe (365), Zamfara (234), while Kogi state has recorded 5 cases only.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: Western diplomats warn of disease explosion, poor handling by government

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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.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State announced the closed down of the Eti-Osa Isolation Centre, with effect from Friday, 31st July 2020. He also mentioned that the Agidingbi Isolation Centre would also be closed and the patients relocated to a large capacity centre.

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Due to the increased number of covid-19 cases in Nigeria, the Nigerian government ordered the reopening of Isolation and treatment centres in the country on Thursday, 10th December 2020.

On 26th January 2021, the Federal Government announced the extension of the guidelines of phase 3 of the eased lockdown by one month following the rising cases of the coronavirus disease in the country and the expiration of phase 3 of the eased lockdown.

On 28th February 2021, the federal government confirmed that the first tranche of Covid-19 vaccines will arrive in Nigeria on Tuesday, March 2nd, 2021.

On Tuesday, 2nd March 2021, the National Primary health Care Development Agency announced the arrival of the expected COVX Astrazeneca/Oxford covid-19 vaccines.

On Saturday, 6th March 2021, President Muhammadu Buhari and his vice, Yemi Osinbajo received vaccination against the covid-19 as the State House in Abuja.

READ ALSO: Bill Gates says Trump’s WHO funding suspension is dangerous

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Lagos eases restrictions on social, event centres, sets new occupancy limit

The state government has pegged the occupancy limit for event centres in Lagos to 500 people while social events can now have 200 people at a time.

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The Lagos state government has further eased restrictions on social and event centres in the state. This follows due consultations and deliberations between the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanow-Olu, and relevant stakeholders and MDAs.

The state government has pegged the occupancy limit for event centres in Lagos to 500 people while social events can now have 200 people at a time.

This disclosure is contained in a statement by the Lagos State Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Uzamat Yusuff, and the Director-General of the Lagos State Safety Commission, Mr Lanre Mojola, on Friday, April 9, 2021.

The statement noted that safety marshals will be deployed to any social event with over 200 people and event centre exceeding the 500 limits.

The statement partly reads, “All event centres must hold a valid license of The Lagos State Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture prior to operating as an event centre in the State.

“All event centres must be duly registered and verified on The Lagos State Safety Commission website www.lasgsafetyreg.com prior to holding any event.

An Event Safety Clearance must be obtained from the Lagos State Safety Commission through the website www.lasgsafetyreg.com for any proposed event or exhibition.

Safety Marshals shall be deployed by an accredited event safety consultant from Lagos State Safety Commission for every social event with attendance exceeding over 200 people.

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Occupancy limit at any event must not exceed 50% of the maximum design capacity of the hall, wherein Occupancy Limit stickers provided by the Lagos State Safety Commission must be boldly posted at the entrance of the event hall.

Maximum allowable capacity for event centres irrespective of the occupancy limit is 500 people. Deep cleaning must be carried out before and after every event. Physical distancing shall be maintained between seated guests and a maximum number of seated guests should be 6 (six) people on a table of 10 persons.

Event duration should not exceed a maximum period of 6-hours. All guests and service providers at the facility must wear a nose mask and make use of hand sanitisers All guests and service providers must endeavour to wash their hands before entering the venue or in the alternative use hand sanitisers. Temperature checks must be taken at all entry points into a facility.

Guests and service providers with temperature (above 37.5) are to be politely turned back and referred to paramedics or the emergency response team on the ground. Hand sanitizers must be positioned at the entry points and different spots within the hall.

All event centres must endeavour to display standard COVID-19 safety signs. The signs must be bold and installed at conspicuous locations. Event centre owners/ planners/vendors would be responsible for any breach of protocols by their staff.

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In case you missed it

  • It can be recalled that in July 2020, the Lagos State Government had issued fresh guidelines on the reopening of event and social centres following their shutdown as part of measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The state government insisted that the owners of such facilities must register with the government pending further directives.

 

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