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Coronavirus

Covid-19: Tinubu asks FG to print more naira notes, outlines economic measures

The National Leader of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has urged the Federal Government to print more naira notes to save the economy from total collapse due to the adverse effect of the coronavirus pandemic

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The National Leader of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) and the former Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has urged the Federal Government to print more naira notes to save the economy from total collapse due to the adverse effect of the coronavirus pandemic and crash in crude oil prices globally.

This advice is part of a special message which was issued by the former Governor to President Muhammadu Buhari, a day before his 68th birthday.

In his special message which was monitored by Nairametrics and titled: A message on the coronavirus; A time for unity, a time for thought, a time for action, Tinubu, outlined ideas and measures that the president and members of his team can take in order to navigate Nigeria out of a possible recession that will arise from the coronavirus pandemic as oil prices fall and government revenue shrinks.

He admitted that we as Nigerians are facing challenges that we cannot see, but can find us too easily. That the coronavirus disease is here and cannot be paid off and bargained with by the rich, read their bank statements or intimidated by them. The disease as well does not care or have mercy for the poor, recognize religion or geographical location.

He admonished Nigerians that the present crisis is a wakeup call to unite and act as one blood.

Asiwaju Tinubu, asked Nigeria to emulate China and other Asian countries, who took very drastic actions like lockdown of cities and closure of key segments of their economies in order to confront the spread of the coronavirus.

Read Also: Another crushing recession ‘is coming’

On the economic front, he said that economic activity is a fraction of what it was just a month ago and as such, deep recessions are forecasted.

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In his statement, he said, ‘Economic activity is a fraction of what it was just a month ago. Deep recessions are forecasted.

‘Some experts fear depression now tracks the world down. Governments worldwide are responding by embarking on unprecedented stimulus packages to keep their economies afloat’.

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The APC National Leader listed some of the stimulus package announced by some major economies around the world to include; the pumping of trillions into their financial markets by the Chinese, launching of an unprecedented fiscal stimulus package in the United Kingdom, the Germans putting aside its constitutional prohibition on deficit spending to formulate a historic and an unprecedented fiscal stimulus package, the $2 trillion fiscal stimulus by Trump administration in the US.

Tinubu believes that Nigeria should take lessons from some of these countries in the implementation of some of those strong economic measures. He said that the crash of oil prices to less than $30 dollar per barrel will lead to a massive reduction in government revenue and foreign exchange earnings.

[Read Also: Kaduna state governor, El-Rufai tests positive to coronavirus]

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As a result of this, he advised the Federal Government to print more Naira, just as the US has used its sovereign right to issue its own currency, the dollar to stave off economic disaster. He said, while individuals, companies and state governments can go bankrupt during hard times, the federal government cannot be naira insolvent because it has the ability to issue our national currency.

However, in doing this, together with increased spending, the government needs to monitor the inflation rate and ensure that it doesn’t go too high.

Read Also: Coronavirus: WHO says Nigeria is among countries with highest cases

Other economic measures to help manage the coronavirus threat to the economy includes:
• Suspension of VAT for the next 2-4 months and tax credits of partial tax reductions for companies. This is to help lower import costs and guard against shortages.
• Lower interest rates in order to encourage borrowing and private sector activity.
• Maintaining of government expenditure rather than reduce spending at this critical period. In fact, he encouraged an increase of at least 10%-15% during this kind of emergency.
• Ensuring food security by protecting citizens from food shortages and high prices.
• Increase of stipends to the poor. This can be done by widening the net and substantially increasing the number of recipients of this programme.
• As for the exchange rate, he advised CBN to allow some downward pressure on the naira and should only intervene when it looks like the rate will come down. He said government should revisit the ban on non-institutional Nigerian dollar holders from taking part in open market operations.
• The enactment of extraordinary measures by CBN to forestall stress in the financial sector. They should ensure liquidity in the financial system by expanding its balance sheet and buying of government bonds and other instruments held by banks and other institutions.

Chike Olisah is a graduate of accountancy with over 15 years working experience in the financial service sector. He has worked in research and marketing departments of three top commercial banks. Chike is a senior member of the Nairametrics Editorial Team. You may contact him via his email- [email protected]

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    Business News

    COVID-19 Update in Nigeria

    On the 13th of April 2021, 74 new confirmed cases were 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 163,911 confirmed cases.

    On the 13th of April 2021, 74 new confirmed cases were recorded in Nigeria.

    To date, 163,911 cases have been confirmed, 154,225 cases have been discharged and 2,061 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 13th, 2021 compared to 1.7 million tests a day earlier.

    COVID-19 Case Updates- 13th April 2021,

    • Total Number of Cases – 163,837
    • Total Number Discharged – 154,225
    • Total Deaths – 2,061
    • Total Tests Carried out – 1,838,174

    According to the NCDC, the 74 new cases were reported from 9 states- Lagos (30), Enugu (11), Abuja (11), Akwa Ibom (8), Osun (5), Kaduna (4), Ebonyi (2), Rivers (2), and Ekiti (1).

    Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 58,014, followed by Abuja (19,727), Plateau (9,041), Kaduna (8,994), Rivers (7,001), Oyo (6,838), Edo (4,893), Ogun (4,624), Kano (3,930), Ondo (3,226), Kwara (3,120), Delta (2,617), Osun (2,553), Nasarawa (2,378), Enugu (2,259), Katsina (2,097), Gombe (2,034), Ebonyi (2,017), Anambra (1,909), Akwa Ibom (1,810), and Abia (1,683).

    Imo State has recorded 1,655 cases, Bauchi (1,540), Borno (1,337), Benue (1,188), Adamawa (1,051), Niger (930), Taraba (910), Bayelsa (878), Ekiti (868), Sokoto (775), Jigawa (527), 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.

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    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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    Business

    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.

    READ: Lagos Govt seals Queens Park Event Centre, Oniru for contravening COVID-19 protocol

    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.

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    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.

    READ: Lagos state government reacts to reopening of event centers, clarify guidelines

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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.

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    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.

    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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