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Coronavirus: CBN, Dangote, Otedola, Elumelu, others set to raise N120bn to fight virus


Coronavirus: CBN, Dangote,Otedola, Elumelu, others set to raise N120bn to fight virus

The Central Bank of Nigeria and the private sector, led by Aliko Dangote Foundation and Access Bank, have set up a coalition aimed at raising N120bn towards the fight against COVID-19 in Nigeria.

The Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele, said at a press briefing in Lagos on Thursday that the Nigerian Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19 was created out of the urgent need to combat the COVID-19  pandemic in the country.

According to him, four major committees were set up, namely, funding, steering, operational and technical committees.

He said each member of the funding committee would contribute at least N1bn.

Emefiele said, “Information gathered so far has revealed that to procure all needed equipment, material and infrastructure needed to fight the corona pandemic, over N120bn must be raised.

“The Bankers Committee and these important stakeholders will be required to step up to support this endeavour. We are already engaging other important stakeholders in Nigeria and abroad, such as the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and players in the oil industry.”

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The CBN governor said an account would be set up at the CBN to receive both naira and foreign currencies from donors.

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He said the steering committee would be chaired by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, who currently chairs the Federal Government Committee on Covid-19.

He said, “The funding committee will be responsible for the initial funding of the effort. Membership comprises the CBN governor, Aliko Dangote, Herbert Wigwe, Jim Ovia, Tony Elumelu, Segun Agbaje, Abdulsamad Rabiu and Femi Otedola.

“Each member of the committee is to ensure that their institution contributes at least N1bn to this effort. More members are allowed as long as they are willing to contribute at least N1bn.”

The founder of BUA Group, Abdulsamad Rabiu, announced on Thursday a donation of N1bn through the BUA Foundation to strengthen the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

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The company said in a statement that Rabiu had also placed an order for additional equipment and medical supplies including testing kits and medical protective gears, which he would donate to nine states in the country.

“States to benefit are Lagos, Kano, Adamawa, Edo, Kwara, Rivers, Abia, Akwa-Ibom and Sokoto,” it added.

Rabiu was quoted as saying that the N1bn donation would be given through the Central Bank of Nigeria-led Private Sector Coalition Committee against COVID-19.

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In a related development, Access Bank Plc has said it is teaming up with Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, to provide treatment and isolation centres across the country.

Bloomberg quoted the bank as saying in an emailed statement on Thursday that the facilities, with a total of 1,000 beds, would be ready within weeks.

The United Bank for Africa Plc said it would donate about N5bn towards providing relief assistance to the country and 19 others across Africa to support their governments in combating the viral infection.


Lockdown: Abubakar Rimi Market, Kano. loses over N15m revenue



The management of the Abubakar Rimi Market, Kano, says it has lost over N15 million in revenue since the lockdown of the state aimed at curbing COVID-19 spread.

Mr. Muhammad Bashir, the market’s Director of Administration and General Services, gave the figure while addressing newsmen on Wednesday in Kano.

“As a result of this loss, we cannot even pay our staff salaries; we pay our staff from the revenue we generate.

“Every month, we generate over N12 million out of which we normally spend over N8 million as workers’ salaries,” he said.

Bashir said that huge business activities in the market were making social distancing difficult.

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The director said that the management of the market had, however, received over 20,000 face masks from the Kano State Government for distribution to traders and customers to reduce COVID-19 spread.

Bashir appealed to the state government to assist the management with funds to enable it to pay workers’ salaries.

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The director said that payment of workers’ salaries would reduce hardship induced by the 45-day-old lockdown.

He hailed the state government’s efforts in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Covid-19: WHO set to resume hydroxychloroquine trials



Covid-19: WHO set to resume hydroxychloroquine trials

The World Health Organization says it will resume its trial of hydroxychloroquine, the malaria drug backed by President Donald Trump to combat the deadly coronavirus, according to CNBC reports.

The Data Safety Monitoring Board decided there was no reason to discontinue the international trial after reviewing available data on the drug, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a press conference Wednesday at the agency’s Geneva headquarters.

“The executive group received this recommendation and endorsed the continuation of all arms of solidarity trial including hydroxychloroquine,” he said.

On May 25, WHO announced it had temporarily suspended its trial of the drug over safety concerns. The announcement came days after a study published in the medical journal The Lancet, which is now being reexamined, found that hospitalized Covid-19 patients treated with hydroxychloroquine had a higher risk of death than those who didn’t take it.

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The move by the agency spurred French drugmaker Sanofi and others to temporarily suspend recruitment their own trials looking at the drug.

Tedros said Wednesday that the safety board will continue to closely monitor the safety of all therapeutics being tested in its trials, which include more than 3,500 patients across 35 countries.

“WHO is committed to accelerating the development of effective therapeutics, vaccines and diagnostics as part of our commitment to serving the world with science, solutions and solidarity,” he said.


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JUST IN: Nigeria records 348 coronavirus cases, total now 11,166



Nigeria has recorded new Coronavirus cases with the NCDC announcing 348 new cases of Coronavirus in Nigeria.

Newsone Nigeria reports that the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) confirmed 348 new Coronavirus cases in a tweet on the micro-blogging site, Twitter on Wednesday evening, June 2.

This burgeoning online news platform understands that the NCDC noted that of the 348 COVID-19 cases recorded on Wednesday evening, 163 were detected in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial city, FCT-76 Ebonyi-23 Rivers-21 Delta-8 Nasarawa-8 Niger-8 Enugu-6 Bauchi-5 Edo-5 Ekiti-5 Ondo-5 Gombe-5 Benue-4 Ogun-2 Osun-1 Plateau-1 Kogi-1 Anambra-1, southeast Nigeria.

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To be continued……

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