Wednesday, 08 April 2020
The suspension of the subsidy regime on petroleum products announced by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) two days ago would not be seamlessly implemented except the Nigerian Government refrained from giving special treatment to any person or group in trading the dollar, oil marketers said on Tuesday.
They added that subsidy removal would not achieve its aim if the central bank sold the dollar at inconsistent rates.
“We are in support of it. The reason why we support it is that we need to have a situation where market forces will determine the economy of Nigeria.
“However, we advise government that while they remove subsidy on petrol, there should not be any special advantage to selected persons as regards the sale and purchase of dollars,” Billy Gillis-Harry, National President, Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria said.
He demanded provision be made to enable foreign exchange (forex) to be traded at fixed rates and where trade was naturally determined by market forces.
Sometime in the third week of March, the central bank’s Bankers’ Committee revoked the right of the state-owned oil corporation to conduct forex sales with indigenous and foreign oil companies and rather bestowed that privilege on the apex bank.
“Well, the reality is that market forces will determine petrol price,” Gillis-Harry said in response to the question on whether people would pay more for petrol if crude oil price rose in future.
Published in Business
More African-Americans than other racial groups in the United States are dying of coronavirus and COVID-19.
This is according to preliminary numbers from Louisiana, Michigan and Illinois.
Officials said the statistics reflect the disparities among racial groups to healthcare access.
The figures were reported by state and city leaders at briefings on the coronavirus.
Louisiana Governor John Edwards said more than 70% of the 512 people killed by the coronavirus as of Monday were black.
In contrast, black people represent just 33 per cent of the state’s population.
Michigan officials also said that the coronavirus took a disproportionate toll on African-Americans, who are 14 per cent of the population.
As of Tuesday, 40% of the reported 845 deaths in the state were African Americans..
Michigan has 18,970 coronavirus cases.
The data is preliminary and not national and does not explain what is causing the disparities.
However, community leaders and public health officials said it could reflect both higher levels of underlying illnesses that make African-Americans more vulnerable as well as possibly lower levels of access to healthcare.
U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams, acknowledging the early data, said on Tuesday that black Americans were more likely to have heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure.
Diabetes, heart disease and long-term lung problems are the most common underlying conditions among Americans hospitalized with COVID-19.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) disclosed this in a report published on March 31.
Only one in five people requiring intensive care had no such health issues, it said.
QuanTez Pressley, a 33-year-old preacher at the Third New Hope Baptist Church in Detroit, said that issues such as lack of access to fresh foods and people crowded into small living quarters “make those individuals in marginalised communities more vulnerable to the worst outcomes of pandemics.”
Some officials at the CDC and various state health departments over the past week have privately said the data they are receiving from hospitals is inconsistent, which they attributed to the chaos of trying to keep people alive amid a pandemic.
They said there were instances where health care providers did not check the boxes that provide demographic information on the patients.
“If you end up in a situation where you are on a ventilator, and that ventilator is keeping your lungs working and your body is fighting off the infection, if your heart or your kidneys or your lungs are already weaker, you have a harder time fighting off that infection,” Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said at a briefing on the coronavirus on Monday.
Civil rights groups and some lawmakers have criticized the CDC and some state health departments for not publicly releasing details on the racial breakdown of those dying or becoming critically ill from COVID-19.
The CDC has not responded to requests for comment on the topic.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Monday stood before charts at a briefing showing the inequalities between white and black coronavirus victims in her city.
African-Americans account for 72% of coronavirus deaths despite representing just about one-third of Chicago’s population of 2.7 million.
“Those numbers take your breath away,” said Lightfoot. “This is a call to action moment for all of us.”
Lightfoot demanded that doctors and other hospital staff take the time to fill out paperwork so that leaders could better understand the pandemic.
“It starts out with the disparity that has already existed in health care provision for people of colour. We already started out with an unequal system of healthcare,” Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker said on Monday.
“It gets massively exacerbated when you bring on something like COVID-19.”
Overall in the United States, there were at least 397,000 confirmed coronavirus cases with more than 12,819 deaths as of Tuesday night, according to a Reuters tally of state and local government sources.
Published in World
Nigeria’s application for a $3.4 billion credit from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is currently under review.
“We are working hard to respond to this request so that a proposal can be considered by the IMF’s executive board as soon as possible,” Kristalina Georgieva, the IMF chief said in a statement on Tuesday.
The Nigerian Government two days ago said it had joined 80 other countries to request a COVID-19 Rapid Credit Facility from the 189-member organisation, one of a series of loan arrangements it is making to tackle the current socio-economic and health crisis.
The IMF boss observed that Nigeria’s present economic emergency resulting from its exposure to the COVID-19 pandemic and shocks from slump in the price of oil, Nigeria’s biggest foreign exchange earner, informed government’s choice to seek the Fund’s Rapid Financing Instrument.
“President Buhari’s administration is taking a number of measures aimed at containing the spread of the virus and its impact, including by swiftly releasing contingency funds to Nigeria’s Center for Disease Control and working on an economic stimulus package that will help provide relief for households and businesses impacted by the downturn,” Ms Georgieva said.
Published in Bank & Finance
Nigeria’s application for a $3.4 billion credit from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is currently under review.
“We are working hard to respond to this request so that a proposal can be considered by the IMF’s executive board as soon as possible,” Kristalina Georgieva, the IMF chief said in a statement on Tuesday.
The Nigerian Government two days ago said it had joined 80 other countries to request a COVID-19 Rapid Credit Facility from the 189-member organisation, one of a series of loan arrangements it is making to tackle the current socio-economic and health crisis.
The IMF boss observed that Nigeria’s present economic emergency resulting from its exposure to the COVID-19 pandemic and shocks from slump in the price of oil, Nigeria’s biggest foreign exchange earner, informed government’s choice to seek the Fund’s Rapid Financing Instrument.
“President Buhari’s administration is taking a number of measures aimed at containing the spread of the virus and its impact, including by swiftly releasing contingency funds to Nigeria’s Center for Disease Control and working on an economic stimulus package that will help provide relief for households and businesses impacted by the downturn,” Ms Georgieva said.
Published in Bank & Finance
Wednesday, 08 April 2020 11:49

U.S. coronavirus numbers getting worse

Confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States crossed the 400,000 mark overnight on Wednesday, with 33,331 cases reported.

There are now 400,546 cases of the virus in the U.S. as at 8.00 GMT, out of the global 1,433,012 cases.
The death toll is also going northwards.
According to figures by worldometers.info, 12,857 Americans have succumbed to the virus.

Only Italy and Spain are ahead of the U.S. in fatalities.
Italy, with 135,586 cases leads the world with 17,127 deaths and Spain follows with 14,045.
There are now 141,942 cases in Spain.
France is the fourth country with high mortality rate, standing at 10,328, out of 109,069 confirmed cases.
Over two million people have been tested in the U.S. and the recovery rate is abysmally low at 21,711.

Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said America will not be out of the coronavirus woods until late September.

Published in World
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