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EFInA launches £2m COVID-19 fund for individuals and MSMEs in Nigeria

A £2m COVID-19 fund has been launched by EFInA to assist individuals and MSMEs in Nigeria.

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EFInA launches £2m COVID-19 fund for individuals and MSMEs in Nigeria

The Enhancing Financial Innovation & Access (EFInA) has launched a £2 million COVID Fund to support solutions that can reasonably provide succour to the debilitating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on low-income individuals/households and MSMEs in Nigeria.

The funds, provided by the UK Government’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), is expected to support financial service-enabled solutions for access to liquidity, healthcare, and food.

READ: New broker-dealer lets Nigerian investors purchase US stocks commission-free

This disclosure was made by the British Deputy High Commissioner, Ben Llewellyn-Jones, during a webinar on December 8th, which was focused on how to address most challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic in developing nations.

READ: 7 female executives under 40 in FinTech

What they are saying

According to Ben Llewellyn-Jones,

  • “The pandemic has affected Nigeria in many ways as evidenced through job losses, increases in prices, and access to liquidity. This is the time to promote innovative digital solutions, and the £2 million COVID Fund represents another response in enabling citizens to access financial services.”

READ: Events that shaped FinTech industry in 2019

According to the research conducted by EFInA and partners in Nigeria,

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  • “Many households are experiencing food insecurity, reduced income, and challenges accessing required health services and the widespread use of digital financial services can help address these challenges.”

According to the EFInA’s Chief Executive Officer, Ashley Immanuel,

  • “Our scenario analysis shows that innovative digital financial services can strengthen recovery and resilience. The three most pressing needs that we aim to solve with the COVID-19 Fund are access to Liquidity, Healthcare & Food. We need innovative solutions that provide access to credit, enable income-earning opportunities, facilitate electronic payments, and help people get money more quickly. EFInA seeks to fund solutions that enable access for vulnerable and excluded groups including women and those in rural and northern areas.”

READ: 11,000 MSMEs secured N37bn loans in 2018 – Access Bank

According to the Investment Lead at LINKS, Aisha Yakubu Bako,

  • “Many financial institutions require increased access to funds, which has provided the opportunity for organizations such as LINKS to support businesses by providing wage subsidies. However, this is not enough, as there is a need to continue to develop innovative solutions that will help de-risk growing businesses. There is also need for partnerships with mobile networks that are independent businesses to make cash available through digital transfers and allow faster access to funds.”

According to Bunmi Lawson, Director of EFInA,

  • “The grant is a £2 million fund to help increase access to credit, enable value chains, increase household access to food and provide solutions to improve access to health care. Applicants must have or partner with an organization that has a proven track record of success for providing digital financial services. We will pay attention to projects that are sustainable, can scale post-funding, and focuses on gender inclusivity. Existing financial service providers can also apply to scale their current operations.”

What you should know about the EFInA grant

  • This grant will focus on supporting solutions that can mitigate the far-reaching impact of COVID-19 on low-income individuals/households (defined as those earning N50,000 or less per month) and MSMEs in Nigeria.
  • The objective of the EFInA COVID-19 Grant is to support the scale of financial service-enabled solutions that enables immediate access to liquidity, healthcare and food, and EFInA is dedicating a fund size of £2 million towards achieving this, with an individual grant range between £50,000 and £500,000.
  • The application closes on January 6, 2021 and more information on how to apply for the fund can be obtained by visiting www.efina.org.ng.

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Johnson is a risk management professional and banker with unbridled passion for research and writing. He graduated top of the class with B.sc Statistics from the University of Nigeria and an MBA degree with specialization in Finance from Ambrose Alli University Ekpoma, with fellowships from the Association of Enterprise Risk management Professionals(FERP) and Institute of Credit and Collections management of Nigeria (FICCM). He is currently pursuing his PhD in Risk management in one of the top-rated universities in the UK.

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    Business

    Lagos Commissioner of Police dismantles road blocks on Lagos-Badagry expressway

    The Commissioner warned the concerned Area Commanders to take action on full compliance as any defaulter will be sanctioned accordingly.

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    The Commissioner of Police in Lagos State, CP Hakeem Odumosu, has ordered the immediate dismantling of all illegal roadblocks by police teams from the command on the Lagos-Badagry expressway.

    The directive is to checkmate the illegal activities of the police on that route which have been condemned by the government, some stakeholders and international bodies and also bring sanity and decency to their operations along that axis.

    That disclosure is contained in a statement signed by the Police Public Relations Officer of the Lagos State Police Command, CSP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, on Saturday, April 10, 2021.

    Adejobi in the statement said that CP Odumosu gave the order on Friday while addressing Area Commanders and Divisional Police Officers in the command on the general security situation in the state and reviewing the anti-crime strategies of the command in order to sustain its feats on crime control.

    What the statement from the Lagos State Police Command is saying

    The statement from the Lagos Police Command partly reads, “In his bid to restore sanity and decency to the operations of the police along the ever-busy international route, Lagos/Badargy Expressway, the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, CP Hakeem Odumosu, has ordered for the immediate dismantling of illegal roadblocks by the police teams from the Lagos State Police Command.

    The police boss, while reacting to some complaints from the general public and some security reports on the police activities along the international route, ordered the Area Commanders and Divisional Police Officers whose jurisdictions fall along the Badargy Expressway; Festac and Area K, Marogbo, to withdraw their men from the illegal roadblocks and embark on aggressive motorised patrol and surveillance to police their areas and the route.

    The Commissioner of Police confirmed that the illegal police roadblocks along the route have been condemned by the government, international bodies and interest groups and they must be dismantled without delay,” he said.

    The Commissioner, however, noted that other police operatives from other police formations, outside the supervision of the Lagos State Police Command who operate along the route, would be contacted to adjust and do the needful to restore sanity to their operations.

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    The CP Odumosu then warned the concerned Area Commanders to desist and take necessary action on full compliance with his order as any defaulter will be sanctioned accordingly.

     

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    COVID-19 Update in Nigeria

    On the 10th of April 2021, 84 new confirmed cases and death was recorded in Nigeria

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    Covid 19 update symptops

    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 163,736 confirmed cases.

    On the 10th of April 2021, 84 new confirmed cases and 1 death was recorded in Nigeria.

    To date, 163,736 cases have been confirmed, 154,098 cases have been discharged and 2,060 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.

    A total of 1.8 million tests have been carried out as of April 10th, 2021 compared to 1.7 million tests a day earlier.

    COVID-19 Case Updates- 10th April 2021,

    • Total Number of Cases – 163,736
    • Total Number Discharged – 154,098
    • Total Deaths – 2,060
    • Total Tests Carried out – 1,803,177

    According to the NCDC, the 84 new cases are reported from 13 states- Lagos (26), Akwa Ibom (16), Rivers (10), Ebonyi (9), Abia (6), Kano (6), Osun (3), Bauchi (2), Delta (2), Edo (1), Jigawa (1), Kaduna (1), and Ogun (1)

    Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 57,950, followed by Abuja (19,703), Plateau (9,030), Kaduna (8,984), Rivers (6,986), Oyo (6,838), Edo (4,892), Ogun (4,620), Kano (3,924), Ondo (3,226), Kwara (3,120), Delta (2,615), Osun (2,547), Nasarawa (2,378), Enugu (2,259), Katsina (2,097), Gombe (2,034), Ebonyi (2,008), Anambra (1,909), Akwa Ibom (1,794), and Abia (1,677).

    Imo State has recorded 1,655 cases, Bauchi (1,538), Borno (1,337), Benue (1,188), Adamawa (1,051), Niger (930), Taraba (910), Bayelsa (871), Ekiti (868), Sokoto (774), Jigawa (525), Kebbi (450), Cross River (385), Yobe (365), Zamfara (234), while Kogi state has recorded 5 cases only.

    READ ALSO: COVID-19: Western diplomats warn of disease explosion, poor handling by government

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    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.

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    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.

    On 26th January 2021, the Federal Government announced the extension of the guidelines of phase 3 of the eased lockdown by one month following the rising cases of the coronavirus disease in the country and the expiration of phase 3 of the eased lockdown.

    On 28th February 2021, the federal government confirmed that the first tranche of Covid-19 vaccines will arrive in Nigeria on Tuesday, March 2nd, 2021.

    On Tuesday, 2nd March 2021, the National Primary health Care Development Agency announced the arrival of the expected COVX Astrazeneca/Oxford covid-19 vaccines.

    On Saturday, 6th March 2021, President Muhammadu Buhari and his vice, Yemi Osinbajo received vaccination against the covid-19 as the State House in Abuja.

    READ ALSO: Bill Gates says Trump’s WHO funding suspension is dangerous

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