As part of the stimulus package announced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to help mitigate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the economy and businesses, the apex bank introduced an N50 billion Targeted Credit Facility (TCF) in March 2020, to support households and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) that have been affected by the pandemic.
The facility from CBN, which is to be disbursed through the NIRSAL Microfinance Bank Ltd (NMBL), had recorded about 80,000 applications as at April.
However, this program has not been without some hiccups with many applicants complaining about difficulties in assessing the facility.
During an interview with ChannelsTV, the Managing Director of NIRSAL Microfinance Bank Plc, Abubakar Kure, explained why there were difficulties in disbursing the facility to the applicants.
He disclosed that the nationwide lockdown and restrictions had been a major challenge to the smooth processing of the facility. This was also compounded by the inability of some of the applicants to secure guarantors.
According to Kure, “You are all aware of the lockdown across the country and major cities. We have lockdown around Kano, Lagos, Port Harcourt, and incidentally Kaduna. So all these major cities constitute a significant part of the applicants who applied for COVID [loans]. We are actually thinking outside the box to see how we can reach them so that they can come and have the loans.
“Currently what we do is that we are using digitalization in the form of emails. We send emails to those who have email accounts, we print their offer letters, send back to them, do the documentations and they are able to drawdown.
‘’The most important thing is about the lockdown and that’s why the credit facility was created. It also constitutes a challenge.”
Going further he said, ‘’We are improving our processes, systems, people to be able to meet up with the expectations. You are fully aware that this loan is for a short term. It’s a short term seamless package by Central Bank intended to cushion the effect on businesses and people. However, because of the lockdown and the restriction of people, there have been delays. We have also noticed the issue around guarantors.”
The NMFB boss, while explaining, also encouraged qualified individuals to come forward and guarantee the approved applicants because they had viable businesses. He said that the ones that had been evaluated were very successful SMEs with the capacity to pay back.
On why the difficulty in disbursing the credit facility considering that it was supposed to be a short term facility to cater for businesses and households during the period of pandemic and lockdown, Mr Kure said, “This is a loan and not a grant, you are required to sign offer letters in terms of documentation that need to be signed so that it requires physical interaction between the bank i.e. NIRSAL Microfinance bank as well as the customers. So customers are unable to even come to sign the documentations and customers are even unable to get guarantors.”
However, as part of the solution to this challenge, Kure said the bank was trying to enlighten the customers about other channels of payment like mobile applications and the USSD. He said that those that we’re able to finish their documentation and sign offer letters, a fundamental aspect of the loan, could drawdown.
On the number of applicants that had benefitted so far from the facility, the NMFB MD said, “If you go to our website, we have over 1000 applicants that are enjoying the facilities. The buildup is expected in a few days to come.”
He also disclosed that NIRSAL Microfinance bank had received N5 billion from CBN for about 5,000 applicants and they hoped to disburse about 90% of that in a few weeks to come.
This disbursement from the apex bank was collaborated by CBN’s Director for Development Finance, Yusuf Yila, who said that they had disbursed N5 billion for 5,000 applicants through the NMFB.
On the kind of collateral needed for small businesses, Kure said they were usually soft collaterals that ranged from guarantors to movable assets like cars, equipment, and so on, unlike large volume ticket collaterals for big businesses. He said the most important thing to consider in the approval was the cash flow and the ability to pay back the facility.
He also disclosed that the households constituted about 65% of the applications that were received.
COVID-19 Update in Nigeria
On the 4th of August 2020, 304 new confirmed cases and 14 deaths were recorded in Nigeria.
The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continues to record significant increase as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 44,433 confirmed cases.
On the 4th of August 2020, 304 new confirmed cases and 14 deaths were recorded in Nigeria, having carried out a total daily test of 1,601 samples across the country.
To date, 44,433 cases have been confirmed, 31,851 cases have been discharged and 910 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 289,133 tests have been carried out as of August 3rd, 2020 compared to 287,532 tests a day earlier.
COVID-19 Case Updates- 4th August 2020,
- Total Number of Cases – 44,433
- Total Number Discharged – 31,851
- Total Deaths – 910
- Total Tests Carried out – 289,133
According to the NCDC, the 304 new cases are reported from 19 states- FCT (90), Lagos (59), Ondo (39), Taraba (18), Rivers (17), Borno (15), Adamawa (12), Oyo (11), Delta (9), Edo (6), Bauchi (4), Kwara (4), Ogun (4), Osun (4), Bayelsa (3), Plateau (3), Niger (3), Nasarawa (2) and Kano (1)
Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 15,414, followed by Abuja (4,087), Oyo (2,782), Edo (2,317), Rivers (1,859), Kano (1,598), Delta (1,529), Kaduna (1,498), Ogun (1,411), Plateau and Ondo (1,243), Enugu (846), Ebonyi (808), Kwara (790), Katsina (746), Borno (628), Gombe (620), Abia (602), Osun (584), and Bauchi (565).
Imo State has recorded 469 cases, Benue (356), Bayelsa (342), Nasarawa (341), Jigawa (322), Niger (226), Akwa Ibom (221), Adamawa (176), Sokoto (154), Ekiti (152), Anambra (135), Kebbi (90), Zamfara (77), Taraba (72), Yobe (67), Cross River (58), 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.
|Date||Confirmed case||New cases||Total deaths||New deaths||Total recovery||Active cases||Critical cases|
|August 4, 2020||44433||304||910||14||31851||11672||7|
|August 3, 2020||44129||288||896||8||20663||22570||7|
|August 2, 2020||43841||304||888||5||20308||22645||7|
|August 1, 2020||43537||386||883||4||20287||22567||7|
|July 31, 2020||43151||462||879||1||19565||22707||7|
|July 30, 2020||42689||481||878||5||19270||22541||7|
|July 29, 2020||42208||404||873||5||19004||22331||7|
|July 28, 2020||41804||624||868||8||18764||22172||7|
|July 27, 2020||41180||648||860||2||18203||22117||7|
|July 26, 2020||40532||555||858||2||17374||22300||7|
|July 25, 2020||39977||438||856||11||16948||22173||7|
|July 24, 2020||39539||591||845||12||16559||22135||7|
|July 23, 2020||38948||604||833||20||16061||22054||7|
|July 22, 2020||38344||543||813||8||15815||21716||7|
|July 21, 2020||37801||576||805||4||15677||21319||7|
|July 20, 2020||37225||562||801||12||15333||21091||7|
|July 19, 2020||36663||556||789||11||15105||20769||7|
|July 18, 2020||36107||653||778||6||14938||20391||7|
|July 17, 2020||35454||600||772||3||14633||20049||7|
|July 16, 2020||34854||595||769||9||14292||19793||7|
|July 15, 2020||34259||643||760||6||13999||19500||7|
|July 14, 2020||33616||463||754||10||13792||19070||7|
|July 13, 2020||33153||595||744||4||13671||18738||7|
|July 12, 2020||32558||571||740||16||13447||18371||7|
|July 11, 2020||31987||664||724||15||13103||18160||7|
|July 10, 2020||31323||575||709||20||12795||17819||7|
|July 9, 2020||30748||499||689||5||12546||17513||7|
|July 8, 2020||30249||460||684||15||12373||17192||7|
|July 7, 2020||29789||503||669||15||12108||17012||7|
|July 6, 2020||29286||575||654||9||11828||16804||7|
|July 5, 2020||28711||544||645||11||11665||16401||7|
|July 4, 2020||28167||603||634||6||11462||16071||7|
|July 3, 2020||27564||454||628||12||11069||15867||7|
|July 2, 2020||27110||626||616||13||10801||15693||7|
|July 1, 2020||26484||790||603||13||10152||15729||7|
|June 30, 2020||25694||561||590||17||9746||15358||7|
|June 29, 2020||25133||566||573||8||9402||15158||7|
|June 28, 2020||24867||490||565||7||9007||14995||7|
|June 27, 2020||24077||779||558||4||8625||14894||7|
|June 26, 2020||23298||684||554||5||8253||14491||7|
|June 25, 2020||22614||594||549||7||7822||14243||7|
|June 24, 2020||22020||649||542||9||7613||13865||7|
|June 23, 2020||21371||452||533||8||7338||13500||7|
|June 22, 2020||20919||675||525||7||7109||13285||7|
|June 21, 2020||20242||436||518||12||6879||12847||7|
|June 20, 2020||19808||661||506||19||6718||12584||7|
|June 19, 2020||19147||667||487||12||6581||12079||7|
|June 18, 2020||18480||745||475||6||6307||11698||7|
|June 17, 2020||17735||587||469||14||5967||11299||7|
|June 16, 2020||17148||490||455||31||5623||11070||7|
|June 15, 2020||16658||573||424||4||5349||10885||7|
|June 14, 2020||16085||403||420||13||5220||10445||7|
|June 13, 2020||15682||501||407||8||5101||10174||7|
|June 12, 2020||15181||627||399||12||4891||9891||7|
|June 11, 2020||14554||681||387||5||4494||9673||7|
|June 10, 2020||13873||409||382||17||4351||9140||7|
|June 9, 2020||13464||663||365||4||4206||8893||7|
|June 8, 2020||12801||315||361||7||4040||8400||7|
|June 7, 2020||12486||260||354||12||3959||8173||7|
|June 6, 2020||12233||389||342||9||3826||8065||7|
|June 5, 2020||11844||328||333||10||3696||7815||7|
|June 4, 2020||11516||350||323||8||3535||7646||7|
|June 3, 2020||11166||348||315||1||3329||7522||7|
|June 2, 2020||10819||241||314||15||3239||7266||7|
|June 1, 2020||10578||416||299||12||3122||7157||9|
|May 31, 2020||10162||307||287||14||3007||6868||7|
|May 30, 2020||9855||553||273||12||2856||6726||7|
|May 29, 2020||9302||387||261||2||2697||6344||7|
|May 28, 2020||8915||182||259||5||2592||6064||7|
|May 27, 2020||8733||389||254||5||2501||5978||7|
|May 26, 2020||8344||276||249||16||2385||5710||7|
|May 25, 2020||8068||229||233||7||2311||5524||7|
|May 24, 2020||7839||313||226||5||2263||5360||7|
|May 23, 2020||7526||265||221||0||2174||5131||7|
|May 22, 2020||7261||245||221||10||2007||5033||7|
|May 21, 2020||7016||339||211||11||1907||4898||7|
|May 20, 2020||6677||284||200||8||1840||4637||7|
|May 19, 2020||6401||226||192||1||1734||4475||7|
|May 18, 2020||6175||216||191||9||1644||4340||7|
|May 17, 2020||5959||388||182||6||1594||4183||7|
|May 16, 2020||5621||176||176||5||1472||3973||7|
|May 15, 2020||5445||288||171||3||1320||3954||4|
|May 14, 2020||5162||193||168||3||1180||3815||4|
|May 13, 2020||4971||184||164||6||1070||3737||4|
|May 12, 2020||4787||146||158||6||959||3670||4|
|May 11, 2020||4641||242||152||10||902||3589||4|
|May 10, 2020||4399||248||142||17||778||3479||4|
|May 9, 2020||4151||239||127||11||745||3278||4|
|May 8, 2020||3912||386||118||10||679||3115||4|
|May 7, 2020||3526||381||108||4||601||2818||4|
|May 6, 2020||3145||195||104||5||534||2507||1|
|May 5, 2020||2950||148||99||5||481||2370||4|
|May 4, 2020||2802||245||94||6||417||2291||2|
|May 3, 2020||2558||170||88||2||400||2070||2|
|May 2, 2020||2388||220||86||17||351||1952||2|
|May 1, 2020||2170||238||69||10||351||1751||2|
|April 30, 2020||1932||204||59||7||317||1556||2|
|April 29, 2020||1728||196||52||7||307||1369||2|
|April 28, 2020||1532||195||45||4||255||1232||2|
|April 27, 2020||1337||64||41||0||255||994||2|
|April 26, 2020||1273||91||41||5||239||994||2|
|April 25, 2020||1182||87||36||3||222||925||2|
|April 24, 2020||1095||114||33||1||208||855||2|
|April 23, 2020||981||108||32||3||197||753||2|
|April 22, 2020||873||91||29||3||197||648||2|
|April 21, 2020||782||117||26||3||197||560||2|
|April 20, 2020||665||38||23||1||188||466||2|
|April 19, 2020||627||86||22||2||170||436||2|
|April 18, 2020||541||48||20||2||166||356||2|
|April 17, 2020||493||51||18||4||159||317||2|
|April 16, 2020||442||35||13||1||152||277||2|
|April 15, 2020||407||34||12||1||128||267||2|
|April 14, 2020||373||30||11||1||99||263||2|
|April 13, 2020||343||20||10||0||91||242||2|
|April 12, 2020||323||5||10||0||85||228||2|
|April 11, 2020||318||13||10||3||70||238||2|
|April 10, 2020||305||17||7||0||58||240||2|
|April 9, 2020||288||14||7||1||51||230||2|
|April 8, 2020||274||22||6||0||44||226||2|
|April 7, 2020||254||16||6||1||44||204||2|
|April 6, 2020||238||6||5||0||35||198||2|
|April 5, 2020||232||18||5||1||33||194||2|
|April 4, 2020||214||5||4||0||25||185||0|
|April 3, 2020||209||25||4||2||25||180||0|
|April 2, 2020||184||10||2||0||20||162||0|
|April 1, 2020||174||35||2||0||9||163||0|
|March 31, 2020||139||8||2||0||9||128||0|
|March 30, 2020||131||20||2||1||8||121||0|
|March 29, 2020||111||22||1||0||3||107||0|
|March 28, 2020||89||19||1||0||3||85||0|
|March 27, 2020||70||5||1||0||3||66||0|
|March 26, 2020||65||14||1||0||2||62||0|
|March 25, 2020||51||7||1||0||2||48||0|
|March 24, 2020||44||4||1||0||2||41||0|
|March 23, 2020||40||10||1||1||2||37||0|
|March 22, 2020||30||8||0||0||2||28||0|
|March 21, 2020||22||10||0||0||1||21||0|
|March 20, 2020||12||4||0||0||1||11||0|
|March 19, 2020||8||0||0||0||1||7||0|
|March 18, 2020||8||5||0||0||1||7||0|
|March 17, 2020||3||1||0||0||0||3||0|
|March 16, 2020||2||0||0||0||0||2||0|
|March 15, 2020||2||0||0||0||0||2||0|
|March 14, 2020||2||0||0||0||0||2||0|
|March 13, 2020||2||0||0||0||0||2||0|
|March 12, 2020||2||0||0||0||0||2||0|
|March 11, 2020||2||0||0||0||0||2||0|
|March 10, 2020||2||0||0||0||0||2||0|
|March 9, 2020||2||1||0||0||0||2||0|
|March 8, 2020||1||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|March 7, 2020||1||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|March 6, 2020||1||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|March 5, 2020||1||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|March 4, 2020||1||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|March 3, 2020||1||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|March 2, 2020||1||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|March 1, 2020||1||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|February 29, 2020||1||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|February 28, 2020||1||1||0||0||0||1||0|
COVID-19: WHO warns there may never be an immediate solution to the virus
WHO urged governments and citizens to focus on known basic steps to contain the pandemic.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that there might not be an immediate solution or cure to the COVID-19 pandemic despite the positive outcomes at the different levels of trials of vaccines for the virus.
The WHO said that despite strong hopes for a vaccine, there might never be a silver bullet for COVID-19, and the road to normality would be long.
According to the latest data, the coronavirus pandemic has infected over 18.1 million people with more than 690,000 fatalities globally since late January, when the virus was first reported. This is just as some countries that thought they worst was over for them started experiencing a second wave of outbreak.
The Director-General of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, and Mike Ryan, WHO head of emergencies, urged governments and citizens to focus on known basic steps to contain the pandemic such as testing, contact tracing, maintaining physical distance and putting on a mask.
Tedros in a virtual news briefing in Geneva, said, ‘’The message to people and governments is clear, Do it all. He said face masks should become a symbol of solidarity around the world. A number of vaccines are now in phase three clinical trials and we all hope to have a number of effective vaccines that can help prevent people from infection. However, there’s no silver bullet at the moment, and there might never be.’’
The WHO officials revealed that an advanced investigation team that was sent to China where the virus started, are not yet back. The UN health agency sent an epidemiologist and an animal health specialist to China on July 10 to lay the groundwork for a probe aimed at identifying how the virus entered the human species.
Tedros said WHO and Chinese experts had agreed on the terms of reference and a programme of work for a WHO-led international team of scientists and researchers from around the world. They are to study the origins of the virus in the city of Wuhan.
The WHO boss encouraged mothers to continue breastfeeding even if they had COVID-19, as the benefits outweigh the risks associated with infection.
Tedros also said the international hunt for a vaccine has been historic against the backdrop of the coronavirus disease being the biggest global health emergency since the early 20th century.
Tedros said, ‘’There are many vaccines under trial, a couple in the final stage of clinical trials – and there is hope. It does not mean that we will have the vaccine, but at least the speed with which we reached the level we reached now is unprecedented.”
“There are concerns that we may not have a vaccine that may work or its protection could be for just a few months, not more. But until we finish the clinical trials, we will not know.”
Lagos state lists conditions that must be met by churches, mosques before reopening
The government specified that the conditions must be met for worship centres to open.
The Lagos State Government has introduced some measures and conditions that must be met/fulfiled by all religious centres and places of worships that are planning to reopen, following further relaxation of lockdown.
These measures were contained in a press statement that was issued by the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, and seen by Nairametrics.
Nairametrics had reported that the Lagos State Governor on Saturday, August 1, during his 17th briefing on the state’s COVID-19 response, announced the reopening of worship centres with effect from August 7th. Now, the Lagos State Government has specified that the following conditions must be met for worship centres that are planning to open;
- Only regular services/gatherings are permitted to hold. Night vigils and other non-regular programmes remain prohibited until further notice.
- Attendees above 65 years are strongly discouraged from attending worship services.
- Consider holding services and gatherings in large, well-ventilated areas or outdoors, as circumstances and faith tradition allow.
- No face mask, no entry policy, must be maintained throughout the duration of the services.
- Regular cleaning and disinfection of facilities must be carried out to maintain clean and hygienic environments before and after every service.
- Appropriate screening equipment for COVID-19 symptoms such as a contactless temperature check must be available for entrants into the facility.
- It is mandatory to provide hand-washing facilities and sanitizers at the entry and exit point of the premises.
- National emergency response phone lines must be displayed prominently on the premises.
- Handshakes, hugs and high fives are not permitted at services or gatherings and this should be emphasized by displaying appropriate signs prominently.
- The use of stationary collection boxes and electronic methods for collection of the offering must be encouraged.
- The flow of human traffic in and out of these places of worship must be conducted in an organized and orderly manner.
The Governor urged Lagosians to fully comply with the measures outlined in the new regulations, stressing that Lagos State Safety Commission has a statutory responsibility to monitor the activities and operations of all organizations and worship centres that have been permitted to re-open.
*COVID-19* : Measures taken by the Lagos State Government to further relax the lockdown.@jidesanwoolu @drobafemihamzat @gbenga_omo @gboyegaakosile @Mr_JAGss#LASG #ForAGreaterLagos #LagosAgainstCovid19 pic.twitter.com/0t8ti49wYz
— The Lagos State Govt (@followlasg) August 2, 2020