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We have identified contact persons with Covid19 victim- Lafarge Africa



Lafarge Africa Plc says it has identified the persons who had direct contact with the individual who tested positive to Coronavirus in Nigeria.

The company stated this in a statement on Friday by Folashade Ambrose-Medebem, Director, Communications, Public Affairs and Sustainable Development made available to the Nigeria News Agency in Lagos.

Ambrose-Medebem said that the company had equally initiated isolation, quarantine and disinfection protocol at Ewekoro plant.

“As a business, we have immediately identified the persons who had direct contact with the concerned individual.

“The individual concerned works for a vendor that provides services to Lafarge Africa Plc in Ogun State,” she stated.

Ambrose-Medebem commended the exemplary leadership of the federal ministry of health, Ogun and Lagos State Governments for swiftly providing response and testing facilities.

She noted that the company was working fully with all the local authorities.

“Lafarge Africa is also working in close partnership with International SOS, our medical service provider, a leading global health company.

“Health and safety remains a core value at Lafarge Africa and we intend to leverage this strength at this critical time,” Ambrose-Medebem added.

NAN reports that the Ministry of Health in Lagos State had confirmed the first case of the disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria, which incidentally is the first in West Africa since the outbreak in China in January.

“In the last 12 hours, the first case of the chronic virus has been identified in Nigeria and the individual was visiting Ogun State.

“The individual is of Italian origin and he is a consultant to the Lafarge, Ewekoro factory,” it said early on Friday.

Edited By: Oluwole Sogunle

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Chinyere Nwokeoma: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]


PMS: Abia marketers yet to adjust to N123.5 per litre



Major and Independent petroleum marketers in Abia have yet to adjust to the new pump price of Premium Motor Spirit, otherwise called petrol, in line with the Federal Government’s directive.

Nigeria News Agency recalls that the federal government had last Tuesday announced a new pump price of N123.5 per liter from N125 per liter.

However, barely one week after the pronouncement, marketers in Umuahia, Aba and other parts of the state still sell the product at N125 per liter.

A cross-section of the fuel attendants told NAN that they were still selling their old stock purchased at the old price from the depot.

An attendant at a service station near Uchenna Bus Stop, Umuahia, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said: “We are still selling the old stock.

“We have not purchased new product for us to be able to sell at the federal government’s new pump price.”

NAN reports that the story was the same in all the service stations visited in the capital city where the product still sells at N125 per liter.

Report from Aba, the economic hub of the state, also stated that marketers had yet to adjust their meters to reflect the new pump price of N123.5 per liter.

Reacting to the development in an interview with NAN, some residents decried the inability of the marketers to adhere to federal government’s directive.

They expressed concern that it took some days before the marketers adjusted from N145 per liter to N125 per liter.

“Now that the federal government had further reduced the pump price to N123.5 per liter, they have refused to comply,” Mr Kingsley Onuoha, an Umuahia resident, said.

Mr Lawrence Nwoke, a commuter, said that it was worrisome that marketers had yet to comply with the new pump price.

Nwoke said that the development portrayed marketers as insensitive to the plight of the citizenry during the lockdown imposed by the state government to check the spread of COVID-19.

“Federal Government has shown concern over the impact of the lockdown on the citizenry by reducing the pump price for a second time from N145 per liter to N125 per litre and N123.5 per liter.

“It shows that the marketers did not bother about the sufferings of the people arising from the lockdown, hence did not want to make their own sacrifice,” he said.

He called on relevant government agencies to do the needful by constituting a task force to enforce the new pump price in the state.

Also, an Aba resident, Mr Sunny Nwankwo, expressed disappointment over the failure of marketers to adjust their pump price to N123.5 per liter.

The respondents wondered why marketers usually found it expedient to quickly adjust their pump price once there was an upward review but always found excuses to delay compliance during a downward review.

The state Commissioner for Petroleum and Solid Minerals, Chief Ikpechukwu Onuoha, told NAN that government was not unmindful of the sharp practices by the marketers but was handicapped by the current lockdown in the state.

Onuoha said that government was being cautious about forceful enforcement at the moment in order not to aggravate the harsh economic condition occasioned by the lockdown.

“We will initiate appropriate measure to enforce compliance once the lockdown is over.

“But right now, we won’t want to do anything that would give marketers any reason to shut down the filling stations, which will worsen people’s condition,” he said.

Edited By: Maureen Atuonwu

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CACOVID relief fund hits N21.5bn — CBN



The Nigeria Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) has so far realsied about N21.588 billion to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

The update of the contribution as at April 6, was made known in a document released by Mr Isaac Okorafor, Director, Communications of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in Abuja on Monday.

The document showed that Modupe and Florunsho Alakija, Mike Adenuga and Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) made donation of one billion naira each.

Nigeria News Agency reports that CBN and Aliko Dangote were so far the highest contributors of two billion naira each.

Abdul Samad Rabiu (BUA Sugar Refinery), Segun Agbaje (GTB), Tony Elumelu (UBA),  Oba Otudeko (First Bank),  Jim Ovia (Zenith Bank), Herbert Wigwe (Access Bank) and Femi Otedola of Amperion Power Distribution donated one billion naira each to the fund.

Also Deji Adeleke of Pacific Holding Ltd made N500 million donation.

It will also be recalled that Union Bank Plc, Sterling Bank Plc, Standard Chartered Bank, Stanbic IBTC, Citi Bank Nigeria Ltd, FCMB, Fidelity Bank, ECOBank, African Steel Mills donated N250 million each and Multichoice Nigeria Limited contributed N200 million among others.

Edited By: Donald Ugwu

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FBN Holdings declares N73.67bn profit in 2019, reduces NPL to 9.9%



FBN Holdings Plc on Monday declared profit after tax of N73.67 billion in its audited result for the financial year ended Dec. 31, 2019.

The result, released by the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), showed that the profit rose by 26.5 per cent when compared with N58.23 billion achieved in the comparative period of 2018.

Profit before tax stood at ₦83.59 billion, up by 30.9 per cent in contrast with ₦63.85 billion recorded in 2018.

Its gross earnings rose by 6.7 per cent to N627.01 billion from N587.41 billion in the corresponding period of 2018.

Net-interest income stood at ₦290.2 billion, up by 1.7 per cent in contrast with ₦285.3 billion in 2018.

Customer deposits increased by 15.3 per cent to ₦4.0 trillion compared with ₦3.5 trillion in 2018.

The company’s non-interest income appreciated by 20.6 per cent to ₦159.2 billion against ₦132.0 billion in 2018.

Further analysis of the result indicated that impairment charges was down by 41.5 per cent to ₦51.1 billion against ₦87.5 billion in the previous period.

Its total assets stood at ₦6.2 trillion, representing an increase of 11.4 per cent on the ₦5.6 trillion recorded in 2018.

Non Performing Loan (NPL) ratio returned to single digit at 9.9 per cent against 24.7 per cent achieved in 2018.

The company, as a result of the impressive records, recommended a dividend of 38k to its shareholders which will be approved at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) slated for April 27.

Commenting on the results, Mr Urum Kalu Eke, the company’s Group Managing Director described 2019 as a positive year .

“We are happy to close the 2019 financial year on positive notes across a number of key metrics, giving the Group a clean-slate to accelerate its growth plan as we conclude the 3-year Strategic Planning Cycle which ran from 2017-2019 and commence a new cycle.

“In line with our promise to the market, FBN Holdings closed the year with a 30.9 per cent y-o-y increase in profit before tax and delivered its target of a single digit NPL which closed at less than 10 per cent.

“Similarly, we successfully overhauled our risk management architecture, strengthened our processes by leveraging technology and institutionalising a strong credit culture across the lending entities,” he said.

According to him, these deliberate steps have seen the NPL ratio of the company’s vintage book remain below 1 per cent.

“In the same vein, we have made significant improvement in our revenue generation capacity with non-interest income benefiting from our market leadership in electronic banking channels.

“It is also noteworthy to highlight that our investments aimed at improving operational efficiencies and enhancing revenue accretion have resulted in higher cost-to-income ratio.

“The benefits of these investments will be realised in subsequent periods.

“The new cycle is focused on strengthening and positioning the various businesses across the Group for sustainable growth over the long-term.

“As a Group, we are committed to transforming our financial performance to tangible results for the benefit of all stakeholders especially our shareholders through enhanced returns and dividend payment.

“As a testament of the resolution of the legacy issues and an indication of the future, FirstBank re-commenced dividend upstream to the holding company,” he stated.

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Oluwole Sogunle


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AfDB appoints Senegalese DIOUF as acting director communication, external relations



The African Development Bank (AfDB) has appointed of Mrs Nafissatou DIOUF as the Acting Director for Communications and External Relations Department (CERD) of the bank.

The AfDB made this known in a statement made available to Nigeria News Agency on Monday.

The bank said the appointment of DIOUF took effect from  April 1.

The statement quoted the AfDB President, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, as saying “Nafissatou is a respected professional in the Communications and External Relations industry.

“I look to Nafissatou to steer the Department at this critical moment as the Bank responds to the rapidly changing situation of COVID-19 and to continue the excellent work done to date in the Department,” Adesina said.

DIOUF, a Senegalese national, is currently a Division Manager in the Communications and External Relations Department of the Bank.

She will bring 20 years of experience to the role, with a comprehensive background in corporate communications, public relations, journalism, digital and media development.

Since her appointment as Division Manager in 2018, DIOUF has fostered agile communication strategies, consistently reflecting cohesion with the bank’s vision.

She has built and led a world-class team of editors, writers, digital and media specialists, resulting in exponential increase in coverage and awareness around the bank’s strategic objectives and projects.

She had also served as a communications consultant with the Bank’s Private Sector and Infrastructure Complex and Trade Department from 2016 to 2018, during which she engaged with Regional Integration and Trade Department Senior Management, streamlining communication and public relations strategies across a variety of platforms.

Before joining the bank, DIOUF was the founder and Managing Director of 54 Communications company, in Dakar, Senegal from 2011 to 2017.

Edited By: Wale Ojetimi

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COVID-19: CBN cautions Nigerians on activities of cyber criminals



The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has cautioned Nigerians on activities of cyber criminals taking advantage of the current COVID-19 pandemic to defraud citizens.

The CBN gave the warning in a statement signed by the Bank’s Director, Corporate Communications Department, Mr Isaac Okorafor in Abuja on Monday.

Okorafor explained that the criminals steal sensitive information or gain unauthorized access to computers or mobile devices using various techniques.

He said this trend was not peculiar to Nigeria as there had been a rise in COVID-19-related cyber criminal activities all over the world.

According to him, the CBN priority is to ensure that Nigerian banking customers are aware of the ongoing trend, to prevent them from falling victims to such cyber crimes.

He stated that the criminals had also produced COVID-19 maps to steal information in the background.

Okorafor urged citizens to be wary of these antics and not to fall victims to these cyber crimes.

He said while Nigerians work to keep safe physically and prevent further spread of the virus, they must also endeavour to apply caution in order to beat not just the COVID-19 virus but also the cyber criminals seeking to take advantage of its spread for nefarious acts.

He stated that one of the cyber crime activities was phishing campaigns where the criminals sent out emails claiming to be from health organisations such as Nigerian Centre for Disease Control or the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The director said that the email might contain a link which if clicked, steals login credentials or other confidential information from the victim’s computer or mobile device.

Okorafor disclosed that other means were on relief package where cyber criminals had also been sending messages via social media or emails asking people to click on links to register in order to get their relief packages from government or other organisations.

He said that the criminals would simply use this to get confidential information from unwary victims.

According to him, the relief package scams also come in the form of phone calls asking people to provide their banking details to receive relief packages.

He stated that CBN would continue to monitor and investigate these activities and provide updates as they occur.

Edited By: Oluwole Sogunle

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NIMASA donates 3 ventilators, fast intervention vessels to Lagos Govt



The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) on Monday handed over three ventilators and other items to the Lagos State Government to help contain spread of Coronavirus.

The Director General of the agency, Dr Bashir Jamoh, made the disclosure while handing over the items to the Lagos State Government in Lagos.

Jamoh said  that N20 million of the N50 million donation by the agency would go to the Lagos State, while the remaining N30 million to Abuja, because the Federal Government had approved five stadia for them.

“As an agency, NIMASA, is working hard both with the internal and external stakeholders to fashion out strategic effort that will be put in place to fight the Coronavirus menace.

“We are here to flag off the distribution of some of the items and materials that will be used in this fight.

“We have ventilators and testing materials, ambulance, fire brigade machines to be used to spray chemicals to reduce the spread of the virus.

“Others items donated  are 36-sitter bus, 16-sitter bus, oxygen concentrator, personal protective equipment, hand santisers and also there will be handy volunteers to work with the government and experts that will use the fire engine machines,” he said.

Jamoh said that as a regulatory agency, NIMASA was concerned about the country coastal communities.

“we are are taking their issues very serious.

“We are trying to look at those in the interland who constantly interact with NIMASA, as they are prone to getting this virus, through the waterways and with the fast intervention vessels would be able to get to them.

“We decided to give these donations to all our landlords wherever we operate, the Western Zone which is Lagos, Eastern Zone- Port Harcourt, and in Central Zone we have Warri and Calabar.

`All the six geo-political zone will benefit from it.

“The zones are Maiduguri for North East; Kaduna for North West, Kwara for North Central, Anambra for South East and also Abuja,” Jamoh said.

He also commended the Lagos State Government for effort taken so far in contain of the spread of the virus.

“The state governments donations in terms of food, giving information and update on the day to day basis on COVID-19 is commendable.

“We want to also appreciate the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) for their effort in terms of sensitising the public, we feel that Nigerians owe it a duty by abiding by rules and guidelines of staying at home,” he said.

In his response, Mr Rabiu Olowo, Lagos State Commissioner for Finance said that the goodwill from NIMASA was most appreciated by the  governor and the people of the state.

“As you are all aware Lagos State is the epic center of of this pandemic that everyone is fighting across the globe.

“We have seen the response of the state to this and the true leadership of Mr governor to fighting this.

“So this donation will go a long way in supporting and complementing the state effort towards fighting the pandemic.

Edited By: Rabiu Sani Ali

Edited By: Debo Oshundun


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Society confident Nigeria, world will overcome COVID-19 pandemic



Mr Obadiah Nkom, President Nigerian Mining and Geosciences Society (NMGS), has expressed confidence that with current government efforts, Nigeria and the world would overcome the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nkom gave the assurance in a statement on Monday in Abuja, while commemorating with geologists in the country on the occasion of 2020 Geologists Day.

He, however decried the disruption of plans by the society to celebrate the 2020 Geologists Day, saying the celebration “has been some what muted by the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic”.

Nkom, who is a fellow of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, and also the Director-General of the Nigeria Mining Cadastre Office, assured that the 2021 Geologists Day celebration would be elaborate.

He commiserated with the families of the victims of COVID-19 and prayed for the speedy and permanent recovery of those who were currently undergoing treatment.

He, however, called on geologists in the country to exhibit high standard of professionalism and to stay abreast with developments in the profession.

This, he said, was critical to enable them to effectively contribute their quota to national development.

Nkom also encouraged individuals and corporate members of the society to embrace and improve innovation.

“As we mark this very important day, I wish you all a happy celebration and in the same vein, urge each and every one of us to stay safe by fully complying with protocols prescribed in order to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the Geologist Day was initiated by Soviet Geologists in 1966.

The day has become a global event and geologists and their colleagues in the mining industry use the opportunity to draw attention to geologists and the activities of their profession.

The COVID-19 which is presently ravaging the world, has since been declared as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation.

The Federal Government also declared a two weeks lockdown in Abuja, Lagos and Ogun while several other states had followed suit.

According to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NDDC), over 200 persons has tested positive to the COVID-19 virus with Lagos having the highest number followed by Abuja, while five death had so far been recorded.

Edited By: Modupe Adeloye/Ismail Abdulaziz

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COVID-19 :Trade Ministry establishes Emergency Centre to tackle challenges



The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment says it has established an Emergency Operation Centre to monitor the supply of essential commodities to mitigate challenges of COVID-19 in the country.

Mr Adeniyi Adebayo, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, made this known on Monday in Abuja while briefing newsmen on ways to curtail the negative  effects of COVID-19 on manufacturing, trade and related sectors of the economy.

Adebayo noted that the centre, being housed at the ministry, would monitor real-time status of transportation and delivery of essential goods to cut down difficulties faced by manufacturers, transporters, and distributors of essential commodities nationwide.

“There has been a dedicated secretariat in place with men and women from the public and private sectors.

“They have been working round the clock to ensure that truckloads of food, drugs and other essential items get to their points of destination across the nation,” he said.

He expressed regret that distributors and manufacturers still had restricted movement due to the enforcement of lockdown by the police and other security agencies.

Adebayo identified the restriction as one critical constraint encountered by the Ministry while working to comply with the directive of the president.

President Muhammadu Buhari, on March 29, in a national broadcast announced measures to curb the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the country.

The president announced total restriction of movement in the FCT, Lagos and Ogun States, including measures to enforce social distancing and other preventive measures aimed at curbing the pandemic.

Consequently, Adebayo said the president directed the ministry to work with the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Nigerian Association of Chamber of Commerce Industry Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA),  National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTS) and other stakeholders.

This, he said, was to guarantee that the production of essential items like food, medical and pharmaceutical products continued unhindered.

“As a result of the aforementioned, we have taken several proactive steps in line with president’s specific directive, in the service of Nigerian people,” he said.

He recalled that on March 21, the ministry also set up a committee on the Sustainable Production and Delivery of Essential Commodities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

He thanked the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, for his cooperation in ensuring that all legitimate requests from the secretariat that it set up were promptly cleared.

“What this means is that the raw material needs of our manufacturers are being met; and recognised road transporters of essential goods are able to transport goods.

“This synergy between our law enforcement agencies, our essential manufacturers and producers and the ministry, has allowed us to be able to meet critical demands at this time,” Adebayo  said.

He  thanked the Minister of Aviation, Mr Hadi Sirika, for availing the ministry the use of a number of aircraft to facilitate the movement of essential products and personnel across the nation.

“Furthermore, we have been engaging the Ministry of Health, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and National Centre for Dicease Control (NCDC) to augment the list of essential goods and services.

“We are working with SON and NAFDAC to ensure the acceleration of the issuance of Certificates of Standards of essential items – without sacrificing the quality of these items.

“Such items include hand sanitisers, coveralls for our medical workers, face masks, needles,  goggles,  gloves, sodium hypo chloride and digital thermometers,” he noted.

The minister said the ministry was also engaging indigenous car manufacturers to prepare themselves to tweak their operations to begin the manufacture of ‘Made in Nigeria’ Ventilators – a critical medical equipment in the fight against the virus.

With the support of the NCDC, he said the ministry  had also embarked on the training of emergency COVID-19 volunteers, who have the requisite skills to handle emergencies in the workplace.

Accordingly, he said, the ministry will inaugurate a post-COVID-19 Committee to  address some of the challenges.

Edited By: Vivian Ihechu/Ali Baba-Inuwa

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COVID-19: BPE DG donates food items to less-privileged in Abuja



Mr Alex Okoh, Director-General, Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), on Monday, donated 300 bags of assorted food items to the less-privileged in Dutse-Alhaji in Bwari Area Council of Abuja.

In a statement issued in Abuja by Mrs Amina Othman, Head, Public Communications, BPE, Okoh said that the gesture was part of the bureau’s corporate social responsibility.

He said that the bureau was moved into embarking on the exercise to mitigate the hardship that Nigerians, particularly the vulnerable, were experiencing due to the stay-at-home directive of the Federal Government.

The BPE boss said that the Federal Government’s directive was to curb the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic.

“These food items will serve the beneficiaries for seven days. Sixty per cent of the items will be given to widows and single mothers, while 40 per cent will be shared to the vulnerable in the area.

“Women are usually the most vulnerable in crisis situations like this, hence the preference for them.

“The bureau has an affinity with the Dutse-Alhaji community, hence our choosing it for the distribution of these items,’’ Okoh said.

The BPE director-general appealed to Nigerians to adhere strictly to the guidelines provided by health authorities against contracting the Coronavirus pandemic.

He said that the responsibility to end the pandemic rested on all Nigerians, and not only government.

Okoh advised the public to imbibe the habit of social distancing, frequent washing of hands with soap and other guidelines stipulated by the health authorities.

Receiving the food items, the traditional ruler of the community, Chief James Shawo, commended the bureau for the gesture.

Shawo said that with the gesture, BPE had etched its name in gold for identifying with the community in its time of need.

He said criteria had been worked out to ensure a just and even distribution of the items to the beneficiaries.

Edited By: Oluyinka Fadare and
(NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq

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