The National Center for Disease Control (NCDC) has recorded a new coronavirus case in Lagos. The Lagos state government confirmed the case which involves a Nigerian woman who arrived from the United Kingdom last Friday. Akin Abayomi, the Lagos State Commissioner of health, disclosed the development at a press conference, on Tuesday. The National Center for Disease Control said the patient developed symptoms during her 14-day self-isolation
“She is clinically stable & is being treated at Infectious Disease Hospital, Lagos,” the NCDC quoted the Minister as saying. The new case is presently the only case because the first two patients had fully recovered and been discharged.
The current case is independent of the index patient, an Italian who flew into Lagos on a Turkish Airline flight. The second patient was connected to the index patient.
Most Nigerians on social media have been calling on the government to close the airspace as a measure of control. A number of African countries have closed their borders including the banning of public gatherings. Nigeria has yet to announce any such measures.
Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country has been on high alert since the first case. Authorities especially in Lagos along with the disease control outfit, have been giving regular updates on developments.
Below is the link to the tweet.
The case is a Nigerian who returned to Lagos from UK & developed symptoms during her 14-day self-isolation
She is clinically stable & is being treated at Infectious Disease Hospital, Lagos pic.twitter.com/eRKAAx3JzK
— NCDC (@NCDCgov) March 17, 2020
More troops, police deployed to Kaduna Airport Road, other strategic locations
At the instance of Governor Nasir El-Rufai, troops of the Nigerian Army and police operatives have been deployed to Kaduna Airport Road on Sunday in Kaduna.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the deployment also covers some strategic locations, where aggressive operations by troops and police are in progress.
The deployment was aimed at beefing up security around the Kaduna Airport Road, Kaduna-Birnin Gwari Road Roundabout and the Nigerian Defence Academy Road.
The Nigerian Air Force will retain the duty of securing the immediate premises of the Kaduna Airport, its staff quarters and other critical aviation assets in the airport.
A meeting was held between the state government, the Army, Police, Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and community leaders at Kutungare village, Igabi Local Government Area of the state.
At the meeting, Gov. El-Rufai, represented by Kaduna State Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, challenged the community leaders to cooperate with the newly deployed troops and operatives.
“We are here to see for ourselves the ongoing aggressive fighting patrols by the newly deployed troops and police operatives in these locations.
“This will complement the Nigerian Air Force, who are working in the immediate airport environment, while the troops and operatives cover the general area,” the governor said.
In his remarks, the Garrison Commander, 1 Division Nigerian Army, Brig-Gen Olusegun Abai, said communities have roles to play in enhancing security through information sharing and working harmoniously with security agencies.
He added that the army will be open to the communities in line with the principles of civil-military relations.
El-Rufia commended the Army for deploying troops to Juji village in Chikun LGA, following security challenges in the village and adjoining communities on the Kaduna Eastern Bypass.
The governor also praised the community leaders for their support to security agencies and the government.
He charged them to sustain the security information sharing mechanism in place, and also urged recourse to the law by aggrieved individuals and groups.
Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/ Maharazu Ahmed
Emir of Zazzau: We’ve lost a father – Tijjani Ramalan
Dr Tijjani Ramalan, Executive Chairman of Liberty TV and Radio has described the death of Dr Shehu Idris, Emir of Zazzau, as a great loss not only to the people of Zazzau Emirate and Kaduna State, but Nigeria as a whole.
In a condolences massage he issued on Sunday in Kaduna, Ramalan also described the late Emir as a father, leader and a nationalist.
He said , “I and the Liberty Family received with a heavy heart but total submission to the Will of Almighty Allah the passing on to the glory of our dear King and father, the Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji Shehu Idris
“The history of Kaduna State, Northern Nigeria and indeed our great nation Nigeria cannot be written without a mention of the valuable contributions of His Royal Highness to peace and security,”. he said
Ramalan prayed Almighty Allah to forgive the shortcomings of the late Emir and grant him Aljanah Firdaus, and give the people of Kaduna state the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
Edited By: Maharazu Ahmed
Edo poll: New dawn, end of ‘godfatherism’ in Nigeria politics – Atiku
Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has congratulated Gov. Godwin Obaseki on his reelection, describing his victory in at the Edo governorship election as end of ‘godfatherism’ in Nigeria politics.
Abubakar in a statement he issued in Abuja on Sunday said that the election marked a new dawn in Edo.
“There is a new wind of democratic change now blowing all over Nigeria. The forces of despotism, nepotism, and interlopers cannot successfully withstand this force.
“Nigeria shall soon be totally free from these forces.
“The only power that will stand in Nigeria is people power, not the power of godfathers or despots,” he said.
He added that the hard won victory of Obaseki was not just a victory, but a declaration of independence from the anti democratic forces.
“No victory can be sweeter than this, and I heartily congratulate the governor and the good people of Edo for their resilience in the face of the forces arrayed against them.
“Edo has a rich history as the centre of black civilisation, and to this, she is adding a new history as the bastion of Nigerian democracy.
“This double whammy of ancient and modern glories is a testament to a people who have, for centuries, set the pace as a beacon of light on the African continent,” he said.
Abubakar congratulated the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), for standing “shoulder to shoulder” with the people of Edo and their government, in good and bad times.
He said that the PDP had shown that it was not fair weather friends to the good people of Edo.
Abubakar said: “In good times, we will walk beside you. In bad times, we will be your true ‘comrade’. We will never be a turncoat.
“We will never abandon the principles we once espoused, so we can dine with our nemesis. Democracy has no nemesis. And this, the PDP has again proved,” he said.
Abubakar commended the Oba of Benin, Omo N’oba N’Edo Uku Akpolopkolo, Ewuare II, for the fatherly role he played as a neutral catalyst for peace in the election.
He said that the Saturday election was largely free from violence, a testament of the long and effective shadow he casts over his domain.
The former vice president said he looked forward to the continuation of four more years of tangible development, and people-centred leadership from Obaseki.
“From personal experience, I know Obaseki to be a magnanimous man, and I urge Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu to accept the right hand of fellowship that is likely to be extended to him,” he said.
Abubakar also advised Ize-Iyamu to return to PDP saying, “I remind him that no matter how far one has gone on a wrong road, it is never too late to turn back and head in the right direction. The PDP is the right direction.”
Abubakar advised the people of Ondo State to demonstrate what the people of Edo had done in the forthcoming election.
“To the good people of Ondo state, my message to you is that freedom from the oppressive grasp of godfathers and external forces that seek to dominate your will, and eviscerate your treasury, is possible.
“Edo has done it. You can do it too!,” he added.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/DonaldUgwu
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