Nigeria has emerged as one of the countries to be most hit by food crisis across the globe in the face of the coronavirus pandemic which had worsened the already bad situation.
This disclosure is contained in a report by the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
The report from the FAO also shows that the Democratic Republic of Congo is emerging as the country with the world’s largest food crisis in terms of absolute numbers, with Burkina Faso listed as the country with the worst deteriorations in acute hunger in recent months.
The food crisis is made worse in Nigeria by the longstanding religious and ethnic conflicts and even organized crimes by some bandits, which has greatly affected farmers working on their farmlands.
In addition to these, the farmers were already contending with the issue of flooding or drought, which has negatively been impacting on the agricultural sector in a period the country is desperate and very desirous of economic diversification. The coronavirus pandemic has triggered a surge in food prices as can be seen in the reports released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), in a country that imports over 10% of its food supply.
With a population of over 200 million people, Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa, which is regarded as the world’s most food-insecure continent. This is made worse as importers of food items struggle to gain access to dollars for their imports due to scarcity of foreign exchange which is triggered by the crash of oil prices and low foreign inflow.
This is expected to be exacerbated by the recent order by President Muhammadu Buhari to the Central Bank of Nigeria, to stop the allocation of foreign exchange to importers of food items.
The Governor of Niger State, Abubakar Sani Bello, warned in April, “We are heading toward famine and starvation.”
The FAO report which states that Congo has about 21.8 million people that are acutely food insecure, also points out that Burkina Faso has witnessed an almost 300% uptick in the overall number of people experiencing acute hunger since the start of 2020.
COVID-19 Update in Nigeria
On the 15th of January 2021, 1,867 new confirmed cases and 8 deaths were recorded in Nigeria
The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continues to record significant increases as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 107,345 confirmed cases.
On the 15th of January 2021, 1,867 new confirmed cases and 8 deaths were recorded in Nigeria.
To date, 107,345 cases have been confirmed, 84,535 cases have been discharged and 1,413 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 1.13 million tests have been carried out as of January 15th, 2021 compared to 1.03 million tests a day earlier.
COVID-19 Case Updates- 15th January 2021,
- Total Number of Cases – 107,345
- Total Number Discharged – 84,535
- Total Deaths – 1,413
- Total Tests Carried out – 1,135,535
According to the NCDC, the 1,867 new cases were reported from 24 states- Lagos (713), Plateau (273), FCT (199), Kaduna (117), Oyo (79), Enugu (58), Ondo (53), Kano (49), Sokoto (43), Ogun (37), Osun (37), Nasarawa (36), Rivers (28), Benue (24), Delta (24), Niger (24), Gombe (18), Edo (15), Taraba (12), Bayelsa (10), Ekiti (9), Borno (6), Zamfara (2), Jigawa (1).
Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 39,262, followed by Abuja (14,338), Plateau (6,420), Kaduna (6,005), Oyo (4,649), Rivers (4,214), Edo (3,204), Ogun (2,782), Kano (2,561), Delta (2,086), Ondo (2,059), Katsina (1,692), Enugu (1,583), Kwara (1,566), Gombe (1,489), Nasarawa (1,269), Osun (1,186), Ebonyi (1,159), Abia (1,114), and Bauchi (1,107).
Borno State has recorded 850 cases, Imo (810), Benue (653), Sokoto (645), Bayelsa (598), Akwa Ibom (588), Adamawa (540), Niger (532), Anambra (460), Ekiti (459), Jigawa (424), Taraba (258), Kebbi (240), Yobe (207), Cross River (169), Zamfara (162), 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.
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.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State announced the closed down of the Eti-Osa Isolation Centre, with effect from Friday, 31st July 2020. He also mentioned that the Agidingbi Isolation Centre would also be closed and the patients relocated to a large capacity centre.
Due to the increased number of covid-19 cases in Nigeria, the Nigerian government ordered the reopening of Isolation and treatment centres in the country on Thursday, 10th December 2020.
DEAL: Heirs Holdings acquires 45% of OML 17 from Shell, Total and Eni
Heirs Holdings has acquired 45% of OML 17 from Shell Nigeria as part of its expansion into the oil and gas industry.
Heirs Holdings has expanded its Oil and Gas portfolio, as it acquired 45% of OML 17 from Shell Nigeria.
The company acquired related assets, through TNOG Oil and Gas Limited (a related company of Heirs Holdings and Transcorp), from the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited, Total E&P Nigeria Limited and ENI.
This was disclosed by the company in a statement issued on Friday and seen by Nairametrics.
According to the statement, TNOG Oil and Gas Limited will have sole operatorship of the asset in a transaction that is one of the largest oil and gas financings in Africa in over a decade.
- “With a financing component of US$1.1 billion, provided by a consortium of global and regional banks and investors. OML 17 has a current production capacity of 27,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day and according to our estimates, 2P reserves of 1.2 billion barrels of oil equivalent, with an additional 1 billion barrels of oil equivalent resources of further exploration potential. The investment demonstrates a further important advance in the execution of Heirs Holdings’ integrated energy strategy and the Group’s commitment to Africa’s development, through long term investments that create economic prosperity and social wealth.”
What they are saying
In the statement, Chairman of Heirs Holdings, Tony Elumelu, said:
- “We have a very clear vision: creating Africa’s first integrated energy multinational, a global quality business, uniquely focused on Africa and Africa’s energy needs. The acquisition of such a high-quality asset, with significant potential for further growth, is a strong statement of our confidence in Nigeria, the Nigerian oil and gas sector and a tribute to the extremely high-quality management team that we have assembled.
- “As a Nigerian and more particularly an indigene of the Niger Delta region, I understand well our responsibilities that come with stewardship of the asset, our engagement with communities and the strategic importance of the oil and gas sector in Nigeria. We see significant benefits from integrating our production with our ability to power Nigeria, through Transcorp, and deliver value across the energy value chain.”
The President and Group Chief Executive Officer, Transcorp, Owen Omogiafo, explained that the deal further demonstrates the company’s integrated energy strategy and its determination to power Africa.
- “Heirs Holdings was advised by Standard Chartered Plc, as Global Coordinator, and United Capital Plc, with a syndicate of lending institutions including Afreximbank, ABSA, Africa Finance Corporation, Union Bank of Nigeria, Hybrid Capital, and global asset management firm, Amundi. The deal also involves Schlumberger as a technical partner, as well as the trading arm of Shell as an off-taker.
- “Heirs Holdings has created one of Africa’s largest, indigenous owned, oil and gas businesses, headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria and led by a board and management team with significant regional and global experience in production, exploration, and value creation in the resources sector.”
What you should know
- Two years ago, Nairametrics reported that Elumelu’s Heir may acquire Shell, as the Royal Dutch Shell Plc was reportedly considering the possibility of selling its two oil mining licenses in the oil-rich Niger-Delta.
- According to reports, Heirs Holding Ltd was already raising funds to acquire the two oil mining licenses 11 and 17 valued at $2 billion. The assets include a natural gas-fired power plant which will be managed by Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc.
- Transnational Corporation Plc in its Half year results for the period ended 31 June 2018, recorded a 44.8% increase in revenue from its Power segment of operation from N27.97 billion in half-year 2017 to N46.08 billion half-year 2018. The largest of its five revenue segments.
- According to the report, the decision to sell off these assets is triggered by the continued unrest in the oil-rich region and age long accusation of environmental pollution levelled against the Dutch oil firm.
- Shell has over the years faced stiff opposition in operating within the Niger-Delta region, with several reports of pipeline vandalism and youth restiveness in the region. This situation has left the oil company with undeveloped oil and gas reserves.
Okonjo-Iweala speaks on Twitter’s suspension of Donald Trump
Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has given her opinion on Twitter’s suspension of US President, Donald Trump.
Twitter board member and candidate for the DG of the WTO, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has said Twitter has rules under which it operates and CEO Jack Dorsey’s statement contains all that needs to be known concerning the suspension of US President, Donald Trump from its platform.
Okonjo-Iweala disclosed this in an interview with Arise TV on Friday evening.
- “Twitter tries to help the public conversation in the world and gives people a means to engage on important issues,” she said.
On the decision to censor Donald Trump
She said the Board agreed as a team to have one voice on the decision to suspend Donald Trump from the service and that CEO Jack Dorsey gave all that needed to be known.
- “Being on the Twitter board, I have to respect our rules for communications on what is happening. I have to be very honest that we as a board agreed that we have a team that will deal with this, to make sure that we have one voice. But, I can tell you that if you want to know why the decisions were taken, please look at the statement by the CEO, Jack Dorsey, I think it tells you all you want to know.
- “Twitter is an organization that has rules under which it operates, and if you read what it puts out, you will see that things are being implemented according to the rules.
On welcoming rules and regulations for the social media giant
- “Let’s wait and see, I don’t want to pre-judge or comment on anything. I don’t want to go beyond what I am willing to say, but let’s wait and see. These are very difficult times in the world. We all saw what happened in the United States. We have to be very careful. We would see what the future would be for the tech companies.”
- Nairametrics reported that social media network, Twitter, permanently suspended U.S President, Donald Trump, citing the risk of further incitement of violence.
- Jack Dorsey, the CEO and founder of Twitter, said that the decision to ban Donald Trump from the social network was the right decision, but one that sets a dangerous precedent.