In order to help Nigeria fight the coronavirus pandemic, the European Union (EU) is supporting the country with €50 million.
This was announced by the Head of EU delegation in Nigeria, Ambassador Ketil Karlsen during a meeting held with President Buhari at the Council Chambers, State House, Abuja.
Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, took to his Twitter account to publicly announce the grant on Tuesday. He said;
“EU gives Nigeria a grant of 50 million Euro to fight COVID-19. Head of EU delegation, Amb Ketil Karlsen, at the event commended President Buhari for your powerful address to the nation last night, and for the bold and necessary measures you’ve taken.”
EU gives Nigeria a grant of 50 million Euro to fight Covid-19. Head of EU delegation, Amb Ketil Karlsen, at the event commended President Buhari for “your powerful address to the nation last night,” and for “the bold and necessary measures you’ve taken.”
— Femi Adesina (@FemAdesina) April 14, 2020
While receiving the donation, President Buhari commended the EU commission for its efforts at aiding the country fight against the spread of the deadly disease with its €50 million (N21 billion) donation.
“Indeed, this brotherly support will save millions of lives. Nigeria, Africa and many beneficiary countries across the world will remain grateful for generations to come,” the President was quoted saying.
Meanwhile, as Nairametrics reported, there are currently 323 confirmed cases of Coronavirus in the country with 91 patients discharged and ten deaths recorded.
5th evacuation flight for Nigerians in the US scheduled for July 31; see details
The evacuees are to forward the details of tickets and contact addresses of their next of kin.
The Federal Government has approved the 5th Evacuation flight for Nigerians stranded in the United States of America, for July 31.
According to a tweet from the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, the Ethiopian airline, flight number ET547 will leave George Bush international airport Houston, Texas on Friday 31, July 2020 by 16:00 hours and arrive Murtala Muhammed International Airport Lagos on Saturday 1st August 2020 by 20:00 hours.
Notice on the FIFTH Evacuation Flight from the United States of America to Nigeria. #StayHomeSaveLives #COVID19Nigeria #COVID19 #PTFCOVID19 @NigeriaGov @DigiCommsNG @USinNigeria @FMICNigeria pic.twitter.com/JtKJn977ow
— Geoffrey Onyeama (@GeoffreyOnyeama) July 13, 2020
An official statement released by the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Atlanta, Georgia in collaboration with other Nigerian missions in the United States of America, states that Nigerians registered with any of the three Nigerian missions in the USA, and interested in boarding the flight, can purchase their one-way tickets.
“The airfare is $1,500 for economy class and $3,000 for business class for adult/child fare, including all taxes, with the usual percentage reduction for infants under 2 years,” it read.
In addition, the intending evacuees are also expected to forward the details of purchased tickets together with the contact address of their next of kin in Nigeria to the consulate.
In line with the protocols announced by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, all of the returnees are to present a negative COVID-19 test result (not older than 14 days), and undergo a temperature check before boarding the evacuation flight, and upon arriving Nigeria, are expected to proceed on a 14-day self-isolation.
In the last couple of months, the federal government, through the ministry of foreign affairs has evacuated hundreds of stranded Nigerians from different countries including the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Egypt, Malaysia, and Thailand.
The returnees bear the cost of their flight tickets and are expected to self-isolate for two weeks, upon their return to Nigeria. Returnees, who receive a clean bill of health after the isolation, are given their passports and allowed to go home.
Wuse II is most expensive city to cook a pot of Jollof Rice
SBM Intelligence’s Jollof Index reports cost of cooking a pot Jollof Rice in cities across Nigeria.
Data from Nigerian based research firm SBM Intelligence reveals it now costs N7, 240 on average to make a pot of Jollof rice in Nigeria a 6% rise from the same period in April.
Jollof rice is a staple delicacy in Nigeria and eaten daily by most lower, middle class and upper-class families. It is also a popular delicacy in West Africa.
According to the report, “the average Jollof Index for the country as at June 2020 was N7,240. This represents a six percent increase from the Q1 2020 figure which obtained when the index was last released in April. Half of the market, mainly in the South East and the South-South (minus Port Harcourt which had the second highest nationally) were below the national average.”
- The data is sourced from markets in 13 cities within 9 states in Nigeria with Port Harcourt being the newest city.
- The report notes a remarkable disparity between the cities reporting Wuse II located in Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory the highest city for cooking a pot of Jollof Index. It cost N9,300 or 59% more than the lowest, Calabar Municipal.
- The cost of rice, vegetable oil and turkey – three of the ingredients most impacted by the border closure policy – is the biggest driver of this disparity.
- The report cites the border closure as the main reason for the spike in the cost of making a pot of Jollof Rice.
- “A cursory look at the trendline of the Jollof Index will show that by late 2018, it started to decline and maintained this decline into the first quarter of 2019. This changed as the border closure policy was enacted in August 2019 and has been on the rise similar to the recessionary period of 2016 since then. The oil price decline and the COVID-19 pandemic pushed it further between March and May 2020 as prices rose due to the scarcity and increased demand during the lockdown.”
Nigeria has seen a spike in inflation rate in recent months following the government’s policies of border closure and denying forex for most importers. This is part of its program to reduce reliance on imported items particularly food items. A recent bi-weekly research conducted by Nairametrics also reveals significant spike in food prices across markets in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital.
In the Nairametrics report, prices of major household items such as vegetable oil, tomatoes, pepper, rice and several others have once again spiked across major markets. These are all ingredients in making a pot of Jollof rice. The price of a bag of 50kg Mama Gold rice increased marginally by 1.17% to sell for an average of N21,375. Mama’s Pride rice (50kg) also increased marginally by 0.59% to sell for an average of N21,125. A 50kg bag of Foreign rice now sells for an average of N28,500 compared to an initial average of N27,500 indicating a 3.51% increase in price.
The SBM Intelligence report also reveals rice was the most expensive ingredient in the delicacy. Others were groundnut oil, fish and tomatoes.
- From an SBM perspective, fish is not a part of the units used for measuring the Jollof Index, but given that the Calabar area is rich in seafood, fish is the preferred protein additive.
- This increase in the cost of making Jollof rice has made his family reduce the number of times they eat the delicacy. They now substitute with beans, plantain, and garri with soup.
Abuja costliest to cook Jollof Rice
The report indicates Wuse II a major city in the FCT was the most expensive place to cook a pot of Jollof rice. Wuse II is home to most middle class Nigerians living in the capital city Abuja and fast becoming one of the busiest commercial cities in the country.
- According to the report “A respondent based in Abuja said that during the period of the pandemic, the cost of cooking Jollof rice has doubled. She added that she now uses fish in place of chicken or beef as these protein sources are now out of reach for her.
- This has reduced the number of times her family eats Jollof rice, and she substitutes spaghetti or beans.
Jollof is cheaper in the South East
The report also indicates it is cheaper to make a pot of Jollof rice in the South-Eastern part of Nigeria. Prices in the South-South and South-East were below the national average.
- “In the South-East, a respondent said that over the course of the pandemic, the cost of jollof rice for her family of three has gone up from N1,000 to N2,500. She now substitutes her meal with a local vegetable salad known as abacha.
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Economic restrictions in world’s largest economy lowers crude oil prices
Brent crude lost about or 1.62 to trade at $42.04 per barrel.
Crude oil prices dropped lower on Tuesday amidst worries that new restrictions on businesses in the United States could threaten fuel demand recovery.
Also, expectations that OPEC+ might remove the cap placed on crude oil output from August, in a meeting scheduled for Wednesday, has sent Brent crude south.
Brent crude lost about 1.62% to trade at $42.04 per barrel by 6.25 am local time, after losing about 1% yesterday.
Sell-offs in the energy derivative increased pace in the energy market after news filtered in about California’s Governor commanding a massive retrenchment of the state’s reopening, banning indoor restaurants, shutting bars, gyms, hair salons, and closing churches in hardest-hit regions.
Quick fact: Brent crude is the leading global benchmark for Atlantic basin crude oils. The international benchmark is used to set the price of crude oil for about two-thirds of the world’s traded crude oil, including Nigeria’s crude (Bonny Light, Brass River, Qua Iboe, etc.).
Meanwhile, Stephen Innes, Chief Global Market Strategist at AxiCorp, in a note to Nairametrics, spoke about the OPEC scheduled meeting that oil traders are focused on. He said:
“Still, speculation on OPEC+ strategy ahead of OPEC’s Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee meeting tomorrow could make for an exciting 24 hours.
“Existing plans call for OPEC+ cuts to taper in August after a one-month extension.
“While Russia has already indicated it expects to increase production in line with the agreement, there is the possibility that uncertainty around demand as a result of rising coronavirus infections will lead to another extension of the deepest initial phase of cuts.
“Traders do not expect the outcome to be hugely significant for oil either way. The most critical deliverable for OPEC+ is the continued demonstration of unity within the group.”