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Emefiele insists CBN will not sell forex for importation of items produced in Nigeria

FG is determined to return the Nigerian economy to the period when the manufacturing and agricultural sectors formed the base of the economy.

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has tasked industrial conglomerates operating in the country to support efforts of the government to grow the nation’s economy and return it to its green days. This was disclosed by CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, in a statement issued by the apex bank, and seen by Nairametrics.

The CBN boss warned that the apex bank would not support the importation of items that could be produced in Nigeria. According to him, the bank could not spend its foreign exchange reserves on what would not boost the economy and generate jobs for Nigerians.

In a virtual meeting with Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of conglomerates in Nigeria, Emefiele explained that the CBN, in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s desire, was determined to return the Nigerian economy to the period when the manufacturing and agricultural sectors formed the base of the economy.

He said, “As Nigeria continues the process of the full reopening of its economy due to the lockdown over Coronavirus (COVID-19), the nation needs industrial conglomerates to support efforts aimed at growing the Nigerian economy.”

While acknowledging the challenge of low crude oil prices to major economies of the world, Emefiele expressed confidence that the price of crude would not remain at low levels for a long period. He emphasised that the low crude oil prices were surmountable and Nigeria’s foreign reserves of about $37 billion remained robust to support the economy.

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“Conglomerates should key into the current administration’s drive of diversifying the base of the Nigerian economy by taking advantage of its large population to market their products that could be produced in Nigeria and exported to the rest of the world. CBN is willing to provide foreign exchange to companies that required such for raw materials and machinery that could not be obtained in Nigeria.

“With the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTFA) now billed to commence in January 2021, Nigeria provides the companies with immense opportunities to produce their items and make huge profits through the Nigerian market, which is large enough to support their respective businesses,” he added.

Stressing further on the need to prioritise the Nigerian market, the CBN Governor assured the companies that the bank would collaborate with the relevant government agencies to help nip smuggling in the bud, while also promising to protect their businesses to ensure that they succeeded in Nigeria.

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Abiola has spent about 14 years in journalism. His career has covered some top local print media like TELL Magazine, Broad Street Journal, The Point Newspaper. The Bloomberg MEI alumni has interviewed some of the most influential figures of the IMF, G-20 Summit, Pre-G20 Central Bank Governors and Finance Ministers, Critical Communication World Conference. The multiple award winner is variously trained in business and markets journalism at Lagos Business School, and Pan-Atlantic University. You may contact him via email - [email protected]

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Coronavirus

COVID-19 Update in Nigeria

On the 25th of September 2020, 213 new confirmed cases and 2 deaths were recorded in Nigeria

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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 58,062 confirmed cases.

On the 25th of September 2020, 213 new confirmed cases and 2 deaths were recorded in Nigeria, having carried out a total daily test of 10,526 samples across the country.

To date, 58,062 cases have been confirmed, 49,606 cases have been discharged and 1,103 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 494,577  tests have been carried out as of September 25th, 2020 compared to 484,051 tests a day earlier.

COVID-19 Case Updates- 25th September 2020,

  • Total Number of Cases – 58,062
  • Total Number Discharged – 49,606
  • Total Deaths – 1,103
  • Total Tests Carried out – 494,577

According to the NCDC, the 213 new cases are reported from 17 states- Lagos (51), Plateau (51), FCT (29), Rivers (18), Ondo (12), Oyo (9), Osun (8), Gombe (7), Ogun (7), Kaduna (5), Enugu (4), Edo (3), Jigawa (3), Kano (3), Benue (1), Delta (1), Sokoto (1).

Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 19,174, followed by Abuja (5,644), Plateau (3,373), Oyo (3,248), Edo (2,620), Kaduna (2,389), Rivers (2,305), Delta (1,801), Ogun (1,796), Kano (1,737), Ondo (1,620), Enugu (1,289), Ebonyi (1,038), Kwara (1,028), Abia (881), Gombe (864). Katsina (848), Osun (826),  Borno (741), and Bauchi (692).

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Imo State has recorded 566 cases, Benue (481), Nasarawa (449), Bayelsa (397),  Jigawa (325), Ekiti (317), Akwa Ibom (288), Niger (259), Adamawa (237), Anambra (234), Sokoto (162), Taraba (95), Kebbi (93), Cross River (87), Zamfara (78), Yobe (75), while Kogi state has recorded 5 cases only.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: Western diplomats warn of disease explosion, poor handling by government

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.

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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.

READ ALSO: Bill Gates says Trump’s WHO funding suspension is dangerous

 

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Coronavirus

Lagos launches N5 billion support fund for 2,000 low-cost private schools

The Governor said the facility will benefit low-cost schools with amounts ranging from N500,000 to N5 million.

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Lagos State government has launched a N5billion support fund to help reduce the impact of Coronavirus pandemic on low-cost private schools in the state.

This was disclosed by the Governor of the state, Babajide Sanwo-Olu via his Twitter handle on Friday.

According to him, the educational sector is one of those severely impacted by the pandemic, with schools and vocational learning-centres shut since March.

He said, “With access to funding for privately owned schools and vocational training centres in the state, we are confident that this programme, under the partnership between First Bank Nigeria and Lagos State Education Trust Fund (LSETF) will help accelerate a sustainable return to learning and skills acquisition.”

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He explained that the facility will benefit 2,000 low-cost schools with amounts ranging from N500,000 to N5 million.

“As a responsible Government, we are obligated to provide interventions that would enable learners in schools study in line with the new normal,” the Governor Sanwo-Olu added.

The Chief Executive Officer, First Bank Nigeria, Dr Adesola Adeduntan, said “With this partnership, we are sure that registered educational institutions in Lagos State will have access to funds at subsidised interest rates to meet their needs as they reopen at this auspicious time.”

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Coronavirus

WHO endorses emergency use of China’s COVID-19 vaccine

China says WHO has approved the emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine.

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WHO endorses emergency use of China’s Covid-19 vaccine

The World Health Organization (WHO) has endorsed the plans by China to start administering experimental coronavirus vaccines to people while clinical trials are still underway.

This disclosure was made by a Chinese Health Commission official, Zheng Zhongwei, during a news conference on Friday, September 25, 2020.

Zheng recalled that China launched its emergency programme in July, having communicated with the WHO in late June. Hundreds of thousands essential workers and other limited groups of people considered at high risk of infection have been given the vaccine, even though its efficacy and safety had not been fully established as Phase 3 clinical trials have not yet been completed.

Zheng at the news conference said, “At End-June, China’s State Council approved a plan of COVID-19 vaccine emergency use program. After the approval, on June 29, we made a communication with the relevant representatives of the WHO Office in China, and obtained support and understanding from WHO.’’

Nairametrics had reported that Chinese Pharmaceutical firms have been quite aggressive about the development of a Covid-19 vaccine with the likes of Sinovac Biotech and Sinopharm publicly displaying their vaccine candidate for the first time at a trade fair in Beijing earlier this month.

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(READ MORE: COVID-19: European regulator ready to approve first successful vaccine this year)

It was pointed out that China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm) and the US-listed Sinovac Biotech SVA.O, are developing the three vaccines under the state’s emergency use program just as a fourth COVID-19 vaccine is being developed by CanSino Biologics 6185 HK, was approved for use by the Chinese military in June.

The WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan, while describing it as a temporary solution, said earlier this month in Geneva that national regulatory authorities could approve use of medical products within their own jurisdictions in the current emergency situation.

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He emphasized that the long-term solution in the successful development of a Covid-19 vaccine, lay in completion of Phase 3 trials, this is as China has not publicly released full details of its emergency use programme.

Zheng disclosed that China’s annual production capacity of COVID-19 vaccines is expected to reach 610 million doses by end-2020 and 1 billion doses by 2021. He said that the price of the vaccine will be affordable for the general public.

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