Standard Chartered Bank recently disclosed that it had committed the sum of $1 billion towards financing companies whose production activities are crucial at this time, as the world faces the Coronavirus pandemic.
Eligibility for the credit facility: According to a statement that was issued on the company’s website, companies engaged in the production of essential goods and services are eligible to benefit from the credit facility. In specific terms, the statement named producers and distributors of pharmaceuticals and healthcare products as the main targets.
Also, companies that are planning to start manufacturing products that are needed in the fight against the pandemic also qualify to benefit from the $1 billion credit facility.
Some of the products in high demand at the moment include:
- Face masks
- Various sanitisers
- Protective equipment for medical doctors and other health workers
- Various consumable products
More details: The $1 billion credit facility will be disbursed to qualified companies in the form of loans. The loans can then be used by the companies for export/import financing, or as working capital for their daily activities. Note that Standard Chartered plans to issue in loans at “preferential rates”.
The bank said it is still looking to identify companies that are willing to take up the responsibility of incorporating the production of unrelated but vital products such as anti-virus products. Only companies that have obtained the necessary regulatory approvals to produce these “unrelated products” can be considered for the loan.
Standard Chartered’s CEO of Corporate, Commercial, and Institutional Banking, Simon Cooper was quoted as saying this:
“Clearly there’s a cost for companies to switch into these hugely in-demand items, so it’s an area where we can help them get up and running more quickly. At the same time, we want to make sure that existing manufacturers and service providers get the support they need.
“Our industry teams are looking across our client base and, given our understanding of clients’ current manufacturing processes, we’re assessing which companies might want to consider adding these items to their production line.”
Standard Chartered did not specify whether this credit facility is open to companies around the world. It should, however, be noted that the bank has operations around the world, including Nigeria. Moreover, the statement emphasised that Standard Chartered is dedicated to “serving all of its clients during what is a challenging period for all companies”.
COVID-19 Update in Nigeria
On the 18th of September 2020, 221 new confirmed cases and 1 death were recorded in Nigeria.
The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continues to record increases as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 56,956 confirmed cases.
On the 18th of September 2020, 221 new confirmed cases and 1 death were recorded in Nigeria, having carried out a total daily test of 2,609 samples across the country.
To date, 56,956 cases have been confirmed, 48,305 cases have been discharged and 1,094 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 482,321 tests have been carried out as of September 18th, 2020 compared to 479,712 tests a day earlier.
COVID-19 Case Updates- 18th September 2020,
- Total Number of Cases – 56,956
- Total Number Discharged – 48,305
- Total Deaths – 1,094
- Total Tests Carried out – 482,321
According to the NCDC, the 221 new cases were reported from 18 states- Lagos (59), Abia (46), FCT (22), Gombe (20), Plateau (17), Rivers (11), Bauchi (7), Benue (6), Ekiti (6), Imo (6), Kaduna (4), Kwara (4), Ondo (4), Ogun (3), Osun (3), Bayelsa (1), Edo (1), Kano (1)
Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 18,827, followed by Abuja (5,526), Oyo (3,226), Plateau (3,192), Edo (2,611), Kaduna (2,326), Rivers (2,220), Delta (1,799), Ogun (1,758), Kano (1,734), Ondo (1,594), Enugu (1,234), Ebonyi (1,035), Kwara (1,013), Abia (881), Katsina (845), Osun (810), Gombe (799), Borno (741), and Bauchi (689).
Imo State has recorded 557 cases, Benue (473), Nasarawa (447), Bayelsa (394), Jigawa (322), Ekiti (313), Akwa Ibom (288), Niger (250), Anambra (232), Adamawa (230), Sokoto (161), Taraba (95), Kebbi (93), Cross River (85), Zamfara (78), Yobe (73), 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.
BREAKING: Fire guts fuel tanker, vehicles at Anthony, Lagos
The tanker conveying PMS lost control while in motion and subsequently fell sideways.
There is a fire outbreak, which has gutted a fuel tanker, at Anthony inward Gbagada, Lagos State.
This was disclosed by the Federal Fire Service via its Twitter handle on Friday evening. The incident, which occurred around 10 pm, has razed at least two vehicles.
First responders and other Emergency agencies are already at the scene of explosion in Anthony, Lagos State, Nigeria. Please avoid the area, take alternative routes.
— Federal Fire Service (@Fedfireng) September 18, 2020
The agency urged road users to avoid the area and take alternative routes.
Also, the Director-General of the Lagos State Emergency Agency, Dr Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu, confirmed the incident.
He said, “The Agency responded to distress calls and upon arrival at the scene of incident, it was discovered that a tanker with unknown registration number conveying PMS lost control while in motion and subsequently fell sideways.
“This led to an explosion in which two unidentified vehicles were burnt.”
A joint team of responders led by the Federal Fire Service, LASEMA, LASG fire service, LRU fire unit, Nigeria Police and LASTMA are working together to curb the inferno from escalating further.
Details soon …
Facebook to open Lagos office in 2021
When the social media giant comes to Nigeria, it will be its second office on the African continent.
Social Media giant, Facebook announced it would open an office in Lagos in 2021, its second office in the continent and the first in Africa to house software engineers.
This was announced by Facebook Program Manager, Chimdindu Aneke on social media. “We are opening a Facebook office in Lagos, Nigeria later in 2021,” he said.
We are opening a Facebook office in Lagos, Nigeria later in 2021. 😍😍😍
— Chimdi Aneke (@chimdinduaneke) September 18, 2020
He added that the office would be the first in Africa by Facebook for the purpose of engineering and “building for the future of Africa and beyond”.
Media aide to the Presidency, Tolu Ogunlesi quoted Facebook saying, “As part of its continued commitment and ongoing investment in Africa, Facebook today announced it will be opening an office in Lagos, Nigeria – its second office on the African continent.”
“Lagos, Nigeria, September 18, 2020/ — As part of its continued commitment and ongoing investment in Africa, @Facebook today announced it will be opening an office in Lagos, Nigeria – its second office on the African continent.”#InvestNigeria 🇳🇬🇳🇬🇳🇬
— tolu ogunlesi (@toluogunlesi) September 18, 2020
In 2019, Facebook’s biggest market in Africa was Nigeria with 33 million monthly active users.