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COVID-19: Nigerians in diaspora have not asked to be evacuated – FG

FG has disclosed that Nigerians in the diaspora have not sent any request of evacuation to the Nigerian Embassies in their countries of residence.

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Nigeria sets conditions for border reopening, COVID-19: Nigerians in diaspora have not asked to be evacuated – FG

The Federal Government has disclosed that Nigerians in the diaspora have not sent any request of evacuation to the Nigerian Embassies in their countries of residence.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama stated this during the joint briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 on Tuesday.

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According to him, the Nigerian government has remained in touch with Nigerian Embassies across the world, especially the worst-hit countries, and will swing to action immediately they receive such notification.

“We are in touch with our embassies around the world especially those in the worst-hit countries. So if there are those who want to be evacuated, it has to be done within the framework of the Embassy. 

“As at now, we have not had any request from any of our embassies indicating any significant numbers of Nigerians wishing to be evacuated.  

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“Certainly, if we receive notification from any of our embassies, we will start to take action and react accordingly,” he said.

[READ MORE: FG commences payment of cash transfer to the vulnerable, as lockdown takes effect)

2.6 million households to get FG relief packages: Speaking earlier during the briefing, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouk announced that 2.6 million households with over 11 million individuals had been earmarked to receive the Federal Government relief packages, as part of palliatives for the masses.

FG commences payment of cash transfer to the vulnerable, as lockdown takes effect

Sadiya Umar Farouk, Minister for Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development

Farouk said the government already has a social register with details of those considered as the vulnerable in society.

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“The social register captures 11,045,537 individuals covering 2, 644,995 poor and vulnerable households around the country, with 47,698 communities, 4946 wards, 453 local governments in 35 states of the country.  

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“This is the register we have and we are going to use it to carry out this intervention,” she said.

She noted that even though the register only covered the poor and vulnerable in the rural areas, the government is aware that the urban poor will be affected by the lockdown, and is working to expand the list to capture another 1 million households.

Giving an update on the progress made, she said, “We have reached out to about 1 million people in 436,000 households across the country. We have already finished distributing 2 months of rations to the people in the IDP camps especially in the north, we are now focusing on those in the FCT. 

“The poor and vulnerable in the register has various categories. The poorest of the poor, people who have been displaced, the elderly and people living with disabilities, and we have taken them all into consideration.”

Honourable Minister for Health, Osagie Ehanire announced earlier that within the next three weeks, over 300 gene Xpert machines used for diagnosing tuberculosis would be converted to be used for COVID-19 testing.

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[READ ALSO: COVID-19: FG grants 3 months moratorium for repayment of all govt funded loans)

Ehanire added that the resources for procuring required commodities had been provided, and the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control had engaged hundreds of ad-hoc staff to support call centres, contact tracing and laboratory work.

The volunteers include retired medical personnel and volunteers who are being trained to support preparedness and treatments.

He appealed to Nigerians to protect the elderly among them and those with underlying medical conditions from unnecessary contact with possible cases.

He added that the NCDC hotline is available round the clock, but warned that it is only to be used for “serious legitimate reporting and enquiries and not for a joke.”

Ruth Okwumbu has a MSc. and BSc. in Mass Communication from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and Delta state university respectively. Prior to her role as analyst at Nairametrics, she had a progressive six year writing career. As a Business Analyst with Narametrics, she focuses on profiles of top business executives, founders, startups and the drama surrounding their successes and challenges. You may contact her via ruth.okwumbu@nairametrics.ng

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Agyo iku

    May 2, 2020 at 11:57 am

    Please Nigeria government help us, because hungry is now killing more than covid 19. thanks.

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Business News

Oil price gains likely to halt over demand uncertainty, as US-China tension intensifies

The rising tension between the US and China is weighing on the global markets. For political reasons, the leadership of each country is blaming the other for the coronavirus pandemic.

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Oil prices gain likely to halt over demand uncertainty as US-China tension intensifies

Crude oil prices, which have been on a steady increase for 3 consecutive weeks, seem to be coming to an end primarily due to the rising tension between the United States and China, and caution over the prospect for a global recovery in oil demand.

This is compounded by the disclosure of the world’s second-largest economy, China, that it is uncertain about its GDP growth target for 2020 because of the coronavirus outbreak.

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The Brent crude, now $34.60 per barrel, sold for $36.41 about 4 days ago. The American WTI, which sells for $32.84 per barrel, sold for almost $34 per barrel a few days ago. Also, the Bonny light crude, selling for $33.01 per barrel, sold for $34.46 per barrel about 4 days ago.

With China’s oil demand climbing back to about 13 million barrels per day, which is about 90% of the pre-pandemic level, oil traders are holding out hopes of a quick rebound elsewhere with the global easing of lockdown.

(READ MORE:Here are 7 oil producing countries that have been most affected by COVID-19)

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The output cut by OPEC+ and top oil-producing countries and more than 2.2 million barrels per day production shut in by U.S, have meant that the supply side of the equation is doing just fine.

Brent crude drops to $25, oil demand drops by about 10% of world’s consumption, Brent Crude Oil hits $26, as Nigeria's Sweet Crude demand falls, Oil price pushes up before OPEC meeting, Asian equity markets mixed, NIGERIA OIL: Darker days ahead as Brent falls below production cost, Oil prices gain likely to halt over demand uncertainty as US-China tension intensifies

However, the rising tension between the US and China is weighing on the global markets. For political reasons, the leadership of each country is blaming the other for the coronavirus pandemic. The Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, warned that the US leaders were potentially pushing towards a new cold war, which is having a negative impact on investors.

Although the US crude inventories fell by 5.6 million barrels last week, the gasoline stocks actually increased.

According to Commerzbank, “After weeks of rising, US gasoline demand was down again for the first time. Demand for oil products also remains subdued elsewhere. With concerns on the demand side remaining we regard the latest price rally on the oil market to be excessive.”

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Despite assurances from the Trump administration’s officials, a V-shaped recovery is extremely unlikely.

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There also appears to be a belief that the US and other countries will not avoid the second wave of infections after reopening the economy.

(READ MORE:Global oil supply to drop by 12 million b/d to 9 year low, covid-19 resurgence still a concern – IEA)

According to Rystad Energy, “A second wave is not such a remote possibility and a new round of lockdowns could send oil prices back to much lower levels very quickly and the markets know it. Therefore, lower prices this morning are not a surprise and they are not necessarily the result of a market event, they are rather a correction of the consecutive boosts that oil has seen over the last days.”

The data firm still believes that oil prices will stabilize at the $30-$35 range with the potential to be $40 later in the year, if and when demand improves and approaches the pre-covid-19 levels.

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Economy & Politics

Lagos to shut down Marine Beach bridge for emergency repairs

The closure will allow the Federal Ministry of Works to carry out emergency repairs on the bridge, in line with the government’s vision of providing a better transportation system in the state.

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Lagos to shut down Marine Beach bridge for emergency repairs

Lagos state government has announced that the Apapa Marine Beach bridge will be closed for five months, from Wednesday 27th May, to Wednesday 21st October, 2020.

The closure will allow the Federal Ministry of Works to carry out emergency repairs on the bridge, in line with the government’s vision of providing a better transportation system in the state.

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In a statement from the Lagos state Ministry of Transportation, the Commissioner, Dr. Frederic Oladeinde, noted that the repairs were long overdue, and necessary to ensure safety of Lagosians, given the number of motorists that use the route.

READ MORE: Nigerians knock Fashola over comments on “bad roads”  

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The Commissioner noted that the repairs included bearing and expansion joint replacement and would be executed in two phases, taking one lane of the bridge at a time.

The first phase will involve handling the lane inbound Apapa while the second phase will be designated to work on the lane that conveys vehicles outside the axis,” he said.

Alternative routes

Oladeinde noted that alternative routes around the bridge had been improved to make them motorable, and ease movements for road users.

READ ALSO: Osinbajo sets up committee on reopening of Nigerian economy, suspends loan deductions for states

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To manage the construction period, the statement noted that Traffic Management Authorities would be hard at work to ameliorate the expected traffic issues and supervise other arrangements.

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“Motorists inwards Wharf road will be diverted to the other section of the bridge outwards Apapa, a contraflow of 200metres has been put in place for vehicles to realign with a proper direction inwards Ajegunle or Wharf road, Apapa, while Motorists descending to Total Gas under bridge will drive without any hindrance,” it read.

The Commissioner called for the understanding and cooperation of motorists and road users during the period to ensure a smooth flow of plans.

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Economy & Politics

Fayemi set to activate digital economy with N5billion broadband infrastructure

Governor Fayemi plans to activate Ekiti state’s digital economy, this would help generate healthy competition within the ICT sector

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Fayemi set to activate digital economy with N5billion broadband infrastructure in Ekiti state

Ekiti state government has concluded plans to create a digital hub, with the laying of a 606-kilometer broadband infrastructure.

The project is expected to lift the state from 16% internet penetration to 90% and is estimated to be worth N5 billion, with the Federal Government contributing N1.1 billion of the total sum.

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This plan is part of the memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which the state Governor signed with O’odua Infraco Resources Limited, a consortium that develops high speed and efficient Fibre Optic Cable (FOC) Open Access Network (OAN) across the South-West region of Nigeria.

According to the Managing Director of O’odua Infraco Resources Limited, Mr Sammy Adigun, the project will be officially flagged off in October and completed within 14 months.

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(READ MORE: What Nigeria stands to gain from new National Broadband Plan)

This decision is a follow-up to the recent crash of Right of Way charges from N4,500 to N145 per meter for broadband infrastructure, and in line with one of the five pillars of Governor Kayode Fayemi’s development plan for Ekiti state.

The Governor noted that these decisions would help generate healthy competition within the ICT sector, thus activating Ekiti state’s digital economy and digital education.

Fayemi noted that the project execution, as well as the broadband policy in the state would be coordinated and supervised by a Digital Infrastructural Committee, made up of various relevant government institutions critical to the implementation of the project.

READ MORE: NCC, Infracos to boost broadband infrastructure with N265 billion 

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“For us the roadmap is first the fibre connectivity itself, the second is the adequate data center infrastructure, the third is the e-learning programme which will cover our educational institutions, then our safe city, our security programme will also be included.

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“With our geographical land information system (GIS), we would digitalize all our land records, and of course, commercial investment as well as digitalisation of our government assets and our health education initiative,” Fayemi explained.

 

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