The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the 2019 election, Atiku Abubakar, has announced that his son tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19).
He made his known via his verified Twitter handle on Sunday.
“My son has tested positive for coronavirus,” he tweeted.
According to the former Vice-President of Nigeria, his son has been moved to Gwagwalada Specialist Teaching Hospital in Abuja for treatment.
“The @NCDCGov (Nigeria Centre for Disease Control) has been duly informed, and he has been moved to Gwagwalada Specialist Teaching Hospital in Abuja for treatment and management. I will appreciate it if you have him in your prayers. Stay safe, coronavirus is real,” he added.
My son has tested positive to coronavirus. @NCDCGov has been duly informed, and he has been moved to Gwagwalada Specialist Teaching Hospital in Abuja for treatment and management. I will appreciate it if you have him in your prayers. Stay safe, coronavirus is real. -AA
— Atiku Abubakar (@atiku) March 22, 2020
COVID-19: Africa needs urgent trade finance boost, says report
Africa needs urgent financing to re-energise its trade in the continent in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, a joint report has stated.
This is according to the latest trade finance report, jointly released by the African Development Bank (AfDB), and the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), on Sunday.
The report, titled: “Trade Finance in Africa: Trends Over the Past Decade and Opportunities Ahead”, built on two previous studies released in 2014 and 2017.
It was also based on a survey of over 600 unique commercial banks in 49 countries across Africa for 2011 to 2019.
The report established a benchmark for trade finances in Africa before the COVID-19 crisis and recommended policy responses to the industry in the wake of the pandemic.
According to the report, only 40 per cent of Africa’s trade is bank-intermediated (goes through the formal banking system), which is a far lower share than the global average of 80 per cent.
The trade finance gap was also stated to have remained unacceptably high at 81 billion dollars in 2019.
The report found that these were some of the structural challenges that hindered banks’ abilities to effectively intermediate Africa’s trade with the world.
It also highlighted the critical role of development finance institutions in supporting the industry.
The study also found that unintended regulatory bottlenecks were one of the key constraints driving these patterns.
“With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the need for financing to re-energise the region’s trade is urgent.
“The good news is that Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) including the African Development Bank, are playing a more active role in supporting the trade finance industry in Africa,” the report said.
According to the report, more than half of banks engaged in trade finance activities between 2015 and 2019 received support from DFIs to expand their transactions.
Yet, DFI support was skewed toward particular sub-regions and financial intermediaries, mainly foreign-owned private banks.
The report made recommendations to boost trade finance supply in Africa.
The recommendations included, raising awareness about the impact of strict regulatory requirements on sector intermediaries and addressing geographical and institutional differences in DFI support to the sector.
Stefan Nalletamby, AfDB’s Director of the Financial Sector Development Department, noted that the report series had become the main reference document for the industry on the continent.
“It reflects the Bank’s increasing thought leadership role on this important subject.
“We hope that the findings of this report will motivate policymakers and industry experts to devise and implement strategies in fragile states and low income countries to make trade finance more accessible to African traders, especially SMEs in fragile states and low income countries,” he said.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Felix Ajide
15th Abuja Int’l trade fair to feature 500 exhibitors – ACCI
The Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) says its 15th Abuja International Trade Fair will feature not more than 500 local and foreign exhibitors.
ACCI Media Officer Latifat Opoola who made the disclosure on Sunday said the fair would hold in October at the Abuja Trade and Convention with the theme “Trade and Commerce Beyond Borders”.
According to Opoola, this year’s event in compliance with the COVID-19 protocols will only showcase indoor and virtual exhibitions to make room for a controlled environment that will ensure social distancing.
She noted that an average attendance of 100,000 visitors from both Nigeria and 150 countries, including U.K., United States, UAE, India, Malasyia and China would participate both physically and virtually at the fair.
She said other countries like Saudi Arabia, Ghana, South Africa, among others, were expected to participate.
She noted that over the years, the fair had been an amazing trade platform for international and domestic industry professionals, leading brands and MSMEs to transact, share market insights, cutting edge technology and expertise in an interactive environment.
“This year’s event will provide a platform for sharing of trade, investment and market opportunity as well as information. It will also help buyers, investors and traders to foster business relationships.
“Over 500 exhibitors from within and outside Nigeria in all sectors of the economy, including Agriculture, Manufacturing, Mining, Electricity, Oil and Gas, Tourism, Textile, Transport, Telecommunications, Financial and Service sectors are expected to participate.
“With a team of trade professionals, we are persistent in providing a conducive trading atmosphere for our exhibitors, which will lead to strategies and tactics needed to innovate, grow and promote businesses,” she said in a statement.
The opening ceremony is scheduled to take place on Oct. 22, while the closing ceremony holds on Nov. 2.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Peter Ejiofor)
Gov. Ishaku’s wife commends Fidelity Bank’s free medical outreach to 829
Mrs Anna Darius Ishaku, wife of Gov. Darius Ishaku of Taraba, has commended Fidelity Bank Plc for providing free medical assistance to 829 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Kona community of the state.
Mrs Ishaku gave the commendation in a statement signed on Sunday in Lagos by Mr Nnamdi Okonkwo, the Managing Director (MD) and the Chief Executive Officer ( (CEO) of the bank.
The three-day outreach was organised by Hope Afresh Foundation in collaboration with the bank’s employees as part of Fidelity Bank’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives.
According to the statement, the foundation and the bank, driven purely by altruistic values and an innate desire to make the world a better place, pulled their resources together to offer free qualitative healthcare to the people.
Also, Ishaku was quoted in the sratement to have advised the beneficiaries of the outreach to always go for regular medical checkups in order to reduce cases of diabetes, cancer, hepatitis, and high blood pressure.
Ishaku, also the Founder and the Chief Executive Officer of Hope Afresh Foundation, encouraged other organisations to emulate the bank.
“I urge other corporate bodies, non-governmental and governmental organisations and other well-meaning Nigerians to emulate the bank by giving back to the society,” she said.
Okonkwo, who was represented by Mr Chris Nnakwe, Head, CSR & Sustainability, said that corporate philanthropy remained an effective way to positively influence the society.
He said that the bank had invested in the health sector through infrastructural development, medical outreach and others.
“At Fidelity Bank, we understand that good health and well-being are fundamentals to sustainable development.
“As much as the world has made significant progress in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, basic access to healthcare remains a challenge in Nigeria,” he added.
Also, Chief (KURU) of Kona,Augustine Njenmang Vengkani , expressed gratitude to the bank and the foundation for the kind gesture.
The statement stated that the outreach provided opportunities for employees of the bank to bond and build mutually beneficial relationships with the people of Kona community and the state.
“By collaborating with Hope Afresh Foundation, the bank provided a variety of medical tests and prescribed drugs that will help promote the general health and well-being of IDPs in Kona community of the state,” it added.
Edited By: Folasade Adeniran/Peter Dada
Osimhen’s Napoli capitalised on Parma mistakes as spectators return to Serie A
Napoli on Sunday capitalised on two defensive mistakes to win 2-0 at Parma in their opening match of the season as spectators returned to Serie A for the first time since March.
Dries Mertens and Lorenzo Insigne got Napoli’s campaign off to a winning start with second-half goals shortly after club’s record signing Victor Osimhen was brought on for his debut.
A smattering of fans, wearing masks and widely spaced apart, watched the game at the Stadio Tardini.
This was after the Italian Government agreed to allow up to 1,000 spectators at matches from Sunday for the first time since the COVID-19 lockdown.
A cagey first half produced no real chances but Napoli came to life after Nigerian Osimhen, signed from Lille in the summer, was brought on in the 61st minute.
Two minutes later, Hirving Lozano crossed the ball into the area and Parma defender Simone Iacoponi headed his attempted clearance straight to the feet of Mertens who fired past Luigi Sepe from 15 metres.
Insigne struck the post from Oshimhen’s flick before Parma gifted Napoli a second goal.
Lozano intercepted a pass out of the Parma defence, his shot was saved by Sepe but Insigne snapped up the rebound in the 77th minute.
Parma, playing their first match under Coach Fabio Liverani, did little to impress new president Kyle Krause, Chief Executive of the United States-based Krause Group which took over the club on Friday.
Edited By: Yahaya Isah/Peter Ejiofor)