Lagos Discharges Five Coronavirus Patients

 

Lagos State Government on Monday discharged five coronavirus patients at Infectious Disease Centre, Yaba Mainland Hospital.

This brings to eight the total number of discharged patients from the Centre.

The patients who had been quarantined at the isolation centre for weeks looked stable and as they expressed joy and satisfaction over the treatments they received.

While thanking the State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu for his support and proactiveness, they pleaded that the workers at the Centre should be given life insurance.

While speaking to the press, one of the patients said,
“Initially, there were hitches but it later turned out fine. The health workers did fine, all our challenges were attended to. I’m a living witness together with my other colleagues.”

He said that people should not panick as the virus could be defeated.

“We can beat it, i want to assure others that this is not their resting place. Encourage yourselves, take your medications and in no distant time, you will get out of here.

“I want to appeal to the federal government and Lagos State government that, they should remunerate all those workers who have volunteered to work accordingly, so as to serve as encouragement to others, adding that, “If they are not here as first responders, many would have died.”

Narrating his experience, another survivor maintained that health workers  deserve life insurance to encourage them to do their job.

Nigerian Military has provided  17 isolation and treatment centres  across the 6 geopolitical zones of the Country in support of the Federal Government of Nigeria towards tackling the COVID 19 pandemic.

 
As was contained  in a press statement signed by Major General John Enenche, Coordinator Defence Media Operations, the Centres are as follows :
(1) South West

(a) 68 Nigerian Army Reference Hospital, Yaba.
(b) 2 Division Hospital, Ibadan.

(2) South South

(a) Military Hospital, Port Harcourt.
(b) Navy Reference Hospital, Calabar
(c) Military Hospital, Benin.

(3) South East
(a) 211 Regiment Group Medical Centre, Owerri.
(b) 82 Division Military Hospital, Enugu.

(4) North Central
(a) 161 Nigerian Air Force Hospital, Makurdi.
(b) 22 Brigade Medical Centre, Ilorin.

(5) North West
(a) 44 Nigerian Army Reference Hospital, Kaduna.
(b) 465 Nigerian Air Force Hospital, Kano.
(c) 263 Nigerian Air Force Reference Hospital, Daura.
(d) 119 Composite Group Medical Centre, Sokoto.

(6) North East
(a) 261 Nigerian Air Force Reference Hospital, Bauchi.
(b) 163 Nigerian Air Force Hospital, Yola.
(c) 7 Division Military Hospital, Maiduguri.
(d) 27 Task Force Brigade Field Ambulance, Damaturu.

Further to this, a good number of Armed Forces of Nigerian medical personnel have been earmarked to be trained on the management of COVID 19 cases, which would be done in liaison with Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), the statement said.

” In the same vein, about 48 Disaster Response Units of the Armed Forces of Nigeria are on Notice To Move in conjunction with NEMA. These units will handle operations other than medicals that may arise in the course of this non kinetic military operation.”

” the Armed Forces of Nigeria is to implement all restriction on movement in line with the Federal Government of Nigeria. For the avoidance of doubt this include the Presidential Directive given by the President Commander In Chief, during his address to the Nation on the COVID 19 Pandemic, on 29 March 2020.’

“The High Command of Nigerian Military hereby solicit for the support of the general public in this trying period of the fight against COVID 19. This can be achieved by adhering to all the medical and administrative guidelines being provided by government at all levels.”

COVID-19: We Are Tracing More Than 6,000 Persons – NCDC

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control is tracing  no fewer than 6,000 people suspected to have had contact with the 111 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the country.

According to Director-General of the agency, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu,  every time there is a new case, about 50 to 60 contacts are added, which we then have to follow every single day for 14 days.


“These few weeks will help the teams to have access to the contacts living around Lagos and FCT.”

NCDC Director General, stated that the decision to restrict movement in Lagos and Abuja was a tough but necessary one for the President.

He believes the curfew will help Nigeria buy some time to get ahead of COVID-19 and ease the stress on health workers tracing suspected contacts of confirmed cases.

COVID-19: UBA Gives Sanwo-Olu N1b

Lagos State Governor Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Sunday received a cheque for the sum of 1billion naira from the United Bank for Africa as part of the bank’s commitment to help curb the devastating effects of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the State.

Presenting the cheque to Mr. Governor at the State House, Marina, the Managing Director of the bank, Mr. Kenneth Uzoka, said the one billion naira donation is in fulfilment of the five billion naira commitment made by the UBA Group Chairman, Mr. Tony O. Elumelu, early last week.

According to The  Nation Newspaper,  Uzoka said that as a socially responsible institution, UBA cares for its communities and  for Lagos State, which has recorded the highest number of positive cases thus far, needing special attention.

He disclosed that the decision to give Lagos one billion naira was as a result of the important role that the state plays in the economy of not only Nigeria, but Africa as a whole, given its vast population and other key economic factors.

He said: “Given the population of this state and that it is the business nerve centre, we at UBA are committed to lending our support to the state government. So today, we are giving you and the state one billion naira to support your endeavour in fighting the Coronavirus disease.

“I will not fail to mention that this wasn’t an easy decision for us because Lagos is just one of the many states in Nigeria. However, we looked at the importance of Lagos to Nigeria, but more importantly, we looked at the fact that Lagos has set up the right structure to administer whatever it is that we are giving to the state. So, we are rest assured, because we believe without an iota of doubt that the state will use these funds effectively and efficiently,”

The Governor expressed appreciation to the financial institution for the support, saying that the money will go a long way to assist the state in kicking out the pandemic.

He said: “We appreciate UBA. This is not the kind of money that we would want to take for granted. This is really an important intervention and this fund will go a long way to meet all of our needs both now and in the future, to ensure that Lagos continues to remain safe for business.

“And so, we are indeed happy that you decided to make this very bold move to support the health facility infrastructure in Lagos. You can be rest assured that once the structures have been developed, we will call you again to see what we have put these resources to.”

Last week, the bank announced a donation of over 5 billion Naira (USD14 million), through the UBA Foundation, to catalyse a comprehensive pan-African response to the fight against the coronavirus (COVID-19) global pandemic.

COVID-19 : CISLAC Demands Total Accountability Of Donated Funds

Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC)/Transparency International in Nigeria commends  appreciates the ongoing donations by indigenous groups towards the combating the COVID-2019 virus pandemic and its socio-economic impacts, and at the same time, call for total accountability of the utilisation and distribution of funds.

The Civil society in a statement signed by
Executive Director, Auwal Ibrahim Musa
welcomed the recent constitution of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 response with specific responsibility to coordinate donations for efficient and impactful spending, but expressed  surprise that selection and appointment into the Committee did not take cognisance of representatives from the media and other credible governmental and non-governmental organisations working on anti-corruption, transparency and accountability in governance and public financial management.

“In times of global public emergency, proactive measures to ensure judicious utilisation and distribution of these funds are needed more than ever. Inclusion of media and other accountability entities in the Committee would compel transparency and accountability in the utilisation and dissemination of managed funds. At this critical junction, Nigeria cannot afford mismanagement and misappropriation of public and donated funds.”

“We on this note have no hesitation to state that diversion or misappropriation of the funds would be tantamount to total betrayal, unpatriotic, unsympathetic and selfishness in the management of the nation’s treasury which are punishable under relevant laws.”

“While we monitor with keen interest response of various authorities to commitment of the Federal Government towards alleviating impacts of the newly pronounced lockdown in some states, we demand sincere effort to ensure relief materials and other financial and material assistance are deployed accordingly to citizens irrespective of their socio-economic status with holistic and transparent strategy to adequately appropriate relief package to citizens at the grassroots level.”

“We also observe that ongoing development has further revealed the government’s inadequate preparedness capacity to mitigate impacts of the pandemic and other national emergency with existing poor national storage capacity for food and other basic needs to respond adequately.”

“Let us recall that, according to UNICEF, only 26.5 per cent of the population use improved drinking water sources and sanitation facilities. Furthermore, around 75 million Nigerians do not have an access to electricity. Given the global trend, we observed that the lockdown cannot be meaningful without adequate proactive measures by the Government on the provision of basic amenities such as sufficient food supplies, access to water and regular power supply to genuinely address the plights and agitations of common citizens, whose daily means of income would be largely affected. Any lockdown must take into consideration these underlying infrastructure deficits.”

CISLAC  therefore called on the Federal Government, relevant authorities and anti-graft institutions to ensure proper accountability in the utilisation and distribution of the donated funds.

” All distributed funds need to be recorded and pro-actively published so that impartial and objective verification is enabled.”

“We also call on the civil society, media and all well-meaning citizens to constructively monitor and report progress as events unfold.”

GUINEA INSURANCE MOVES TO CONTAIN SPREAD OF COVID-19

 

The spread of COVID-19, commonly referred to as the coronavirus, is an exceptional event that is becoming an increasing public and workplace priority. As the global community continues to grapple with COVID-19 (coronavirus) and its far-reaching implications, we must not, however, forget to pray for our brothers and sisters in Nigeria and around the world who are with us and are infected; and those who are not here today because they have gone the way of all flesh due to the outbreak of this growing global emergency

In these extremely challenging times and in the face of the continuous and unabated spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19); we at Guinea Insurance PLC have put in place strict control and precautionary measures to protect our employees, business partners, tenants, visitors and families.

Our Crisis Response Unit has taken active steps to activate some pertinent control measures which include: promoting good personal and environmental hygiene, performing routine cleaning sprays and wipes to disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces, adjusting our policies to reduce social contact by promoting social distancing, providing alcohol-based hand sanitizers throughout our workplace and in common areas and trying as much as possible to reduce face-to-face meetings and implementing flexible working arrangement plans

As a responsible corporate citizen of Nigeria, the health and wellbeing of all stakeholders remain the core of our very existence. Our approach to this global tragedy is to stay informed, keep calm, communicate with all stakeholders and create contingency plans while also, focusing on providing first-rate service to our numerous customers far and wide through our digital channels.

COVID-19: Ecobank Launches “StaySafeNigeria” Media Campaign

 

Ecobank Nigeria has launched a ‘StaySafeNigeria’ media campaign being part of its corporate actions to support measures to check the rising spread of Coronavirus in Nigeria. The integrated media campaign is a call to action, creating awareness and educating the populace on safety measures to adopt against the dreaded Coronavirus disease (COVID -19).

 

Flagging off the campaign in Lagos, Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, Patrick Akinwuntan, said the “StaySafeNigeria” campaign is designed to mobilise the entire citizenry to adopt safe conduct and healthy habits to help contain the spread of Coronavirus in Nigeria. He emphasised that with a population of about 200 million, prevention is better than cure and indeed in the case of COVID-19, prevention is much better than “no cure”. We must therefore place top priority on getting everyone to stop the spread or minimise the spread of the virus now, pointing out that we cannot risk a full pandemic in Nigeria as our health infrastructure and personnel will be easily overwhelmed if that should happen.

 

He explained that the messages will be in Pidgin, Ibo, Hausa, Yoruba and English on radio, electronic and social media to take the message to the grassroots whilst ensuring a contactless deployment in line with “StaySafeNigeria” ethos.

 

“All hands must be on deck to check the spread of the COVID-19. We have no choice as a caring and responsible corporate organisation than to rise up to this challenge of our generation and make every contribution to check the spread and save lives. Our media campaign will engage people in very simple language on important tips to stay safe. The campaign will be sustained to continue promoting good hygiene conduct even after we overcome Coronavirus,” he said.

 

Mr. Akinwuntan disclosed that the bank had engaged in many advocacy measures to protect its staff, customers and other stakeholders since the outbreak of the disease, stating that the bank evoked its business continuity plans, suspended all non-essential travels, cancelled physical meetings and resorted to virtual/digital meetings. He also emphasized strong hygiene habits by encouraging frequent washing of hands with soap and water, provision of alcohol based hand sanitizers in all its locations, temperature checks and mandated employees to respect the mandatory self-isolation/quarantine for 14 days if they have been exposed in any manner. The staff of the Bank also advised customers to maintain social distancing whilst Tellers and front office employees attending to customers wear face masks with gloves in addition to social distancing.

 

It will be recalled that Ecobank had before now, also encouraged its customers to avoid non-essential contacts in achieving their banking needs by utilising digital solutions to easily access their bank accounts, make contactless payments, transfer funds and carry out other ancillary banking transactions from the comfort of their homes and offices without visiting the branches. Some of the digital platforms include *326#, Ecobank Mobile App, Ecobank Online, EcobankPay, Ecobank OmniPlus, OmniLite and the Rapidtransfer App.

 

The StaySafeNigeria campaign is in line with the bank’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) which seeks to intervene and contribute to the wellbeing of the people where it operates.

SEC Unveils Regulatory Framework For Crowd Funding

…. Pegs paid up capital at N100m

Conscious of the need to further deepen the nation’s capital market and enable it provide development capital for Medium and Small-scale Enterprises of the economy, Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), at the weekend unveiled an exposure draft of its regulatory framework for crowdfunding in the country.

This is also in line with global best practices.

The draft, when approved, proposes conditions under which private companies are permitted, “with the required structure and mechanism in place” to raise capital from the public through a process called Crowdfunding.

It defines Crowdfunding as “the process of raising funds to finance a project or business from the public through an online platform,” which could be a “website, portal, intermediary portal, application, or other similar modules that facilitate interaction between fundraisers and the investing public.”

The funding occurs within a period known as funding round, “within which a specific project, business, or venture is hosted on a crowdfunding platform to raise funds from a large number of people in exchange for shares, debt securities or other investment instruments approved by the commission. The funds may either be pooled from high net worth investors, or a large number of people through an online platform in exchange for any investment instruments approved by the commission, which also be plain vanilla bonds or debentures, and simple contracts.

According to the commission, total fees payable to parties to a crowdfunding issue shall not exceed two per cent of the total funds raised.

The commission noted that the maximum amount which might be raised by a medium enterprise shall not exceed N100 million.

“The maximum amount which may be raised by a small enterprise shall not exceed N70 million; and the maximum amount which may be raised by a micro enterprise shall not exceed N50 million.

“The limits set forth above shall not apply to MSMEs operating as digital commodities investment platforms or such other MSMEs as may be designated by the commission from time to time,” it said.

For the purpose of calculating the aggregate amount of securities and investment instruments offered and sold by an issuer under this Rule and determining whether an issuer has previously sold securities or investment instruments within a 12-month period, according to the SEC, “the term issuer as used in this Rule, shall include all entities controlled by or under common control with the issuer and any predecessors of the issuer.”

According to the rule, crowdfunding portal that is located outside Nigeria will be considered as actively targeting Nigerian investors, if the operator or the operator’s representative, promotes directly or indirectly the platform in Nigeria.

It stated that a crowdfunding portal might be registered and operated only by an operator registered with the SEC as a Crowdfunding Intermediary.

“Only entities registered with the Commission as an Exchange, dealer, broker, broker/dealer or alternative trading facility as prescribed under the Act and the SEC Rules and Regulations might be registered as a Crowdfunding Intermediary. Only entities registered with the commission in the prescribed format as an exchange, dealer, broker, broker/dealer or Alternative Trading Facility as prescribed under the Act and the SEC Rules and Regulations may be registered as a Crowdfunding Intermediary.

“Every crowdfunding portal is required to “appoint a custodian, who shall establish and maintain a separate trust account for each funding round on its platform with a financial institution registered by the commission as a Custodian.

To be hosted on a Crowdfunding Portal, a proposed issuer must submit relevant information including explanations of the key characteristics of the company; the purpose of the listing and the targeted offering amount; and the audited financial statements of the company.

The commission explained that retail investors might not invest more than 10 per cent of their annual income in a calendar year.

It added that crowdfunding portal or crowdfunding intermediary that failed to comply with the rules shall be liable to a fine of not less than N1 million and the sum of N10,000 for every day the violation continues.

COVID-19: Heritage Bank offers seamless service to stakeholders, curbs impact of virus

As the world grapple with the impact of the outbreak of Coronavirus pandemic, which has continued to cause worldwide challenges for healthcare systems, economies and corporate organisations, Heritage Bank Plc has taken practicable steps to offer seamless services to customers, whilst ensuring the health and safety of their workers and others at the workplace.

The bank, however, adopted a crisis response measures in place to minimise and manage the risk arising from the disease known as COVID-19 and ensure that the payment infrastructure and logistics to maintain operations going as various State governments brace up for lockdown to contain the pandemic.

The bank’s Management in a statement explained that part of its business continuity management emanating from Heritage Bank’s corporate strategy was to guarantee seamless service delivery to the various stakeholders, adopt measures to tackle significant business risk that might have growth impact on economy, whilst taken reasonably practicable steps to minimize the risk.

According to Heritage Bank, incognizant with the protocols proffered by the World Health Organisation, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and other health agencies, Heritage Bank provided a work environment that is without risk to health and safety and adequate facilities for workers in carrying out their work, so far as is reasonably practicable.

The statement noted that the Bank has maintained a maximum of 10% of staff who constitute mainly Units heads and “must have” working from its premises during these times of uncertainties, whilst others work remotely from home to adhere to the social distancing directive.

The bank further noted that efforts have been ongoing via its intranet and other channels to keep staff and customers up-to-date with the latest COVID-19 information and provide clear direction and guidance expected of workers and customers.

“We have enforced and continued to monitor the need for workers to practice good hygiene, including:  frequent hand washing, use of sanitizer,  limiting contact with others, including through shaking hands covering their mouths while coughing or sneezing require workers to stay away from the workplace if they are unwell and not fit for work, and encourage them to seek medical advice as appropriate seek advice from health authorities immediately if there has been a confirmed case of COVID-19 and for staff who are arriving from affected countries to self-quarantine for 14days,” the financial institution stated.

To ensure seamless banking transactions, the bank explained that customers are constantly communicated to, to adopt its available 24/7 alternate electronic channels.

“We have encouraged our customers to adopt the self-service platforms like *745*0# for balance enquiry, Funds Transfer (Within Heritage Bank): *745*1*Amount*Account Number#, self-airtime recharge: *745*Amount#, third party airtime recharge: *745*Amount*Mobile Number# and change pin: *745*00#.

“We are available via email info@hbng.com and social media (insert social media icons) to render the following services: Debit Card Hotlist, Post No Debit Request (PND Placement), HB Padie unlock/ username request/ Password reset, Statement of Account (individual accounts) and general inquiries on products and services

“We have setup a COVID-19 Support Centre to offer COVID-19 safety tips to all our customers during this period, in support of the efforts of the Government and relevant bodies. Please send any information relating to the COVID-19 pandemic via these channels: E-mail: HeritageBankCovid19Support@hbng.com  and contact number:   01-2369099,” the bank explained.