The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria has continued to rise rapidly as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control revealed Nigeria now has 7,839 confirmed cases.
On the 24th of May 2020, 313 new confirmed cases and 5 deaths were recorded in Nigeria.
To date, 7839 cases have been confirmed, 2263 cases have been discharged and 226 deaths have been recorded in 34 states and the Federal Capital Territory having carried out 44,458 tests.
The 313 new cases were reported from 17 states- Lagos (148), FCT (36), Rivers (27), Edo (19), Kano (13), Ogun (12), Ebonyi (11), Nasarawa (8), Delta (8), Oyo (7), Plateau (6), Kaduna (5), Kwara (4), Akwa Ibom (3), Bayelsa (3), Niger (2), Anambra (1).
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.
The latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 3505, followed by Kano (896), Abuja at 505, Katsina (308), Borno (250), Jigawa (241), Oyo (240), Bauchi (232), Ogun (231), Edo (191), Kaduna (189), Gombe (145), Sokoto and Rivers (116), Plateau (83).
Kwara State has recorded 79 cases, Yobe (47), Nasarawa (46), Osun (42), Delta (39), Ebonyi (33), Kebbi (32), Niger (28), Adamawa (27), Akwa Ibom (24), Ondo (23), Ekiti (20), Taraba and Enugu (18), Bayelsa (11), Anambra (9), Imo and Abia (7), while Benue state has recorded 5 cases.
|Date||Confirmed case||New cases||Total deaths||New deaths||Total recovery||Active cases||Critical cases|
|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|
New normal for the informal sector
Africa is the world’s last frontier in the fight against extreme poverty where one in three Africans−422 million people−live below the global poverty line.
The outbreak of the novel Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in China has extremely changed the world, as it has turned into a major pandemic and affected millions of people around the world regardless of geographical location, age, race, gender, etc.
While this crisis is first and foremost a public health issue, which has claimed the lives of thousands of people worldwide and still counting, the economic fallouts will no doubt be overwhelming and will likely lead to major economic meltdowns; both in the formal and informal sectors.
According to Brookings Institute, Africa is the world’s last frontier in the fight against extreme poverty where one in three Africans−422 million people−live below the global poverty line. This fact brings to fore, the alarming consequences of COVID-19 in the economic sectors which will increase the income gap backward rather than reduce the number of people living below the global poverty line.
The informal sector arguably constitutes the largest employer of labor in Africa. The International Labour Organisation estimates that more than 66% of total employment in Sub-Saharan African is in the informal sector. With a pervasive informal sector, city governments have been struggling with how best to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, informal enterprises are typically characterized by low wages and non-exportable goods and services. This sector provides crucial livelihoods to the most vulnerable of the urban poor.
The spread of COVID 19 poses a big threat to small scale businesses which serve as a major source of livelihood for many Africans. It is important that, just as Africa is working towards combating the spread of the virus, the government should help to support this vital, yet often excluded segment of the economy.
The informal sector is very much essential for the welfare of the people living in the local communities and for the expansion of the economy at large. As Africa’s informal sector provides about 80% of employment and contributes over 50% GDP, it is reason enough to save this crucial sector from jeopardy.
Taking Nigeria to be the case study, the wave of the pandemic is showing no sign of reduction unless a permanent solution is found.
However, looking on the bright side, there is a possibility that a vaccine could be found sooner or later to counter this unpleasant enemy. But until then, how will we as a country adjust to the “new normal”, that is life after COVID-19, as the experts who used this terminology explained that life, as it was before, will not come back to normal for some time to come. Let’s take a few instances.
One major normal, which is of general importance with a massive impact on our livelihood, is the loss of jobs. Yes, our means of making ends meet have been threatened. Many people will be rendered jobless as all economic activities the world over, have slowed down.
Those who will be hit the hardest are, as already mentioned, small-scale businesses that may find it challenging to adapt to the new normal of doing business via virtual means, etc. The small-scale businesses are also employers of labor, so going down means their employees will suffer the same loss with them. Amongst the unemployed, the hardest hit is the daily wage workers whose livelihoods are based on their daily incomes.
Therefore, a lot of people will suffer unemployment in this time, and paying bills such as house rent bills, food bills, school bills will become near impossible.
Another new normal is that, classes and lessons will have to be done online, and this could be the pattern for some time to come. This will pose major challenges for parents who do not have the resources to acquire gadgets or even buy the data required for their wards/children to participate in online classes. This new normal is also applicable to post-secondary students, who have a higher need for gadgets and data to participate in online classes.
By this time in the old normal, schools would have begun a new term. Being the third term in which promotional exams are done, both parents and pupils will be up and doing to ensure preparations in order to secure promotions. Most especially those preparing to take examinations to secure admission into the universities.
The question posed here is, how can the government help in reducing the burden of both the parents and the students who are on lockdown right now and can’t make ends meet talk less of spending the little resources being managed this period to acquire required gadgets or even data? As we are all aware the data rate in our country is high, unlike in most countries where data is cheap or even free. Can the government help in reducing the data rates in order to reduce the burden on parents and students?
With the wave of the pandemic being on the rise, so many countries have moved away from multilateralism and have retreated into fending for themselves with several measures to protect their own people and economies, regardless of the effects on the rest of the world which has led to certain restrictions.
This restriction could also be the new normal, as we are left with the questions of what if? What if the COVID 19 pandemic continues in a second wave, with borders still shut, food importation restricted, what if we can no longer travel out for medical attention and must rely on our hospitals here? Talk less of education, what if we can no longer travel out to study abroad and must rely on our educational system here? We can no longer be dependent on the world for everything.
For a country of over 200 million people, we cannot continue to keep ignoring the dangers that lie ahead if we do not begin to depend largely on what we produce locally, because the security and well-being of our nation is solely based on building a productive and well-diversified economy.
We have no clear vision of what the world will look like after the pandemic is over, therefore as a nation, we need to seize the opportunities of the “new normal” and make the best out of them. As much as all these new developments seem troubling, it is a clear opportunity to work things out for a better future ahead.
We must look inwards as a nation and guarantee food security, high quality and affordable healthcare for all social classes, and pioneering education for our people. We can transform Nigeria into a modern, sophisticated and self-sufficient economy in which we don’t have to be dependent on other countries for everything and can thrive on our own, protecting the poor and vulnerable and being able to compete with other strategic sectors internationally.
To achieve this goal, what needs to be done include:
- Supporting both the smallholder and large-scale agriculture production.
- Creating a better educational system that will enable creativity and reasoning in order to prepare our children for the world tomorrow.
- Creating more factories, storages, and logistics companies which also serve as a way of creating job opportunities for the youths.
- Developing initiatives programmed to help support or promote youths who want to acquire skills and take them up as professions.
- Providing security for the poor and vulnerable, and developing the policies that bring financial services to them.
- Developing a standard and trusted health care system to keep Nigerians healthy irrespective of social class.
- Creating easy access to cheap and long-term credit for SMEs and large corporates.
- Creating a reliable power supply that can engender industrial activities.
- Developing venture capitalists for nurturing new ideas and propagate Nigerian businesses to compete globally.
This is the opportunity to create a better Nigeria and do the needful to become a better country.
COVID-19 may have thrown us all into a crisis of unprecedented proportions but we can still make the best out of it. However, mismanagement of the challenges could leave us to suffer untold hardships for some time to come.
Written by Abraham John Onojaa
British High Commission releases flight schedule for final evacuation
The commission also made provisions for nationals who are cash strapped.
The British High Commission has released flight schedules to evacuate its nationals from Nigeria within a fortnight.
In a video made available to Nairametrics, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, stressed that they would be the final evacuation flights from Nigeria back to the United Kingdom, and urged nationals to take advantage of it.
Speaking about eligibility, Laing stated:
“These flights are aimed at British nationals and dual nationals who are normally resident in the UK, and their immediate dependents. We’ll be prioritising people who are already on our waiting list.
“After that, we will allocate seats on a first come first served basis, and those of you who are non-British nationals but have indefinite leave to remain in the UK could also be eligible. We will pick up any foreign nationals if we have seats available.”
There will be flights from Lagos to London on May 29, and June 1, 2020, while the flights from Abuja to London will only run on June 6, 2020.
There are also arrangements to pick up stranded nationals in Port Harcourt, and connect them to Abuja where they will board the flight home.
According to Laing, the Commission will be using Virgin Airlines for its Lagos flights and Titan Airways to convey nationals from Abuja.
READ ALSO: Time for Nigeria to forget crude oil
What it will cost
Britons taking the flight from Lagos will be expected to pay £445 for their tickets, while passengers from Abuja will pay £600.
Laing added that the commission has also made provisions for nationals who are cash strapped.
“If you are struggling and you have exhausted all other means, there are loans available,” she said.
Bookings are to be made at the ‘return to the UK’ part of their travel advise page, and details of the loans can also be found there.
MTN Nigeria Communications Plc announces N100 billion commercial paper issuance
MTN Nigeria notified the public of it proposed Commercial Paper Issuance under its N100 billion Commercial Paper (“CP”) Issuance Programme.
MTN Nigeria Communications Plc has notified the public of it’s proposed Commercial Paper Issuance (series 1 & 2 commercial paper issuance N50billion each) under its N100 billion Commercial Paper (“CP”) Issuance Programme.
The proceeds from the CP issuance will be used to support MTN Nigeria’s working capital and general corporate purposes. This issuance under the CP Programme represents MTN Nigeria’s debut in the domestic debt capital market.
Highlights of the report are as follows:
Arranger: Chapel Hill Denham Advisory Limited
Minimum subscription: N5 million
Issuance size: N100 billion (series 1 & 2 commercial paper issuance N50billion each)
Tax consideration: Free and clear of withholding Taxes
MTNN is the leading telecommunications operator in the largest telecoms market in Africa. The company is the largest mobile operator and undisputed market leader in Nigeria, as measured by total mobile subscribers (c. 70 million), active data users (c. 26.8 million), revenue (almost 50% of industry), and profit pool.
MTNN is well-positioned for the long term, with its unmatched investments in its infrastructure – most expansive 2G, 3G, and 4G network, largest fibre network (c. 29,000km) that spans across Nigeria, largest physical and digital distribution platform, and wide range of spectrum holdings – and the exciting market opportunity Nigeria brings.
Nigeria offers an attractive telco market proposition as Africa’s largest economy and most populous country. Mobile voice and data subscription will continue to be a major part of consumer spending, largely driven by increased adoption by the young population.
It is important to note that in the recent COVID-19 environment, MTNN has continued to sustainably add new subscribers, and customer voice and data usage remains resilient.
MTNN is rated Aa+ by Agusto & Co. which reflects the company’s history of strong financial performance – record revenue in excess of N1 trillion (largest revs by a listed corporate), stable and healthy operating profit metrics (+53% EBITDA margin), comfortably low leverage (0.4x Net Debt/EBITDA, 10.8x interest coverage) that is predominantly local currency, and strong free cash flow.