The World Health Organization (WHO) has cautioned countries against rushing to lift quarantine restrictions too quickly.
This is because doing so might result in a resurgence of Coronavirus cases, a situation that could have more severe and prolonged negative impacts on economies around the world.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO’s Director-General, made this known while giving his opening remark during a media briefing that was held with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). He said:
“Ultimately, the best way for countries to end restrictions and ease their economic effects is to attack the virus, with the aggressive and comprehensive package of measures that we have spoken about many times before: find, test, isolate and treat every case, and trace every contact.
“If countries rush to lift restrictions too quickly, the virus could resurge and the economic impact could be even more severe and prolonged.”
The WHO boss further advised countries to put in place more stringent measures that will ensure that the COVID-19 pandemic becomes a thing of the past. He stressed that saving lives is a prerequisite to economic recovery, because good health and the global economy are intertwined.
It should be noted that half of the world’s population is currently serving stay-at-home/ lockdown orders.
Measures’ advice: The WHO boss urged countries to provide debt relief fund for their citizens to enable them cope with the lockdown. This also includes the removal of financial barriers, as well as provision of financial aid to the most vulnerable households. Ghebreyesus said:
“If people delay or forego care because they can’t afford it, they not only harm themselves, they make the pandemic harder to control and put society at risk. Several countries are suspending user fees and providing free testing and care for COVID-19, regardless of a person’s insurance, citizenship, or residence status.
“We encourage these measures. This is an unprecedented crisis, which demands an unprecedented response. Suspending user fees should be supported with measures to compensate providers for the loss of revenues.
“Governments should also consider using cash transfers to the most vulnerable households to overcome barriers to access. This may be particularly important for refugees, internally displaced persons, migrants and the homeless.”
Other measures he recommended include ensuring that core public health measures are fully funded, in terms of case-finding, testing, contact tracing, collecting data, and communication and information campaigns.
He also urged countries to strengthen their health care systems by paying health care workers promptly and supplying essential medical supplies.
Meanwhile, more than 1 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 have now been reported to WHO, including more than 50,000 deaths. The outbreak, which emerged in China a little over three months ago, has hit economies hard as cities shut down, putting people out of work.
China will not accept any Microsoft-TikTok deal
Trump had raised security concerns about TikTok’s entry into the United States.
China has vowed to fight against the US’ desperate attempt to force Chinese technology firm, ByteDance, (TikTok parent’s company) into selling the company’s US operations to Microsoft.
An editorial piece on China Daily Newspaper, which is state-owned, was straight to the point when it declared that the “US administration’s smash and grab of TikTok will not be taken lying down.” The piece then went ahead to describe America’s moves against TikTok as a “theft” and said the government would respond in due course.
“After vowing to ban the popular short-video sharing app TikTok in the United States on Friday, the White House is reportedly weighing the advantages of allowing Microsoft to purchase its US operations. Such shilly-shallying is a tactic the US administration employed during the trade deal negotiations with China,” the editorial explained.
Why the Chinese are angry: Some hours ago, President Donald Trump gave the world’s most valuable software maker (Microsoft), tactical approval to go ahead with the acquisition of TikTok. Consequently, China, through its state-backed paper, disclosed that it had “plenty of ways to respond if Trump’s administration carries out its planned smash and grab.”
The Backstory: Recall that Nairametrics reported that the world’s biggest software maker, Microsoft, was in talks with ByteDance, the Chinese owners of TikTok, over a possible acquisition of its US operation.
The offer by Microsoft seems to be an escalation of President Trump’s recent attacks on TikTok and other Chinese tech startups. President Trump, in June, had raised security concerns about TikTok’s entry into the world’s largest economy.
Edo, Rivers, Ondo, Katsina, 17 others attract zero investment in 4 months
Lagos topped the list of states that attracted investments during the period under consideration.
About 21 states in Nigeria attracted zero investments in the last 4 months according to data from the Central Bank of Nigeria.
According to data, the following states, Rivers, Ondo, Edo, Sokoto, Oyo, Abia, and Anambra recorded zero capital importation in the last 4 months. Others are Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Borno, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Enugu, Imo, Kastina, Kogi, Kwara, Osun, Oyo, Yobe, and Nassarawa states.
This information is contained in the Capital importation report obtained from the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN. The report also detailed the total amount of fresh investments attracted to the Nigerian economy during the period.
Note that most of the states that failed to attract investments during the period under review also failed to attract any investments in 2019. This means that it is either the necessary steps were not taken by the governments, or foreign investors could not find attraction in the states or the environments were simply not conducive for investment.
Lagos outshines FCT, Niger, 5 other states
As expected, Lagos topped the list of states that attracted investments during the period under consideration. Lagos attracted the highest amount of $5.39 billion during the period. The investment inflow into the state represents over 87% of the $6.17 billion.
Lagos is followed by the Federal Capital Territory which attracted a total investment inflow of $754.01 million.
Niger State attracted a total investment inflow of $11.60 million. Sokoto State also attracted $2.50 million, while Kaduna State attracted the sum of $1.98 million and Ogun attracted $1.70 million.
Kano and Akwa Ibom states recorded investment inflow of about $700,000 and about $237,000 respectively among others.
The limited investment inflows into some of these states clearly indicate that the states are not really attractive to the investors, even before the pandemic. The Managing Partner, FA Consult, Peter Adebayo, explained that the nation’s economy is not attractive enough to pull investments to states that lack the desired viability.
“Most of the investors are scared of insurgencies in the country, though such is limited to some parts of the nation, except for the well-connected investors that are given special attention,” he said.
Back story: Last March, Nairametrics reported that Ekiti, Kogi, Sokoto, Bayelsa, Ebonyi, Gombe, Jigawa, Abia, and five other state governments failed to attract investments in 2019.
FG reveals amount spent on school feeding program during lockdown, denies spending N13.5bn monthly
The FG said it had only spent about N523.3 million on the programme during the lockdown.
The Federal Government has denied some media reports that it spent the sum of N13.5 billion monthly on the homegrown school feeding programme across the 36 states of the federation and Abuja during the lockdown period when school children were at home.
The FG said it had only spent about N523.3 million on the school feeding programme during the lockdown.
The disclosure was made by the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Farouq, during the daily briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Covid-19, on Monday, August 3, in Abuja.
The minister said that there had been a lot of rumours and speculations about one of the key government interventions, the Home Grown School Feeding Programme.
She explained that the programme was modified and implemented in three states following a March 29th Presidential directive, while also stating that it was done in consultation with stakeholders.
The minister said, “It is critical at this juncture to provide details that will help puncture the tissue of lies being peddled in the public space. The provision of ‘Take Home Rations’, under the modified Home Grown School Feeding programme, was not a sole initiative of the MHADMSD.
“The ministry, in obeying the Presidential directive, went into consultations with state governments through the state Governor’s Forum, following which it was resolved that ‘take-home rations’, remained the most viable option for feeding children during the lockdown. So, it was a joint resolution of the ministry and the state governments to give out take-home rations.
“The stakeholders also resolved that we would start with the FCT, Lagos and Ogun states, as pilot cases.”
Going further, she revealed that each take home ration was valued at N4,200 and that the figure was arrived at after proper consultation.
The minister said that the figure was generated from data provided by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and the Central bank of Nigeria (CBN).
She said, “According to statistics from the NBS and CBN, a typical household in Nigeria has 5 to 6 members in its household, with 3 to 4 dependents. So, each household is assumed to have three children.
“Based on the original design of the Home Grown School Feeding programme, long before it was domiciled in the ministry, every child on the programme receives a meal a day. The meal costs N70 per child.
“When you take 20 school days per month, it means a child eats food worth N1,400 per month. Three children would then eat food worth N4,200 per month and that was how we arrived at the cost of the ‘take-home ration.”
The Minister said that it was agreed that the federal government would provide the funding, while the various state governments would handle the implementation. She said that in order to ensure a transparent process, the government had to partner with the World Food Programme (WFP) as technical partners.
She also said that her ministry invited government agencies like the EFCC, CCB, ICPC, DSS and some NGOs to monitor the process, just as TrackaNG also monitoring and giving daily updates, thereby validating the programme.
Giving a further breakdown she disclosed that in the FCT, 29,609 households were impacted, 37,589 households in Lagos and 60,391 in Ogun, making a total of 124,589 households that benefited from the programme between May 14, and July 6.
She said, if 124,589 households received take-home rations valued at N4,200, the amount would be N523,273,800.
A media report had suggested that the Federal Government claimed it was spending the sum of N679 million daily or N13.5 billion on the school feeding programme across the country even during the lockdown period when school children were at home.