The Federal Government (FG) has started disbursing the N20,000 Condition Cash Transfer to poor households across the country. The disbursement is said to have started today at the Kwali Area Council in Abuja.
According to the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadia Umar-Farouk, the Federal Government would be giving out the sum of N20,000 to each person for the next four months as a way of cushioning the effect of the coronavirus pandemic.
The disbursement is part of the Federal Government’s efforts that is aimed at helping “vulnerable” Nigerians get through the lockdown directive given by President Muhammadu Buhari following the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
Speaking on the strategy being used to locate and disburse the funds on Channels TV, Umar-Farouk said;
“We have directed immediate cash transfer to the poorest and most vulnerable households in the country. But for the COVID-19, the vulnerable groups have to expand, because we are aware that there are people who live on daily wage, so we are also going to look at those groups of people to see how we can get this food relief intervention to them in this period.”
She further explained that President had said during his broadcast last week that the Conditional Cash Transfer should be given in advance of two months.
Meanwhile, Nigerians have taken to Twitter to react since the President made the announcement that funds would be disbursed to poor and vulnerable households.
Nigerians have wondered what it means to be poor and vulnerable judging by the Government’s yardstick and why the areas where the disbursements would be taken place have not been disclosed.
While some asked if the Federal Government has a database for the poor, others believe the funds should be for every Nigerian and should be disbursed using their bank accounts and BVN numbers.
However, the Presidency announced recently that it has identified 10,695,360 individuals in 35 states across the country as the poorest and most vulnerable Nigerians, during this crisis of COVID19 pandemic.
As at February 29th, 2020, the Federal Government has identified 10,695,360 individuals in 35 states across the country as the poorest and most vulnerable Nigerians, during this crisis of #COVID19 pandemic, President @MBuhari directed the @FMHDSD to look and take care of them. pic.twitter.com/kvr9Xm5QFv
— Bashir Ahmad (@BashirAhmaad) March 30, 2020
It would also be best to provide a detailed account of the areas in focus, as it'll be unfair to think that only the northern part of Nigeria have 'poor and vulnerable' households.
— V E E V (@therealveev) April 1, 2020
I am a rural development expert who has been working with rural poor for more than17 years and I can categorically tell you that you have not captured the poor I know in Northern Nigeria because most of them don't even have bank accounts!!!!Please don't get me more upset! https://t.co/0FkC80znjI
— Hauwa El-Yakub (@Hawee007) March 31, 2020
This is the discussion or debate I have been having with people. What criteria have we used to defined the vulnerables? Does the data capture has the coverage to include all the eligible? Even the social register doesn't capture the most vulnerables.
— Abu AbdurRahman (@Mukhtarishaq2) April 1, 2020
COVID-19: FG to disburse N10 billion for local vaccine production
The Minister of Health has disclosed that Nigeria is exploring options for the licensed production of COVID-19 vaccine.
The Federal Government, through the Ministry of Finance, has announced the sum of N10billion for the production of vaccines in Nigeria, to fight the coronavirus.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, at the daily Covid-19 briefing by the Presidential Task Force on Monday in Abuja.
- “The Ministry of Finance has released N10billion to support domestic vaccine production. While we are working to develop our own vaccines, Nigeria is exploring options for licensed production, in collaboration with recognised institutions. We are also exploring the option of local production of the vaccines in the country.”
He also warned Nigerians to ignore news about vaccines being for sale in Nigeria, as the procedures to acquire vaccines have to pass through due process.
- “I advise all citizens to disregard these claims, as they are criminal. There are procedures for vaccine acquisition and use, which include appropriate regulations and certification by National Agency for Food and Drug and Administration and Control (NAFDAC).
- “I advise against fake vaccines, as there is no one approved for use in the country. The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) is the only authorised vaccine administrator in Nigeria.”
He also stated that as Nigeria is experiencing the second wave, the FG needs to change its response procedures through infection mitigations and vaccines.
- “There is no doubting the fact that we are deeply into the second wave of the pandemic which requires that PTF and FMoH review our strategies to respond to the challenge. The Federal Ministry of Health has outlined three approaches to confront the pandemic – Infection mitigation, Therapeutics and Vaccines.”
What you should know
- Nairametrics reported in November 2020, that the Health Minister announced Nigeria’s plans to set up a vaccine production company in Nigeria to boost local COVID-19 vaccine production.
COVID-19 Update in Nigeria
On the 18th of January 2021, 1,617 new confirmed cases and 14 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 112,004 confirmed cases.
On the 18th of January 2021, 1,617 new confirmed cases and 14 deaths were recorded in Nigeria.
To date, 112,004 cases have been confirmed, 89,939 cases have been discharged and 1,449 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 1.17 million tests have been carried out as of January 17th, 2021 compared to 1.15 million tests a day earlier.
COVID-19 Case Updates- 18th January 2021,
- Total Number of Cases – 112,004
- Total Number Discharged – 89,939
- Total Deaths – 1,449
- Total Tests Carried out – 1,172,234
According to the NCDC, the 1,617 new cases were reported from 18 states- Lagos (776), Kaduna (147) Kwara (131), FCT (102), Plateau (78), Edo (59), Ogun (53), Osun (45), Rivers (37), Taraba (36), Nasarawa (34), Adamawa (33), Kano (26), Delta (20), Ebonyi (16), Bayelsa (11), Gombe(11) and Borno (2).
Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 41,400, followed by Abuja (14,700), Plateau (6,831), Kaduna (6,325), Oyo (4,695), Rivers (4,429), Edo (3,320), Ogun (2,912), Kano (2,617), Delta (2,122), Ondo (2,070), Katsina (1,723), Kwara (1,697), Enugu (1,583), Gombe (1,500), Nasarawa (1,335), Ebonyi (1,275), Osun (1,260), Abia (1,134), and Bauchi (1,107).
Borno State has recorded 867 cases, Imo (857), Sokoto (677), Akwa Ibom (667), Benue (657), Bayelsa (619), Adamawa (573), Niger (547), Anambra (515), Ekiti (473), Jigawa (425), Taraba (294), Kebbi (251), Yobe (211), Cross River (169), Zamfara (162), 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.
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.
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.
Covid-19: WHO warns the world faces catastrophic moral failure due to vaccine nationalism
The WHO has said that the prospects of equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines were at serious risk.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said the world is on the brink of a catastrophic moral failure due to the fear of Covid-19 vaccine nationalism by the wealthy countries, while the poor countries are left behind.
This is as the UN health agency revealed that the prospects of equitable distribution of the vaccines were at serious risk just as its COVAX vaccine-sharing scheme plans to start distributing inoculations in February.
According to a report from Reuters, this disclosure was made by the Director-General of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyrsus, at the opening of the body’s Annual Executive Board virtual meeting.
He pointed out that 44 bilateral deals were signed last year and at least 12 have already been signed this year.
What the WHO Director-General is saying
Tedros warned against vaccine nationalism to avoid making the same mistake during the HIN1 and HIV pandemic.
The WHO boss in his statement said,
- “This could delay COVAX deliveries and create exactly the scenario COVAX was designed to avoid with hoarding, a chaotic market, an uncoordinated response and continued social and economic disruption. Such a ‘me-first approach’ left the world’s poorest and most vulnerable at risk.
- “Ultimately, these actions will only prolong the pandemic, countries should avoid making the same mistakes made during the H1N1 and HIV pandemics.’’
He expressed his reservations over the ‘me-first’ attitude of the rich countries and the vaccine manufacturers who prioritize going for regulatory approval in wealthy countries rather than submitting their data to WHO for approval of the vaccines for use globally.
The global scramble for shots has intensified, as more infectious virus variants circulate.
Tedros said more than 39 million vaccine doses had been administered in 49 higher-income countries, whereas just 25 doses had been given in one poor country.
Observers say this board meeting, which lasts until next Tuesday, is one of the most important in the U.N. health agency’s more than 70-year history, and could shape its role in global health long after the pandemic ends.
What you should know
- The WHO and health experts had severally warned against nationalism as a serious threat to the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
- They had called for an equitable distribution of the Covid-19 vaccine amongst all countries globally, as the wealthy nations will still be at risk of the pandemic if the poor countries are still battling with the disease.