The decision of the Federal Government of Nigeria to enforce a 14-day lockdown in the Federal Capital Territory, Lagos state and Ogun state, did not have the warmest of receptions. In fact, many Nigerians took to Twitter to complain about how this could be equivalent to putting the economy on a lock-down as well, particularly since the affected states are critical economic locations in the country.
Ten days into the lockdown, Nairametrics looks at how top Chief Executive Officers have spent their time in this period. We have considered this list in no particular order.
This CEO of Access Bank Nigeria Plc has definitely made great use of the lockdown. As a member of the Private sector Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID), Wigwe has used his social media handles to push the StaySafe and WorkFromHome campaign.
From his Twitter handle @HerbertOWigwe, he has continued to advocate social distancing, washing of hands and working from home.
In these unprecedented times, these things are critical: Work from home; wash your hands thoroughly; practice physical distancing and call you aging loved ones (daily). pic.twitter.com/ZWT4cTM7Wg
— Herbert Wigwe, FCA (@HerbertOWigwe) April 1, 2020
Most recently, he joined the CACOVID #stayingalivechallenge, and had to share with Nigerians how he was keeping busy while staying at home. While nominating 5 others on Twitter to take up the challenge.
Join us & tag 5 friends. pic.twitter.com/89G4AjRP3e
— Herbert Wigwe, FCA (@HerbertOWigwe) April 5, 2020
Group Managing Director and CEO of First Bank Nigeria Plc, Adesola Adeduntan has equally been busy while complying with the lockdown directives.
Adeduntan has, over the past 10 days, advocated alternate banking channels for customers in line with the sit-at-home directive of the federal government, in addition to promoting the e-learning platform launched for students, amid the coronavirus outbreak.
In the bid to lighten the mood during the lockdown, he also participated in the #StayingAliveChallenge from the Private sector coalition against COVID-19.
Through his Instagram handle, adeduntansola, he shared how he was spending quality time with his children, and in the spirit of the game, he passed on the challenge to 5 nominees.
View this post on Instagram
The members of Coalition Against Covid 19, @Cacovidng nominated me for this challenge. So here we go. The one thing that has contributed to my staying alive during this COVID19 crisis is playing with my children and teaching them a number of African games and folklores. What are you doing to stay alive? Share your video or pictures and remember to tag and follow @Cacovidng. I also nominate my friends, @lande_omo_oba, @oiyiola, @ijakadi.oni, @aoladapo, @rafiu40,@adwoba, @folakemiinspiring, @raphaellewu,@olufemiawoyemi @wolearisekola @smitholuwafunke,@tundeirukera, @taiwoshonekan, @fklaguda to join me. Your challenge is to post a video or pictures of yourself doing whatever you are doing to stay alive and how this activity has helped you stay alive. Tag five people to do the same. The battle against Covid 19 is one we must fight together because it affects us all. Join us #Stayingalivechallenge #Thistooshallpass
Who would have thought that the 51 year old Chief Executive could be so playful?
(READ MORE: 7 startups empowered to fight COVID-19 in Nigeria)
Uzoka became Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of United Bank for Africa Plc in 2016, after serving as an Executive Director for six years.
He won the “BusinessDay’s Bank CEO” award for year 2019, in recognition of his achievements for the last three years in the bank, particularly in turning the fortunes of the bank around within the first year of becoming CEO.
Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, UBA presented N1 billion to Lagos state government to support the fight against the virus, and also donated N500 million to the FCT through the UBA foundation.
Uzoka has himself not said much about the pandemic or the lockdown.
He appears to be engrossed in his job, governing the corporate empire whose rise or fall rests on his shoulders.
(READ MORE: NDIC donates N1 billion for COVID-19 relief fund)
Fondly called Abu, the inspirational Chief Executive of Sterling Bank has not been left behind. Though he does not say much about staying at home, or otherwise, Suleiman has used his free time to push the recently launched 1billion naira health workers’ fund.
In series of tweets on his handle @suleimana, he has continued to encourage Nigerians to support the healthcare workers and ensure that they do not suffer needless losses as a result of the pandemic.
Please support our health workers directly involved in containing the Covid19 pandemic. The fund will pay hazard allowances to this category of people who are now at risk of being infected.
Sterling seeded the fund with N25m
Please share & donate.https://t.co/SBV6umYpw6
— Abubakar Suleiman (@suleimana) April 2, 2020
Sterling Bank Plc launched the N1 billion Health Workers’ Fund to support healthcare professionals who put themselves at risk.
The fund is being coordinated by the Sterling One foundation, and Sterling Bank Plc already donated N25 million to kick-start donations.
Uzoma Dozie followed in his father’s footsteps when he decided to set up Sparkle after overseeing a smooth merger between Diamond Bank and Access Bank Plc. Sparkle is a mobile-first platform which allows retailers to set and achieve daily objectives and scale their businesses. It provides lifestyle services including inventory management, invoice statements, FOREX services, etc.
Uzoma Dozie is CEO and founder of Sparkle, and son of Octogenarian billionaire and founder of Diamond bank Plc, Pascal Dozie.
Dozie wasted no time in replying the #StayingAliveChallenge thrown to him by Herbert Wigwe.
He shared on his twitter [email protected]_Sparkle, his experiences learning how to fish and climb using virtual reality, and as usual, passed on the baton.
— Uzoma Dozie (@Uzoma_Sparkle) April 6, 2020
Agbaje became MD/ CEO of GTBank when Tayo Aderinokun passed on in June 2011. He has held the position since then, winning several awards for the bank including Best Bank in Nigeria by Euromoney, and African Bank of the Year by African Banker Award.
In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent spread, Segun Agbaje has demonstrated lots of patriotism to Nigeria and Lagos state, where the bank’s headquarters is located.
Agbaje is a key part of the CACOVID, and also advocates strict adherence to the social distancing and hand washing directives given by the government to check the spread of the virus.
He made a personal donation of N1 billion under the auspices of the CACOVID relief fund, while the bank donated a 100-bed intensive care facility to the Lagos state government, to compensate for the huge gap in required number of facilities for treatment, isolation and testing.
Agbaje is, undoubtedly, eager for the COVID-19 pandemic to come to an end so that he can fully return to his business of making more money for stakeholders and keeping customers satisfied.
Jubril Adewale Tinubu
Jubril Adewale Tinubu is the CEO of Oando Plc. He has used the lockdown period to share messages of hope via his social media handles, encouraging Nigerians to see themselves as being safe at home, rather than stuck at home.
Team open and positive mindset always!
What side are you on? https://t.co/R9cvzcEY6v
— Wale Tinubu (@AdewaleTinubu) April 1, 2020
He has also shared and retweeted several videos in recent tweets, targeted at educating and enlightening nigerians on the pandemic and how to stay safe.
It is important that in our fight against the #COVID19 pandemic,we leave no one behind/uninformed about the virus and how to contain it. With this in mind,we decided to create a series of videos to ensure we play our part in educating every Nigerian in a language they understand. pic.twitter.com/5AwCP3Qv7j
— Oando PLC (@Oando_PLC) April 6, 2020
Tinubu is no doubt, taking a COVID-19 enlightenment challenge, all by himself.
(READ MORE: COVID-19: What businesses must do to mitigate crisis)
Ebenezer Onyeagwu became Group Managing Director / Chief Executive Officer of Zenith Bank in 2019 after more than three decades of banking.
Recently, Zenith Bank was recognized as the Most Valuable Banking Brand in Nigeria, the third year in a row, in the Banker Magazine “Top 500 Banking Brands 2020” and as the Bank of the Decade (People’s Choice) at ThisDay Awards 2020.
These awards, no doubt, testified to Onyeagwu’s managerial expertise and experience, even in the face of the peculiar Nigerian environment.
Besides speaking at the launch of the automated voice banking service this week, Onyeagwu has been quite silent since the lockdown.
Zenith bank however, donated N1 billion naira to the CACOVID relief fund as part of its corporate responsibilities and to support government efforts. The bank also donated N100 million to provide relief for the victims of the Abule-ado explosion in Lagos state, recently.
Adetokunbo Mukhail Abiru
Adetokunbo Abiru, is known as the CEO who came into the limelight at the wrong time and for the wrong reasons – Skye bank’s financial crisis.
Abiru was able to prove his mettle when he moved the new Polaris Bank from the brink of total collapse – never mind that he watched it get there in the first place – to the path of total recovery.
Under his leadership, the bank recovered over N200 billion of outstanding bad loans within a short period, and restructured agreements with most of the chronic bad debtors. The bank also invested in technology within the period, diversifying its service models and widening the range of channels for customers.
Known for his no-nonsense approach, Abiru is one CEO that manages to keep off the public radar. Not much is known about how he has spent the last 10 days of the lockdown.
(READ MORE: Flour Mills donates big to COVID-19 relief fund)
Ayeyemi assumed the office of CEO of Ecobank in 2015, after a successful banking career with Citigroup, as CEO of the Sub-Saharan division.
This is another Chief Executive who likes to keep his private life private, so he has not been in the public much since the lockdown, both online and offline.
He however, took up the washing hands challenge recently and posted a video on his twitter handle, @AAyeyemi, showing Nigerians how to wash their hands and keep safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
— Ade Ayeyemi (@AAyeyemi) March 19, 2020
He has also been promoting the StaySafeNigeria media campaign which Ecobank launched in March as part of its corporate actions to support government efforts to contain the pandemic.
Nairametrics had reported recently that the bank failed to declare dividends or bonuses for shareholders for the fourth year in a row, so it is likely that the CEO is staying away from public glare, while trying to fix things, even as the bank scaled down operations in line with government directives.
Yinka Sanni has about three decades of corporate experience in the banking sector, with a significant number of those years spent in the Stanbic IBTC Group.
The CEO of Stanbic IBTC bank likes to keep his personal life shrouded from the public glare.
What he has not kept secret is the fact that he is a strong advocate of social distancing and other directives of the government to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
In recent times, he has continued to retweet posts from the Atedo Nari Atowari Peterside (ANAP) foundation, especially those calling for public enlightenment on #StayAtHome.
Re COVID-19, in my opinion, this 5 minute video is the best I have seen in terms of the explaining the urgent need for Social Distancing and an early Lockdown. Share with friends and family. It will save lives. https://t.co/tKy4vYK8fT
— Atedo Peterside (@AtedoPeterside) March 25, 2020
Cost of Ivermectin soars after research suggest 75% chance of cutting Covid-19 deaths
Ivermectin prices have risen after Research published by the International Ivermectin Project Team shows drug can reduce Covid-19 deaths
As Azuka laid down in bed feverish, he had resigned to his fate believing he was not going to make it to the next day.
Just 3 days into the new year and all the fun he had, attending weddings and burial ceremonies in the east all seemed like a big mistake. He must have caught covid-19 at one of those events, he thought.
Since attending the last event, he fell sick and has been exhibiting the symptoms of Covid-19 and just waiting to die until someone recommended Ivermectin, a little known drug as a potential medicine that could help save his life.
A few days later he recovered and spread the news to friends and family – he believes Ivermectin cured him.
The rush to purchase Ivermectin in Lagos has increased of late after stories similar to that of Azuka (not his real name) spread. As Nigeria’s caseloads rise past 120k cases, some Nigerians are increasingly worried about contracting Covid-19, rushing to pharmacies to purchase a drug that they all believe is the most portent to fight Covid-19.
What is Ivermectin?
According to the World Health Organisation, Ivermectin was originally produced in the 1980s as a veterinary drug used largely for nematode control in cattle, horses, pigs, and dogs and became the standard for control of the ectoparasitic disease, scabies. It soon became the world’s most profitable veterinary drug.
Since then, Ivermectin has been used on humans for controlling strongyloidiasis, a human pathogenic parasitic roundworm causing the disease strongyloidiasis. According to medical sources, it is also known in the US as threadworm, UK, and Australia as pinworms.
In Nigeria, it has been used to treat worms, according to a pharmacist who spoke to Nairametrics.
“Originally it’s a worm expeller (Antihelminthic) used in the elimination of parasitic worms from the body. They use it in combination with doxycycline. They also use Vitamin C in combination with Axrthromycin.”
However, more recently, the drug is now being used for the treatment of Covid-19 pushing demands for the drug high across pharmacies in Lagos. A Nairametrics survey suggests the drug cost as high as N100,000.
Another pharmacist who craved anonymity explains.
“It was one of the available free drugs dispensed to patients at clinics in Nigeria – for eliminating different types of worms from the body. People usually don’t buy it from pharmacies because of the low price, thinking it’s not good quality tabled for expelling worms. It was not expensive and almost cost next to nothing, but now it sells for as high as N200 per tablet”
At N200 per tablet, a pack of 500 tablets could go for as high as N100,000. From all indications, the prices are unstable and could be purchased from as little as N20,000 per pack of 500 tablets to as high as N100,000. It all depends on demand and supply and who is under pressure to get a “cure”.
Is the drug credible?
Several social media posts and videos allude to the efficacy of the drug in “preventing and curing” Covid-19 but this is yet to be certified by the WHO.
The drug however came into the limelight after a Financial Times article claimed the drug had a chance of cutting covid-19 deaths by up to 75%.
The article was based on research published by the International Ivermectin Project Team led by the University of Liverpool lecturer Andrew Hill. A Nigerian Olufemi Emmanual Babalola, from Bingham University/Lagos University, Nigeria is also part of the group.
Here is an excerpt of the result of the research conducted by the group
“Ivermectin was associated with reduced inflammatory markers (C-Reactive Protein, d-dimer, and ferritin) and faster viral clearance by PCR. Viral clearance was treatment dose- and duration-dependent. Ivermectin showed significantly shorter duration of hospitalization compared to control. In six RCTs of moderate or severe infection, there was a 75% reduction in mortality (Relative Risk=0.25 [95%CI 0.12- 0.52]; p=0.0002); 14/650 (2.1%) deaths on ivermectin; 57/597 (9.5%) deaths in controls) with favorable clinical recovery and reduced hospitalization. “
Currently, the only other drug with the same level of worldwide unofficial approval for treatment of Covid-19 is Remdesivir, after it also showed an effect on improving recovery rate for Covid-19 patients.
The choice between waiting for a vaccine or self-medication
More recently, the search for cures for Covid-19 has been overshadowed by vaccine breakthroughs across the world. For most governments, preventing covid-19 is better than curing it which is why more effort is geared towards vaccine distributions and other preventive measures such as insisting on facemasks and introducing new lockdowns.
But for developing economies like Nigeria, where self-medication is prevalent, drugs like Ivermectin are easier to purchase over the counter as well as administer. Just like the demand for chloroquine, zinc, and vitamin C soared in the first wave of Covid-19, demand for Ivermectin is rising along with its price.
Fortunately, Ivermectin is backed by research even though the researchers expressed caution as more trials need to be conducted.
“Despite the encouraging trend this existing data base demonstrates, it is not yet a sufficiently robust evidence base to justify the use or regulatory approval of ivermectin. However, the current paucity of high-quality evidence only highlights the clear need for additional, higher-quality and larger-scale clinical trials, warranted to investigate the use of ivermectin further.
“The maximum effective dose of ivermectin needs to be clarified and new clinical trials should use a consistent multi-day dosing regime, with at least 0.4mg/kg/day. The appropriate dose and schedule of ivermectin still requires evaluation and the current randomized clinical trials of ivermectin need to be continued until ready for rigorous review by regulatory agencies.” International Ivermectin Project Team
Asides Ivermectin, Nigerians have also resorted to traditional medicine such as a beverage of lemongrass, dogonyaro leaves, garlic, ginger, and bitter kola to prevent and cure Covid-19, despite orthodox vaccines proven to be effective.
Perhaps it is because no one is sure when the vaccine will get to Nigeria after it was initially meant to arrive in January and since pushed to February 2021. And even if it does arrive in Nigeria, most people do not believe it will get to ordinary Nigerians on time especially when they cite the way the Covid-19 palliatives was handled.
For now, the need for self-reliance is driving people towards any drug they believe can cure covid-19.
Veteran talk-show host, Larry King dies at 87
Legendary longtime CNN talk show host, Larry King is dead.
Larry King, the multiple award-winning TV and radio host has died at the age of 87.
King who had a long-running show on CNN, Larry King Live was a household name for his many interviews with political leaders, celebrities and newsmakers.
King’s death was announced on his official Twitter handle stating that he passed on Saturday morning at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, USA.
The statement read in part:
“With profound sadness, Ora Media announces the death of our co-founder, host and friend Larry King, who passed away this morning at age 87 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.
“For 63 years and across the platforms of radio, television and digital media, Larry’s many thousands of interviews, awards, and global acclaim stand as a testament to his unique and lasting talent as a broadcaster.”
— Larry King (@kingsthings) January 23, 2021
The statement did not however, reveal the cause of death, but sources say King was hospitalised for COVID-19 in early January.
Since the news broke, friends, colleagues and admirers have taken to different social networks to express their sadness and condole with the family of the celebrated broadcaster.
What you should know about Larry King
- King rose to fame in the 1970s with his radio programme The Larry King Show, on the commercial network Mutual Broadcasting System.
- He hosted the Larry King Live on CNN for 25 years, between 1985 and 2010, carrying out more than 30,000 interviews, including every sitting president from Gerald Ford to Barack Obama.
- King also wrote a column for the USA Today newspaper for over 20 years.
- After leaving CNN, King hosted another programme, Larry King Now, broadcast on Hulu and RT, Russia’s state-controlled international broadcaster.
Niger Insurance Plc gets shareholders nod to restructure business
Niger Insurance Plc has announced plans to restructure its insurance business into distinct but mutually dependent business entities.
Niger Insurance Plc has obtained shareholders’ approval to restructure its insurance business into general, life and business insurance, with each segment to be structured as a separate legal entity.
This is part of the resolutions passed at the 50th Annual General Meeting of Niger Insurance Plc., held on 20th of January, 2021 at Peninsula Hotel in Lekki, Lagos.
The decision to restructure the company is in a bid to make it more efficient and profitable to stakeholders, especially as efforts are geared towards overturning a loss of about 1,1723.2% Year-on-Year, earlier made by the company in its last reported financial statement, Q2, 2020, as reported by Nairametrics.
Other key decisions reached at the 50th AGM include;
- The re-appointment of Mr Ebi Enaholo and Mrs. Olufemi Owopetu as Directors of the company.
- Acceptance of the presented financial statement for the year ended December 31, 2019 and the report of the audit committee, directors and auditors.
- Directors were authorized to fix the remuneration of the auditors.
- Directors were authorized to appoint external auditors to replace retiring auditors of the company.
- The appointment of four individuals as members of the audit committee.
- A decision to restructure the company’s business capital was also reached.
In case you missed it: The shareholders of Niger Insurance Plc in the 49th Annual General Meeting approved the decision by the company’s board to raise additional capital to the tune of N15 billion, in a bid to meet the revised recapitalization targets for general and life insurance companies.
What you should know: The House of Representatives had in December 2020 directed NAICOM to suspend the mandatory deadline for the first phase of 50%-60% of the minimum paid-up share capital for insurance and reinsurance firms.