Tag Archives: 2020

‘Covid-19 Cases in Africa Now Over 115,000’ WHO Reports

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has reported that coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Africa as at Tuesday, had risen to over 115, 000.

The WHO Regional Office for Africa in Brazzaville, Congo, gave the update on its official twitter handle @WHOAFRO.

“There are over 115,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases on the African continent – with more than 46,000 recoveries and 3,400 deaths,” it said.

The figures showed that South Africa, Algeria and Nigeria had the highest reported cases in Africa.

According to the report, South Africa had 23,615 cases and 418 deaths followed by Algeria with 8,503 cases and 609 deaths. Nigeria had 8,068 confirmed cases and 233 deaths.

It stated that Ghana had 6,808 reported cases and 32 deaths. Cameroon recorded 4, 890 confirmed cases and 165 deaths.

The report said Lesotho, Seychelles and Namibia were countries currently with the lowest confirmed cases in the region.

It said Lesotho had only two confirmed cases with zero death; Seychelles had 11 reported cases and zero death. Namibia recorded 21 confirmed cases with no death.

Meanwhile, as at May 25, the novel coronavirus had infected more than 5.4 million people and killed over 344,000 worldwide, according to John Hopkins University.

But, World Health Organisation (WHO), Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, has paid tribute to African leaders for the progress they have made in their fight against COVID-19 pandemic.

Moeti gave the tribute yesterday on the official twitter account of the WHO Regional Office for Africa @WHOAFRO.
The regional director also commended Africans for their patience and support in the fight against the pandemic.

“So again, a shout out to African people, I thank them so much for the courage that they have shown, the forbearance under sometimes difficult circumstances.
“We are committed to continue in this fight with them.

“I would like to pay special tribute to African communities. It was said by the WHO Director General, Dr Tedro that our leaders have put in place some measures to control the pandemic.

“We have seen African countries take very tough decisions to put in place some of the control measures.

“I am very pleased to have joined this celebration of Africa Day yesterday, and especially pleased to have been in the company of special envoys on COVID-19 in Africa,” she said.

Africa Day is the annual commemoration of the foundation of the Organisation of African Unity on May 25, 1963.

Four Financial Effects of Covid-19 On Nigerians

Things are no longer the same all around due to the coronavirus pandemic. As at Monday night, more than five million cases have been recorded all over the world with thousands of people dying from it.

In Nigeria, as at Monday night, 8,068 people have contracted the virus with, with 233 deaths. There are fears that this figure will continue to rise, until a lasting solution is found.

The pandemic has also taken a toll on the finances of Nigerians. Here are four ways Nigerians are affected financially by the health crisis:

1. Increased fare

One measure to prevent contracting COVID-19 is social distancing. This means one has to be two-meters apart from the other person. Transporters have been forced to adhere to this “new” rule and as such they have increased the transport fare of the few passengers that board their vehicles.

2. More consumption of food

It is becoming increasingly difficult for people to eat three times in a day during coronavirus crisis. Prices of foodstuff are increased, leaving people with little or no income.

3. Salary cuts

This is one sad reality coronavirus has brought to many Nigerian workers. Companies and industries have explained the difficulties they are passing through to operate and have no option than to either lay off some staff or cut salaries. This has left a sour taste in the mouth of Nigerian workers.

4. Fewer working hours

The Federal Government has mandates offices to open only between 8am and 3pm, meaning people work less hours with fewer productivity. When productivity is lower, revenues will be affected, leading to salary cuts and less fulfilment.

Nigeria’s GDP grows in 1st quarter 2020

Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 1.87 per cent (year-on-year) in real terms in the first quarter of 2020.

This revelation was made by the National Bureau of Statistics(NBS) on Monday while announcing the ‘Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product’ report for first quarter 2020 .

The reported growth can in the midst of significant global disruptions resulting from the COVID-19 public health crisis, a sharp fall in oil prices, and restricted international trade.

The Q1 2020 growth represents a drop of –0.23 per cent points compared to Q1 2019 and –0.68 per cent points compared to Q4 2019. This are indication of the effects of the global disruption, particularly on the non-oil economy.

Quarter on quarter, real GDP growth was –14.27 per cent compared to 5.59 per cent recorded in the preceding quarter.

In terms of quantities, the aggregate GDP stood at N35.64m in nominal terms of Q1 2020.

This performance was higher when compared to the first quarter of 2019 which recorded N31.82m, with a nominal growth rate of 12.01 per cent year on year.

Relative to the first quarter of 2019, the nominal growth rate was higher by 0.11 per cent points but lower than the proceeding quarter by –0.32 per cent points.

Covid-19: China Reports Zero New Cases for the First Time Since January

China on Saturday reported zero new coronavirus infections for the first time since it started reporting data in January , a day after Communist Party leaders celebrated “ major achievements” in the virus fight .

The virus first emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year , but cases have dwindled dramatically from the peak in mid- February as the country appears to have brought the virus largely under control .

The official death toll in the country of 1 . 4 billion people stands at 4 , 634 , well below the number of fatalities in much smaller countries .

However , doubt has been cast on the reliability of China ’ s numbers and the United States has led the charge in questioning how much information Beijing has shared with the international community.

The milestone comes a day after the opening of China ’ s rubber – stamp parliament , the National People’ s Congress , where Premier Li Keqiang said the country had “ made major strategic achievements in our response to COVID- 19 . ”

However , he warned that the country still faced “ immense ” challenges.

Authorities in Wuhan have come under fire for reprimanding and silencing doctors who first raised the alarm about the virus late last year , and repeated changes to counting methodology have cast further doubt over China ’ s official data.

Beijing has strenuously denied accusations of a cover up , insisting it has always shared information with the World Health Organisation (WHO ) and other countries in a timely manner.

Since first emerging in Wuhan the virus has spread across the world , claiming more than 335 , 000 lives globally

‘Nigeria’s GDP Might Shrink’ Minister Warns

Finance, Budget and National Planning Minister, Hajia Zainab Ahmed has warned that Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Products (GDP), might shrink this year to -8.94 per cent unless there is economic stimulus.

Speaking with State House Correspondents after the FEC meeting, Mrs Ahmed, said with 40 per cent of Nigeria’s population classified as poor, the looming economic crisis would worsen their misery.

According to her, the global economy would also be dealing with the sharpest reversal since the Great Depression, as a result of the health crisis.

She added that the projected oil and gas revenue for the country, in the first quarter of 2020 suffered a 31% shortfall, representing about N125.52 billion.

“It is not news any more that these are very difficult and challenging times. We are facing a very significant economic downturn; a time that we have not seen in the history of our country.

“On the economy, COVID-19 has resulted in the collapse in oil prices. This will impact negatively, and the impact has already started showing on the federation’s revenues and on the foreign exchange earnings.

“Net oil and gas revenue and influx to the federation account in the first quarter of 2020 amounted to N940.91billion. This represented a shortfall of N125. 52billion or 31% of the prorated amount that is supposed to have been realized by the end of that first quarter.

“The economic growth in Nigeria, that is the GDP, could in the worst case scenario, contract by as much as –8.94% in 2020.

“But, in the best case, which is the case we are working on, it could be a contraction of –4.4%, if there is no fiscal stimulus. But with the fiscal stimulus plan that we are working on, this contraction can be mitigated and we might end up with a negative –0.59%”, she said.

“The Federal Government is committed to supporting the financial viability of states, including the suspension of payments in respect of commitments, debts that have been secured with ISPOs by the states at the federal levels.

“So, we have already implemented suspension of deductions of a number of loans that have been taken by the states from April and also in May.

“The Economic Sustainability Committee is responsible for providing overall strategic vision, policy direction and general oversight of the implementation amongst others”, she said.

Mrs. Ahmed assorted that the World Bank view is that the impact of the COVID-19 on Nigeria will lead to severe amplified human and economic cost, which will move the country into a recession.

“The World Bank planned a proposed package for immediate fiscal relief for the federal government. This will also involve policy-based policy budget support for the FG, focusing on measures to maintain macro financial stability and create fiscal space for proposed stimulus.

“The World Bank package has also got a proposal of $1.5billion for the states and this package will be dedicated to the states. And it will be a programme for results which the states are already used to implementing.

“So, the immediate fiscal relief for the states, as stated in the presentation, will include the acceleration of an existing programme to enable disbursement by end of September.

“So, the proposed $1.5billion plan will by end of September it would have been disbursed to the states. We are looking at an average of between N150billion to N200billion based on the plan to the 36 states. These are states that have already made some particular commitments and achievements so that they will be able to get immediate disbursements of parts of these funds”, she said.

Giving details of the balances in the various national accounts, the Minister disclosed “in the Excess Crude Account, as at 21 of May, 2020, we reported a balance $72.04 million.

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