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Coronavirus

Covid-19: Nigeria to seek $750 million from World Bank- Finance Minister

Loan is to help combat the effects of the pandemic on Nigeria’s economy.

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Covid-19: Nigeria to seek $750 million from World Bank- Finance Minister

The Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed disclosed that Nigeria is seeking a $750 million loan from the World Bank to help combat the effects of the pandemic on Nigeria’s economy.

This was reported by Channels TV after the Minister attended the inauguration of the Federal Steering Committees of the Nigeria COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (N-CARES) program in Abuja on Friday.

READ: World Bank: Lower oil demand may persist till 2021

What you should know 

Nairametrics reported in August that the World Bank approved the sum of $114 million to assist Nigeria in its fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

According to a statement, the funds came in the form of a $100 million credit facility from the International Development Association (IDA) and $14 million grant from the Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility.

READ: How Cryptocurrency is driving economic growth

The World Bank, in its report for October 2020, titled “Charting the road to recovery,” warned Nigeria and other Africans not to relax despite recording lower cases and mortality rates compared to other regions of the world.

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The Minister warned on Friday that Nigeria must develop plans to lift herself from the economic effects of the pandemic or face consequences.

READ: Senate to investigate 7 oil companies over refusal to remit $21 billion 

“As part of windows of opportunity to mitigate the effect of Covid-19, the Federal Government is in the process of accessing a World Bank loan of 750 million dollars on behalf of the states to stimulate the local economy and support vulnerable household’s consumption,” she said.

“The consequences will be too high if we ignore the root cause of rising civil unrest in our country. We must, therefore, fashion out ways of ensuring that post-Covid-19 is not injurious to the Nigerian people and the economy.”

READ: Most profitable asset in a decade, Bitcoin up over 26,600,000%

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She added that members of the newly inaugurated committee were selected because the MDAs have an important role in lifting the economy back to prosperity, as Nigeria’s population is too large to remain under poverty.

“Members of the Federal Steering and Technical Committees because of the important role MDAs play in the recovery of the Nigerian economy as well as the fulfillment of lifting 100 million people out of poverty.

“The inauguration of the committees is expedient given the nature of this emergency intervention; Nigeria as the biggest economy in Africa cannot afford to remain in recession; the survival of over 200 million population is germane to all we do and we must address the concerns of the majority of our populace,” she said.

The World Bank announced plans in September for a $12 billion coronavirus financing initiative that will help poor and developing countries purchase enough Covid-19 vaccine doses to treat up to 2 billion people as soon as they become available in the coming months.

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Business

Lagos eases restrictions on social, event centres, sets new occupancy limit

The state government has pegged the occupancy limit for event centres in Lagos to 500 people while social events can now have 200 people at a time.

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The Lagos state government has further eased restrictions on social and event centres in the state. This follows due consultations and deliberations between the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanow-Olu, and relevant stakeholders and MDAs.

The state government has pegged the occupancy limit for event centres in Lagos to 500 people while social events can now have 200 people at a time.

This disclosure is contained in a statement by the Lagos State Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Uzamat Yusuff, and the Director-General of the Lagos State Safety Commission, Mr Lanre Mojola, on Friday, April 9, 2021.

The statement noted that safety marshals will be deployed to any social event with over 200 people and event centre exceeding the 500 limits.

READ: Lagos Govt seals Queens Park Event Centre, Oniru for contravening COVID-19 protocol

The statement partly reads, “All event centres must hold a valid license of The Lagos State Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture prior to operating as an event centre in the State.

“All event centres must be duly registered and verified on The Lagos State Safety Commission website www.lasgsafetyreg.com prior to holding any event.

An Event Safety Clearance must be obtained from the Lagos State Safety Commission through the website www.lasgsafetyreg.com for any proposed event or exhibition.

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Safety Marshals shall be deployed by an accredited event safety consultant from Lagos State Safety Commission for every social event with attendance exceeding over 200 people.

READ: Lagos state government reacts to reopening of event centers, clarify guidelines

Occupancy limit at any event must not exceed 50% of the maximum design capacity of the hall, wherein Occupancy Limit stickers provided by the Lagos State Safety Commission must be boldly posted at the entrance of the event hall.

Maximum allowable capacity for event centres irrespective of the occupancy limit is 500 people. Deep cleaning must be carried out before and after every event. Physical distancing shall be maintained between seated guests and a maximum number of seated guests should be 6 (six) people on a table of 10 persons.

Event duration should not exceed a maximum period of 6-hours. All guests and service providers at the facility must wear a nose mask and make use of hand sanitisers All guests and service providers must endeavour to wash their hands before entering the venue or in the alternative use hand sanitisers. Temperature checks must be taken at all entry points into a facility.

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Guests and service providers with temperature (above 37.5) are to be politely turned back and referred to paramedics or the emergency response team on the ground. Hand sanitizers must be positioned at the entry points and different spots within the hall.

All event centres must endeavour to display standard COVID-19 safety signs. The signs must be bold and installed at conspicuous locations. Event centre owners/ planners/vendors would be responsible for any breach of protocols by their staff.

In case you missed it

  • It can be recalled that in July 2020, the Lagos State Government had issued fresh guidelines on the reopening of event and social centres following their shutdown as part of measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The state government insisted that the owners of such facilities must register with the government pending further directives.

 

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Business News

Covid-19: FG discloses why it is pausing vaccinations soon in some states

Minister of State for Health has disclosed why the FG may halt the vaccination process once 50% of the country’s proportion has been used up.

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NPHCDA to address infrastructural gaps in COVID-19 vaccine supply, FG to focus on procurement of Covid-19 vaccine in first quarter 2021

The Nigerian Government disclosed that it has ordered some states to pause their covid-19 vaccination drive once they have used up 50% of their proportions as Nigeria is not sure when it would receive the second batch of vaccines.

This was disclosed by Minister of State for Health, Sen. Olorunnimbe Mamora, at the Presidential Task Force (PTF)  briefing on COVID-19, in Abuja on Tuesday.

What the Minister is saying

“We believe that in a situation where we still cannot specifically determine when the next batch of AstraZeneca vaccine will arrive, then I think wisdom dictates that it’s better for us to vaccinate people fully.

“And so, we can say that we have a pool of citizens that have been fully vaccinated since this vaccination comes in two doses.

READ: Nigeria, 8 other African countries receive Covid-19 vaccine from MTN

“So that’s what gave rise to that directive, rather than just going ahead with just single dose when the full dose should be two doses of the same.

“So we felt that it was proper for us in the circumstance to ensure that those who have been vaccinated have been fully vaccinated,” he disclosed.

On vaccine side effects so far

The Director-General of the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, disclosed that the FG is monitoring cases of blood clots as reported in Europe, however, he asserted that Nigeria’s vaccination drive has been efficient so far.

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“In Nigeria, with every vaccine, we have a parallel system to measure and to monitor any side effects,” he said.

READ: UN says 26 countries in Africa have received 15 million vaccines

“We will continue to monitor patients in Nigeria. You know, every demography is different, the demography in taking vaccines in every country is different, the interaction between different drugs people are taking. So there are many circumstances that need to be fully evaluated, we will look at the data ourselves here in Nigeria and I will take action as needed.

“So I think, for now, we can be sure that we have an effective vaccination programme going on. And we’re very responsive to the concerns of Nigerians, I will respond to them as appropriate,” he added.

What you should know: Nigeria had vaccinated 964,387  people as of Tuesday, 6th of April 2020, using up 48.0% of vaccinations, reported by the NPHCDA.

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