Some Western diplomats expressed fears over the abysmal way the Federal Government was handling the Coronavirus outbreak. They warned that the number of infections could witness a sharp increase in the coming weeks if the Nigerian Government does not review its strategy and the poor way it’s been handling the pandemic.
The country as at late Friday had 81 confirmed cases, recorded 1 death of the pandemic and 3 who have been released after being treated of the disease.
A monitored report by Nairametrics suggests that diplomats are predicting that the Covid-19 infections could rise to more than 10,000 in the coming weeks, as there are at least 5,000 persons, who had come in contact with infected persons in Nigeria already.
These set of people, it was gathered, had also subsequently come in contact with thousands of others in society without realizing that they might have the virus.
The monitored report disclosed that a senior diplomat attached to one of the European high commissions in Nigeria on Friday said, “This is the real danger. A lot of people who have had contacts with original carriers of the virus don’t even know they have the ailment and have in fact gone ahead to mingle with hundreds and thousands of others in the society, spreading the virus further.
“From the information we have in the diplomatic community, there could be an explosion of confirmed infections in the coming weeks. It is going to disrupt a lot of things.”
Another diplomat, who is from a country that has provided technical support to African countries trying to curtail the spread of the disease said that the country was in a desperate and extremely serious situation.
This is partly because of the suspicion that the untested infection cases far outnumber those who have been tested by government agencies due to the unavailability of testing kits.
There is also palpable fear amongst Nigerians over the rate at which the coronavirus is spreading and lack of medical facilities and preparedness by both the federal and state governments.
Although as part of their philanthropic gesture, some wealthy Nigerians, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and Chinese billionaire, Jack Ma, have been donating testing kits and protective items to Nigeria to help combat the virus, a huge number of potentially infected persons are yet to be tested, increasing the risk of an epidemic in the West African state.
According to the diplomat on Friday, “We could be having tens of thousands of confirmed cases across Nigeria in a few days from now.
“There are thousands of people with the virus already on the loose in the country and many of these people cannot be traced. They have taken this pandemic into every nook and cranny of this country.
“I think Nigeria must act fast to avert a full-blown war.”
Already, there have been reported cases of people being asked to self-isolate after reporting to health agencies of having symptoms of the Covid-19 virus.
Without proper monitoring and stringent measures to ensure such persons do not expose others to infection in case they have the virus, thousands of individuals in this category have gone on with their daily activities and opened up the chance of an epidemic in the country.
As a result of this lacklustre and unsatisfactory approach to the pandemic by the Nigerian government, some European countries have started evacuating their citizens from Nigeria.
Nairametrics had reported that An Air France flight on Thursday, airlifted 260 Europeans from Nigeria to France to prevent them from being infected with the virus.
Also on Thursday, British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Ms Catriona Laing CB, said the mission was exploring available options to send staff and their families back to the United Kingdom.
Five oil majors reduce value of their assets by $50 billion in Q2
Energy demand at one point was down by more than 30% globally.
Five oil majors (including Exxon Mobil and British Petroleum) reduced the value of their assets by $50 billion in Q2, 2020. They also reduced their production rates as the COVID-19 pandemic caused a downward trend in energy demand.
What this means: The cut in asset valuations and reduction in crude oil production by these oil majors showed the depth of damage the COVID-19 pandemic caused on the global energy sector in Q2, 2020.
Energy demand at one point was down by more than 30% globally and still remains below pre-pandemic levels.
Some of these conpanies’ executives said they took these austerity measures because they expect demand to continue to be on the downward trend in the meantime. This is in view of the fact that people around the world are traveling less, even as many global industries are not in full capacity. The pandemic has already killed more than 700,000 people.
Of those five oil majors, only Exxon Mobil (XOM.N) did not book sizeable impairments, Reuters reported. However, an ongoing re-evaluation of Exxon Mobil plans could lead to a reasonable amount of its assets being impaired, and signal the removal of 20% or 4.4 billion barrels of its oil and gas reserves.
Oil major BP (BP.L) took a $17 billion hot. It said its plans in the coming years would be a focus on renewables and fewer fossils.
About two weeks ago, Nairametrics reported how Exxon Mobil and Chevron posted their worst losses in modern history, as the COVID-19 pandemic and a glut in crude oil reduced the demand for energy products in the second quarter of 2020.
US gives reasons it warned citizens against travelling to Nigeria, lists 12 high risk states
The US government has issued a level 3 Travel Health Notice for Nigeria due to COVID-19.
The United State Government has advised its citizens against travelling to Nigeria due to the Coronavirus pandemic, terrorism, civil unrest, kidnapping, widespread inter-communal violence, and others.
This warning is contained in a travel advisory statement that was obtained from the United State Department of State website.
The statement also disclosed that the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had issued a level 3 Travel Health Notice for Nigeria due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Also, some parts of the country have increased risk.
“Reconsider travel to Nigeria due to Covid-19. Reconsider travel to Nigeria due to crime, terrorism, civil unrest, kidnapping and maritime crime. Some areas have increased risk.’
‘’Do not travel to; Borno and Yobe States and Northern Adamawa State due to terrorism; Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Kaduna, Kano and Yobe States due to kidnapping; Coastal areas of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross Rivers, Delta and Rivers States (with the exception of Port Harcourt) due to crime, civil unrest, kidnapping and maritime crime,’’ the statement said.
It stated that violent crimes such as armed robbery, assault, carjacking, kidnapping, and rape, have become common throughout the country. As such, US citizens were advised to exercise extreme caution throughout the country due to the threat of indiscriminate violence.
“Terrorists continue plotting and carrying out attacks in Nigeria, especially in the Northeast. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting shopping centres, malls, markets, hotels, places of worship, restaurants, bars, schools, government installations, transportation hubs, and other places where crowds gather.
“Sporadic violence occurs between communities of farmers and herders in rural areas.’’
The US government acknowledged the fact that it has limited ability to provide emergency services to US citizens in many parts of Nigeria due to the security conditions.
Going further it stated, “Do not travel to Borno and Yobe States and Nothern Adamawa. Terrorist groups based in the Northeast target churches, schools, mosques, government installations, educational institutions and entertainment venues. Approximately two million Nigerians have been displaced as a result of the violence in Northeast Nigeria.
“Do not travel to Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Kaduna, Kano and Yobe States. The security situation in Northwest and Northeast Nigeria is fluid and unpredictable, particularly in the states listed above due to widespread inter-communal violence and kidnapping.
“Do not travel to the coastal areas of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross Rivers, Delta and Rivers States (with the exception of Port Harcourt). Crime is rampant throughout Southern Nigeria, and there is a heightened risk of kidnapping and maritime crime, along with violent civil unrest and attacks against expatriate oil workers and facilities.’’
World’s largest oil company to pay $75 billion annual dividend, despite plunge in profits
Saudi Aramco is the national energy company of Saudi Arabia.
The world’s largest oil company, Saudi Aramco reported a 73% drop in profit Q2,2020 profit and still kept its plans to pay $75 billion in annual dividends in a report credited to Bloomberg News
Saudi Aramco reported a plunge in profits for Q2,2020 of 24.6 billion riyals compared to 92.6 billion riyals recorded in the same corresponding year.
Aramco will pay a Q2,2020 dividend of $18.75 billion, most of it to the government of Saudi Arabia, the company’s major shareholder.
The plunge in profit was due mainly to “the impact of lower crude oil prices and declining refining and chemical margins,” Aramco said in the statement to the Saudi stock exchange.
“Strong headwinds from reduced demand and lower oil prices are reflected in our second-quarter results,” said Chief Executive Officer Amin Nasser.
“We are seeing a partial recovery in the energy market as countries around the world take steps to ease restrictions and reboot their economies.”
Quick fact; Saudi Aramco is the national energy company of Saudi Arabia. It produces five grades of crude oil and natural gas liquids.
It also produces refined energy products that include liquefied petroleum gas, ethanol, naphtha, and other products.
It exports about 75% of its crude oil to foreign markets, most often with its oil tankers. Saudi Aramco has access to crude oil reserves of about 260 billion barrels, the largest in the world.
OPEC’s largest oil exporter, Saudi Arabia has been hit hard by global economic restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19.
The Saudis make most of its revenue from crude oil, which has dropped 33% in value this year.