The Central Bank of Nigeria has set N10 billion as the maximum loan an obligor can access under its N250bn intervention fund for the gas sector.
This was disclosed by the apex bank in its new guideline titled ‘Framework for the implementation of an intervention facility for the national gas expansion programme’.
Terms of loan
Part of the term loan conditions for manufacturers, processors, wholesale distributors, was that the term loan, “Shall be determined based on the activity and shall not exceed N10 billion per obligor, Working capital is maximum of N500m per obligor.”
Why it matters: The CBN must have introduced the N250billion intervention facility to help stimulate investment in the gas value chain as part of its efforts to stimulate finance to critical sectors of the economy.
It stated that “The low level of investment in the industry had resulted in the minimal production and utilisation of Compressed Natural Gas and Liquefied Petroleum Gas as clean alternative sources of domestic energy in Nigeria
“Failure to harness its gas resources has had negative consequences for the country, economic, environmental, fiscal and social, particularly as the industry has the potential to engender rapid growth in Nigeria’s non-oil economy.”
It added that the objectives of the facility included improved access to finance for private sector investments in the domestic gas value chain; and also to stimulate investments in the development of infrastructure to optimise the domestic gas resources for economic development.
The CBN said it also aimed to fast-track the adoption of CNG as the fuel of choice for transportation and power generation, as well as LPG as the fuel of choice for domestic cooking, transportation and captive power.
The development would also fast-track the development of gas-based industries particularly petrochemical (fertilizer, methanol, etc) to support large industries, such as agriculture, textile, and related industries; provide leverage for additional private sector investments in the domestic gas market; and boost employment across the country.
Click here to read the guidelines of the intervention fund.
FG yet to purchase Covid-19 vaccines – Minister of State for Health
According to a disclosure made by the Minister of State for Health, the FG is yet to purchase any COVID-19 vaccine.
The Federal Government has said that it is yet to purchase any Covid-19 vaccines as the country is still assessing the prices of different shots, their availability and the logistics required for a nationwide roll-out.
This is coming at a time when developed economies are rolling out the vaccines in their countries and concerns have been raised about the availability of the Covid-19 doses in the African continent.
This disclosure was made by the Minister of State for Health Adeleke Olurunnimbe Mamora, during a telephone interview with Bloomberg.
What the Minister of State for Health is saying
Mamora said that once the government determines which vaccines are accessible and affordable, authorities then have to consider storage and distribution issues as they prepare to give shots to 200 million people.
He said, “We haven’t made any purchases at this point in time.’’ He added that the government expects to have a definitive plan by the end of January.
Nigeria is working with the World Health Organization backed COVAX programme and hopes to receive its first doses in January. The Minister for Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, had said that the country is working on what type and quantity of Covid-19 vaccines to procure and financial provision will be made in the 2021 budget for the vaccines.
COVAX is a global initiative backed by the World Health Organization which aims to provide equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines, especially to poor countries.
What you should know
- It can be recalled that Bloomberg had reported that experts and a state governor had expressed doubts about the ambitious plan by Nigeria to vaccinate as much as 40% of its population this year due to lack of resources and infrastructure.
- The Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria’s National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Faisal Shuaib, said on Thursday the country expects to receive 100,000 doses of Pfizer Inc’s shot at the end of January through the Covax initiative.
- Nigeria has officially reported 107,345 Covid-19 cases, with 1,413 casualties, but testing is not easily accessible for most people, with only about 1.1 million tests conducted so far.
Reps oppose school resumption date, ask for 3 months extension
The lower legislative chamber has flawed FG’s directive on public and private schools’ January 18, 2021 resumption date.
The House of Representatives has moved against the Federal Government’s directive that schools should resume on Monday, January 18, despite the rising cases of the coronavirus disease.
The lower house, while expressing its concern, wondered why schools were closed when the infection rates were around 500 and below, but now that it hovers well above 1000 infections daily, schools are being reopened.
This disclosure is contained in a statement titled, “School Resumption: Are We Truly Prepared?” which was issued by the Chairman, House Committee on Basic Education and Services, Prof. Julius Ihonvbere, on Saturday, January 16, 2021.
Ihonvbere in his statement said that public enlightenment campaigns have more or less stopped, as merely saying that protocol would be adhered to is no guarantee with the situation even being worse in rural areas.
The house, therefore, demanded for the postponement of resumption of schools by 3 months, if some critical steps are not taken, so as to enable the local and state governments put things in place adequately.
He said that apart from Lagos and a couple of other states, governments have been unable to enforce Covid-19 protocols with people no longer wearing facemasks or use sanitisers, especially in secondary schools. There are no facilities for effective social distancing in the classrooms.
Ihonvbere said they have not heard how the schools would address the issues of introduction of morning and afternoon batches into the schools when they reopen to reduce overcrowding, special cleaning crews with sufficient sanitisers in classrooms, insisting on facemasks and sanitisers for the students and others.
What Prof. Ihonvbere is saying
The statement from the House partly reads,
- “The Committee on Basic Education and Services, House of Representatives, has received with concern the decision of the Federal Government to reopen schools on January 18, 2021.
- “We are particularly concerned that when the infection rates hovered around 500 and under, schools were closed; but now that it hovers well above 1,000 infections daily, schools are being reopened. Why are we rushing to reopen schools without adequate verifiable and sustainable arrangements to protect and secure our children?
- “Similarly, we acknowledge the argument that most young persons have not been as affected by Covid-19 and many are asymptomatic. Yet, it does not mean they have full immunity against the virus. We also know that they would be working and interacting with adult teachers, administrative workers and other persons that do not live within the institutions.
- ‘’People no longer wear facemasks or use sanitisers. Public enlightenment campaigns have more or less stopped. Merely saying they would adhere to the protocols is no guarantee. In rural areas, the situation is worse.
- “Our position is that in spite of the very comprehensive protocols established by the Federal Ministry of Education, not up to 10 per cent of our educational institutions have implemented five per cent of the protocols. In most of our primary and secondary schools nationwide, adequate furniture, water and other sanitation and hygiene facilities do not exist.
- “As a government that has committed to protecting the interests of the Nigerian people, it would be wrong to allow unprepared state governments, of which many did not take the pandemic too seriously anyway, to hoodwink or pressure it into this reopening game.
- “The Committee believes that if these and other critical steps are not taken, there should be a postponement by three months to enable the local and state governments put things in place adequately. A word, they say, is enough for the wise.’’
What you should know
- The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Covid-19, a few days ago, insisted on the January 18 resumption date for schools until the Federal Ministry of Education advises otherwise.
- The clarification became necessary following the earlier comment by the Minister for Education, Adamu Adamu, that government may review the resumption date following the outbreak of the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic across the country.
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES COMMITTEE ON BASIC EDUCATION AND SERVICES, ABUJA.
SCHOOL RESUMPTION: ARE WE TRULY PREPARED?
The Committee on Basic Education and Services, House of Representatives has received with some concern the decision of the Federal Government to reopen schools pic.twitter.com/wehOd7QoXG
— Hon. Prof. Julius Ihonvbere,OON (@HonIhonvbere) January 16, 2021
Crypto investors lose $530 million within a day
The Crypto futures became overheated and record sell-offs began leading traders to lose more than $527 million in a single day.
These are surely bad times for many crypto investors on the account that roughly $530 million worth of Crypto positions disappeared into thin air within a day.
The mass liquidation of such trading positions, according to data retrieved from Bybt.com, showed such occurred before the flagship crypto dipped around $34,000 today.
What this means
Over the past day, Bitcoin, with the highest dominance rate in the crypto market gained 7% when it moved from $35,500 to nearly $38,000, taking into consideration future demand for the crypto asset could skyrocket.
- However high sell-offs gained momentum immediately Bitcoin touched $38,000 value amid several large sell orders placed around that price.
- The Crypto futures became overheated and record sell-offs began leading traders to lose more than $527 million in 24 hours.
What they are saying
A highly respected crypto expert, Ki-Young Ju, disclosed the ongoing activity in the ever-volatile Crypto market on his Twitter feed, by critically hinting that buying pressure has paused in recent days.
- “People trade $BTC with low leverage, open interest is skyrocketing, and the long-short ratio looks neutral. Strong on-chain buying signals that have driven this bull market hasn’t come up so far. Bitcoin might retest 30k, so I don’t have any position now in this uncertain market.”
People trade $BTC with low leverage, open interest is skyrocketing, and the long-short ratio looks neutral.
— Ki Young Ju 주기영 (@ki_young_ju) January 17, 2021
At the time of drafting this report, Bitcoin’s volatility ensured that no firm market direction was in control, as Bitcoin fluctuated around $34,800.
Sequel to the sudden correction seen in the Bitcoin market lately, it had been in on a bullish run relatively.
Some days ago, leading the United Kingdom’s financial regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority, recently issued a piece of stern advice on crypto investments
The statement highlighted the risks associated with investing in Bitcoin and other leading crypto assets and warned the public there were high chances all their funds could be lost;
“The FCA is aware that some firms are offering investments in crypto assets or lending or investments linked to crypto assets, that promise high returns.
Investing in crypto assets, or investments and lending linked to them generally involves taking very high risks with investors’ money. If consumers invest in these types of products, they should be prepared to lose all their money.”