Nigeria Records Highest Daily COVID-19 Cases In Almost Five Months

File photo.

 

Nigeria’s coronavirus cases maintained a steady since the start of the week with 558 new infections confirmed on Thursday.

The figure was reported by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in its latest update on the outbreak of the disease in the country.

Data from the NCDC – the Federal Government agency responsible for the control of disease outbreaks – revealed that the figure reported on July 29 was the highest in almost five months.

The last time Nigeria reported a daily figure higher than 558 was on March 4, 2021, when a total of 708 cases were confirmed.

In the latest update by the agency, the NCDC explained that the new cases were reported in 15 states across the country, as well as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Amid fears that the country was already slipping into the third wave of the pandemic, Lagos State reported 376 new infections.

The state was trailed by Oyo which had 33 more cases, Akwa Ibom where 26 new cases were reported, and the FCT which reported 22 fresh infections.

Other states included Imo – 15, Bayelsa – 13, Ekiti – 13, Kano – 12, Ogun – 11, Plateau – 11, Delta – nine, Jigawa – six, Rivers – four, Zamfara – four, Edo – two, and Ebonyi – one.

A total of 708 cases were reported on March 4, 2021.

 

Two deaths were also recorded on Thursday – raising the number of those who have lost the battle to the virus to 2,141.

Since the country recorded its first cases in late February 2020, the NCDC has confirmed a total of 178,821 cases in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

While 164,930 people have recovered from the disease, 2,439,850 samples have been collected and tested across the country.

As Nigeria’s confirmed cases continue to rise with fears and panic from citizens, authorities have yet to officially declare a third wave of the pandemic.

But the Federal Government and some state authorities have reintroduced the initially relaxed protocols, as part of efforts to prevent the disturbing trend.

Among the measures put in place include the mandatory use of face masks in public places, maintaining social distancing, and restriction of crowds in places of worship and social gatherings.

See the breakdown of cases according to states below:

States AffectedNo. of Cases (Lab Confirmed)No. of Cases (on admission)No. DischargedNo. of Deaths
Lagos63,2634,29258,515456
FCT19,9786819,741169
Kaduna9,141119,06565
Plateau9,102379,00857
Rivers7,5731347,337102
Oyo7,0581596,768131
Edo4,934214,728185
Ogun4,757434,65955
Kano4,028223,896110
Ondo3,534403,42866
Kwara3,162393,06855
Delta2,672442,55672
Osun2,588162,52052
Enugu2,490162,44529
Akwa Ibom2,4164661,92624
Nasarawa2,38952,34539
Gombe2,129122,07344
Katsina2,114252,05534
Ebonyi2,04062,00232
Anambra1,909641,82619
Abia1,700-11,67922
Imo1,682211,62437
Bauchi1,55111,53317
Benue1,366151,32724
Borno1,34411,30538
Adamawa1,13441,09832
Taraba1,001097724
Ekiti9496887011
Niger935591317
Bayelsa9332788026
Sokoto7861174728
Jigawa5572052116
Yobe49904909
Kebbi4504239216
Cross River404238418
Zamfara24842368
Kogi5032

I Have Fundamental Disagreement With Those Calling For Nigeria’s Breakup – Falana

Human Rights lawyer and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, speaks during an interview on Channels TV’s Politics Today.

 

Human rights lawyer and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana has kicked against the breakup of Nigeria along ethnic lines.

Several groups including the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) led by Nnamdi Kanu and the Yoruba Nation agitators have campaigned for both Biafra and Oduduwa Republics.

Speaking during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Thursday, Falana said he has a fundamental disagreement with secessionist groups in the country.

“Personally, I am strenuously opposed to the campaign for the balkanisation of Nigeria because I believe the masses of our people are oppressed by the ruling class and imperialism.

“To that extent, I have a fundamental ideological disagreement with those who are calling for the breakup of the country along ethnic lines.”

Speaking further, the senior lawyer explained that amid the agitations in some quarters that the nation should split, the Federal Government owes it a duty to convince the agitators by reposing confidence on the corporate existence of Nigeria.

While noting that it is not a criminal offence for some persons to make separatists demands, Falana said the current administration should respect human rights in line with Article 20 of the African Charter on Human Rights.

He added, “If a group of people decides to fight for the breakup of the country, the duty of the government is to try as much as possible to convince them to repose confidence in the corporate existence of Nigeria.”

Meanwhile, the two major separatists – Igboho and Kanu – have been arrested and are facing trial both in the Benin Republic and Nigeria respectively.

Nigeria To Increase Education Budget Up To 100% By 2025 – Buhari

A file photo of President Muhammadu Buhari.
A file photo of President Muhammadu Buhari.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has pledged to increase the budget for the education sector by as much as 50 per cent over the next two years.

In the long term, he promised that budgetary allocation to the sector would witness a progressive increase to about 100 per cent in the next four years.

The President made the commitment on Wednesday in a document titled, ‘Heads of State Call to Action on Education Financing Ahead of the Global Education Summit,’ his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said in a statement.

According to him, the document was signed as a form of commitment at the ongoing summit in London, United Kingdom.

“We commit to progressively increase our annual domestic education expenditure by 50% over the next two years and up to 100% by 2025 beyond the 20% global benchmark,” President Buhari was quoted as saying.

President Buhari departed Nigeria for the United Kingdom on Monday to participate in the summit to be co-hosted by the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson, and the President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta.

The event is expected to bring together Heads of State and Government, as well as stakeholders and youth leaders, and provide a platform for partners to chart a way forward towards transforming education systems in partner countries, through the exchange of best practices.

It will also offer the opportunity for leaders to make five-year pledges to support GPE’s work to help transform education systems in up to 90 countries and territories.

President Buhari was accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; the Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba; the National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno (rtd), and the Director-General of National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ambassador Ahmed Rufai.

COVID-19: Nigeria Records Highest Daily Cases In Four Months

A patient who is suspected of suffering from COVID-19 coronavirus undergoes testing at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital isolation centre on May 10, 2020. Audu MARTE / AFP
File photo: A patient who is suspected of suffering from COVID-19 coronavirus undergoes testing at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital isolation centre on May 10, 2020. Audu MARTE / AFP

 

On Tuesday, Nigeria recorded its highest daily count of COVID-19 infections in the last four months.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) disclosed this in its latest update on the outbreak with a total of 404 new cases recorded.

This makes it the biggest daily increase in the country since March 4 when 708 cases were confirmed, raising the total count to 171,728.

The nation’s hardest-hit metropolis, Lagos, recorded an alarming  356 new infections trumping the previous day’s record of 157.

However, a bit of respite was gained with no death recorded from the disease on Tuesday still keeping the death tally at 2,134.

There was little change in the count coming from Rivers, with the southern state recording 18 new infections, while the nation’s capital FCT recorded seven more cases with Ekiti and Kaduna confirming five new cases apiece.

Other states included are Gombe -three, Kano-three, Edo-two, Ogun -two, Bayelsa-one, Plateau-one, Nasaraw-one.

According to the NCDC, 164837 cases have been discharged in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory as of Tuesday.

As Nigeria’s confirmed cases continue to rise with fears and panic from citizens, authorities have yet to officially declare a third wave of the pandemic.

The Federal Government and some state authorities have reintroduced the initially relaxed protocols, as part of efforts to prevent the disturbing trend.

Among the measures put in place include the mandatory use of face masks in public places, maintaining social distancing, and restriction of crowds in places of worship and social gatherings.

See a breakdown of cases according to states below:

States AffectedNo. of Cases (Lab Confirmed)No. of Cases (on admission)No. DischargedNo. of Deaths
Lagos62,6683,69758,515456
FCT19,9514119,741169
Kaduna9,134119,05865
Plateau9,083189,00857
Rivers7,5521357,315102
Oyo6,978976,753128
Edo4,91964,728185
Ogun4,739344,65154
Kano4,01153,896110
Ondo3,524453,41366
Kwara3,162393,06855
Delta2,663352,55672
Osun2,57972,52052
Enugu2,490162,44529
Nasarawa2,38622,34539
Akwa Ibom2,2483101,91721
Gombe2,125102,07144
Katsina2,114252,05534
Ebonyi2,03952,00232
Anambra1,909641,82619
Abia1,700-11,67922
Imo1,66321,62437
Bauchi1,55111,53317
Benue1,366151,32724
Borno1,34411,30538
Adamawa1,13441,09832
Taraba1,001097724
Niger935591317
Ekiti9254786711
Bayelsa909388026
Sokoto7861174728
Jigawa5381051216
Yobe49904909
Kebbi4504239216
Cross River404238418
Zamfara24432338
Kogi5032

Basketball: Team USA Beat Nigeria, Extend Olympics Winning Streak To 50 Games

Nigeria’s Ify Ibekwe contests for the ball with America’s Tina Charles at the Saitama Super Arena in Tokyo. PHOTO: Twitter-D’TigressNG

 

The United States Women’s basketball team have extended their Olympics winning streak to an incredible 50 games, although they were forced to labour for it against an impressive and determined Nigerian team.

Nigeria’s D’Tigress lost to the U.S. team 72-81 in the preliminary round Group B opener at the Saitama Super Arena in Tokyo.

The result confirmed Team USA has been flawless since the 1992 Summer Games in Barcelona. It was not a pretty performance by the Americans, but they managed to get the job done.

In the first quarter, Nigeria showed good control and tenacity on the defensive end and caught the American off guard early in the game. At the end of the first quarter, Nigeria led 20-17 and had forced eight turnovers from the US women.

But the defending Olympic champions bounced back in the second quarter and dominated the game. At one point in the second quarter, they ripped off a 23-0 run, won the quarter 27-12, and built a double-digit lead at the break. At this stage, they were never in danger of losing the game.

Team USA won the third quarter 26-18 and got a little lackadaisical towards the end of the fourth quarter and the D’Tigress took control, dominated the match, and won it 22-11 to narrow the winning margin by just nine points.

 

‘Next Game Will Be Better’

Just last week, in an exhibition game in Las Vegas to prepare for the Olympic Games, USA humiliated Nigeria 93-62 points and D’Tigress coach, Otis Hughley, can use the latest result to motivate his team ahead of games against France and Japan.

At the post-match briefing, Hughley admitted he would have preferred playing another team in the opening game.

“It’s like starting your boxing career and they tell you you’re fighting Muhammad Ali (USA) in his prime. Now that is not something you’re looking for. ‘I want to box, but I don’t want to box that bad’” he said.

Nigeria’s Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, said he was so proud of the Nigerian ladies and their performance despite the outcome of the game.

“I watched the game from the start to the end. Every moment. I saw players who can fight, and they fought.

“From 20 points disadvantage, they climbed back steadily, the height and built of the Americans notwithstanding. The next game will be better. I trust them. Going up against the Americans as they did, our team is good and can be better,” he said.

Nigeria’s D’Tigress will be back on the court on Friday for their second Group B match against the French team.

Nigeria Records 213 More COVID-19 Cases, Two New Deaths

A file photo of a healthcare worker holding a COVID-19 test kit. TARSO SARRAF / AFP

 

Nigeria has confirmed 213 new cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in various parts of the country, said the Federal Government agency responsible for the control of disease outbreaks.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) disclosed this in its latest update on the outbreak, saying the new cases were reported in 12 states on Monday.

Two new deaths were recorded, the agency added.

Of the cases, Lagos recorded an alarming number of infections – 157 – at a time when the whole country had reported low cases in previous months.

Coming after the nation’s commercial capital was Rivers where 20 new infections were reported while Plateau recorded 12 more cases with Enugu and Oyo having six new infections.

Other states included Gombe – three, Bauchi – two, Imo – two, Kaduna – two, Edo – one, Ekiti – one, and Ogun one.

Data from the NCDC revealed that as of Tuesday, Nigeria has confirmed a total of 171,324 cases from the 2,439,850 samples tested so far.

Of the confirmed cases, 164,798 cases have been discharged and 2,134 deaths have been recorded in all 36 states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

As Nigeria’s confirmed cases continue to rise with fears and panic from citizens, authorities have yet to officially declare a third wave of the pandemic.

However, the Federal Government and some state authorities have reintroduced the initially relaxed protocols, as part of efforts to prevent the disturbing trend.

Among the measures put in place include the mandatory use of face masks in public places, maintaining social distancing, and restriction of crowds in places of worship and social gatherings.

See the breakdown of cases according to states below:

States AffectedNo. of Cases (Lab Confirmed)No. of Cases (on admission)No. DischargedNo. of Deaths
Lagos62,3123,34158,515456
FCT19,9443419,741169
Kaduna9,12969,05865
Plateau9,082179,00857
Rivers7,5341377,295102
Oyo6,978976,753128
Edo4,91774,725185
Ogun4,737364,64754
Kano4,00823,896110
Ondo3,524453,41366
Kwara3,162393,06855
Delta2,663352,55672
Osun2,57972,52052
Enugu2,490262,43529
Nasarawa2,38512,34539
Akwa Ibom2,2483101,91721
Gombe2,12292,06944
Katsina2,114252,05534
Ebonyi2,03952,00232
Anambra1,909641,82619
Abia1,700-11,67922
Imo1,66321,62437
Bauchi1,55111,53317
Benue1,366151,32724
Borno1,34411,30538
Adamawa1,13441,09832
Taraba1,001097724
Niger935591317
Ekiti9204286711
Bayelsa908288026
Sokoto7861174728
Jigawa5381051216
Yobe49904909
Kebbi4504239216
Cross River404238418
Zamfara24432338
Kogi5032

2023 Polls: INEC Should Determine When To Use Electoral Transmission Of Results – Fayemi

File photo of Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, during an interview on Channels Television’s Hard Copy.

 

Ahead of the 2023 general elections, Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi has said the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should determine when to use the electoral transmission of results.

“Personally, I feel we should leave the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to handle and decide when or where to utilise the electronic transmission, not the principle of it,” he said during an interview on Channels Television’s Newsnight which aired on Monday.

The National Assembly had on July 15 deliberated extensively on the Electoral Amendment Bill with the House of Representatives passing the bill moments after opposition lawmakers walked out of the heated session.

While the House passed the majority of the 158 clauses of the bill intact including Clause 52 (2), the Senate only approved the conditional electronic transmission of electoral results and voted publicly along party lines over section 52(3) of the electoral act amendment bill, which deals with electronic transmission of poll results.

READ ALSO

Reps Pass Electoral Act Amendment Bill After Opposition Lawmakers Walk Out

Senate Approves Conditional Electronic Transmission Of Electoral Results

Fayemi, who is also the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, said the drama that trailed the passage of the bill before the parliament was unnecessary.

“I feel that the hullabaloo around this could have been avoided partly because I feel it is something that we must not over-regulate, particularly the activities of an independent commission.

“If I have the opportunity to have been asked, I would have actually argued strongly that we leave this matter for the electoral commission to handle rather than micro-manage the commission or bringing the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) as the final arbitral on what happens to the electoral commission,” the former Mines Minister added.

 

By 2023, APC Would Have Completely Wrecked Nigeria – Baba-Ahmed

 

The spokesman of the Northern Elders Forum, Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, has berated the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC), over its management of Nigeria, saying that by 2023, the party would have completely wrecked Africa’s most populous nation.

He stated this during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Monday, lamenting that the next party to take over the helms of leadership in 2023 would have a herculean task of fixing the country.

While blaming the political class for the nation’s woes, Baba-Ahmed said the country’s current challenge is not just as a result of banditry and kidnapping activities but leadership failure.

“What are you going to do with 2023 because between now and 2023, APC would have completely wrecked this country?” he said.

“You are going to take over a country that has been completely destroyed by a party that has been substantially produced by the PDP and how are you going to fix this country? What’s your blueprint for what happens to Nigeria in 2023?”

READ ALSO: NASS Must Approve Electronic Transmission Of Electoral Results – PDP Governors

Nigeria has been experiencing a series of security threats ranging from terrorism, banditry, militancy, cultism among others in several parts of the country.

The spokesman of the Northern Elders Forum, Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, speaks during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today on July 26, 2021.

 

The country has been battling terrorism for more than a decade which has killed 36,000 people and displaced hundreds of thousands in the northeast.

The Islamic State of West African Province (ISWAP) split from the jihadist group Boko Haram in 2016 and has since become a dominant threat in Nigeria, attacking troops and bases while killing and kidnapping passengers at bogus checkpoints.

On March 1, jihadist fighters burnt down a United Nations humanitarian compound in the town of Dikwa after dislodging troops, killing six civilians.

Nigeria’s jihadist violence has spread to neighbouring Chad, Cameroon and Niger, prompting a regional military coalition to fight the insurgents.

 

Nigeria Records 216 New COVID-19 Cases

(FILE PHOTO) A health worker wearing a PPE suit tests a swab sample for COVID-19 at a primary health centre on September 3, 2020. NOAH SEELAM / AFP

 

A total of 216 new cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) have been confirmed in various parts of the country, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has said.

In its latest update on the pandemic, the NCDC – the Federal Government agency responsible for the control of disease outbreaks – noted that the new infections were reported in eight states of the Federation on Sunday.

This comes amid fears and panic as Nigeria’s total figure has continued to rise recently, although authorities have yet to officially declare a third wave of the pandemic.

As part of efforts to prevent the disturbing trend and control the deaths recorded in the first and second waves, the Federal Government, as well as some state authorities, have reintroduced the initially relaxed protocols.

These include compulsory use of face masks in public places, maintaining social distancing, and restriction of crowds in places of worship and social gatherings, among others.

READ ALSO: WTO Working To Boost Vaccine Production In Africa – Okonjo-Iweala

Despite this, authorities have raised concerns over the rising figures of confirmed cases, stressing that Nigeria had begun to see other strains of the virus such as the B.1.617.2, also known as the Delta variant.

The NCDC listed the eight states where the 216 new infections were recorded to include Lagos – 108, Akwa Ibom – 96, Oyo – four, Rivers – three, Edo – two, and Ekiti, Kano, and Osun which recorded a case each.

Since the country recorded its first cases in late February 2020, the NCDC has confirmed a total of 171,111 cases in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Of the figure, 164,789 cases have been discharged and 2,132 deaths have been recorded.

While the government is making efforts to ensure more people receive the vaccine jab, the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, says talks are in motion to persuade vaccine companies to invest more in Africa.

Okonjo-Iweala, a former Minister of Finance, spoke on Sunday virtually at the annual National Diaspora Day celebration which held in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

She was hopeful that manufacturing vaccines on the African continent would reduce vaccination inequality as many countries struggle to secure vaccines for their citizens.

The WTO chief disclosed that attempts have been made to bring the CEOs of “major manufacturing companies from Moderna to Pfizer to AstraZeneca, J&J” to the table.

See the breakdown of cases according to states below:

States AffectedNo. of Cases (Lab Confirmed)No. of Cases (on admission)No. DischargedNo. of Deaths
Lagos62,1553,18458,515456
FCT19,9443519,741168
Kaduna9,12749,05865
Plateau9,07059,00857
Rivers7,5141247,288102
Oyo6,972926,752128
Edo4,91664,725185
Ogun4,736364,64753
Kano4,00823,896110
Ondo3,524453,41366
Kwara3,162393,06855
Delta2,663352,55672
Osun2,57972,52052
Enugu2,484202,43529
Nasarawa2,38512,34539
Akwa Ibom2,2483101,91721
Gombe2,11962,06944
Katsina2,114252,05534
Ebonyi2,03952,00232
Anambra1,909641,82619
Abia1,700-11,67922
Imo1,66101,62437
Bauchi1,54901,53217
Benue1,366151,32724
Borno1,34411,30538
Adamawa1,13441,09832
Taraba1,001097724
Niger935591317
Ekiti9194186711
Bayelsa908288026
Sokoto7861174728
Jigawa5381051216
Yobe49904909
Kebbi4504239216
Cross River404238418
Zamfara24432338
Kogi5032

Do Vaccinated People Need To Go Back To Masking?

 

With the Delta variant pushing US Covid cases back up, fully vaccinated people are wondering whether they need to start masking indoors again.

Covid vaccines remain extremely effective against the worst outcomes of the disease — hospitalization and death — and breakthrough infections remain uncommon.

But experts told AFP that one size doesn’t fit all, and people should consider factors like community transmission, personal risk levels, and their own risk tolerance to help decide what’s right for them.

Risk low for vaccinated

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention dropped its mask guidance for vaccinated people in May.

At the time, cases were plummeting and the administration of President Joe Biden was keen to declare a return to normal on the back of a vaccination campaign that was still going strong.

On Thursday the country registered more than 50,000 cases, a surge driven by the now overwhelmingly dominant Delta variant, the most contagious strain to date, and centered in low-vaccination regions.

Crucially, however, the rise in cases has been largely decoupled from hospitalizations and deaths.

With 80 per cent of seniors fully vaccinated, average daily deaths remain in the 200s — much lower than the more than 3,500 deaths per day seen in the worst wave over winter.

More than 97 percent of hospitalizations are among the unvaccinated, CDC director Rochelle Walensky said last week, while 99.5 percent of people dying were unvaccinated, Surgeon General Vivek Murthy said last weekend.

Walensky defended the unchanged mask guidance Thursday, stressing the agency has always said communities and individuals should consider local conditions.

“If you’re in an area that has a high case rate and low rates of vaccination where Delta cases are rising, you should certainly be wearing a mask if you are unvaccinated,” she said.

“If you are vaccinated, you get exceptional protection from the vaccines. But you have the opportunity to make the personal choice to add extra layers of protection if you so choose.”

Why local conditions matter

Joseph Allen, an associate professor at Harvard’s TH Chan School of Public Health, said he supported the CDC’s view.

While the World Health Organization has urged fully vaccinated people to continue to wear masks, that is in light of the global situation where just 13.4 percent of the world population is fully vaccinated.

“I just don’t think we’re at the phase in the US and other highly vaccinated countries where this top-down blanket guidance makes sense anymore,” he told AFP.

“For me, the goal is and has always been with all the vaccines to prevent severe disease, and death, and that’s exactly what they do really well.”

As far as breakthrough infections go, a recent study of a US prison found 27 positive cases from 2,380 vaccinated individuals, or 1.1 per cent. All were asymptomatic and detected through routine screening.

Research shows that asymptomatic people are less likely to transmit, while people who develop symptoms are supposed to self-isolate.

Still, the greater the community prevalence of the virus, the more likely such breakthroughs become.

People’s personal risk levels vary by their age and underlying conditions, some people may have high-risk people at home they want to protect, while some just have lower risk tolerance.

On and off ramps

The divergence in case levels across the country closely correlates with vaccination rates, and parts of Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana and Florida are currently experiencing the worst spikes.

Celine Gounder, an infectious disease physician and epidemiologist, compared the situation prior to Delta surges to driving your car in your own neighborhood, while the current scenario is closer to driving on a race car track.

“When you’re driving around in your neighborhood, a seatbelt is enough,” she told AFP, with the seatbelt representing a vaccine.

“But if you’re driving on a NASCAR race track, in addition to seatbelts, those drivers also have helmets, they have airbags,” she added, emphasizing that masks add an additional layer of protection.

Even without the CDC, some parts of the country, like Los Angeles County and Philadelphia, have reinstituted mask guidance.

Monica Gandhi, an infectious disease doctor at UC San Francisco told AFP she has been advocating for statistical benchmarks, “as the back and forth is very frustrating for people.”

She suggests tying mask mandates to the local hospitalization rate — a more reliable measure of disease prevalence than cases — and, along with other experts, has proposed fewer than five hospitalized cases per 100,000 people as the threshold for resuming normal activity.

Gandhi, Allen and others argue such “off-ramps” can also be applied to schools when they reopen in fall, while the American Academy of Pediatrics favors universal masking, even among vaccinated teachers and students.

Nigeria Experiencing Its Worst Unemployment Crisis – World Bank Report

 

A report by the World Bank suggests that Nigeria’s unemployment crisis in recent times is the worst in the nation’s history. 

The report, which raised an alarm over the nation’s rising unemployment situation was published by the World Bank with support from the Korea World Bank Partnership Facility (KWPF) and the Rapid Social Response (RSR) trust funds.

According to the research paper, the nation’s expanding working-age population combined with scarce domestic employment opportunities is creating high rates of unemployment, particularly for youth.

This situation has also been worsened by the pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Between 2010 and 2020, the unemployment rate rose five-fold, from 6.4 percent in 2010 to 33.3 percent in 2020. 

“The rise in unemployment rates has been particularly acute since the 2015- 2016 economic recession and has further worsened as COVID-19 led to the worst recession in four decades in 2020” the paper read in part.

The unemployment rate is defined nationally as the percentage of the labour force population who could not find at least 20 hours of work in the reference period, which the paper says was significantly higher for youth (42.5 per cent) compared to non-youth (26.3 per cent).

 

It was also discovered that women are particularly vulnerable in Nigeria’s labor market. “Compared to 46.4 percent of the male population who are fully employed, only 40.6 percent of women are fully employed”.

The share of fully employed came up significantly lower in rural areas compared to urban areas.

It was the viewpoint of the World Bank Report that the socio-economic challenges facing Nigerians in the last 10 years have led to a tremendous increase in the number of citizens seeking asylum and refugee status in other countries.

According to the Washington-based institution, the number of international migrants from Nigeria has increased threefold since 1990, growing from 446,806 in 1990 to 1,438,331 in 2019.

Despite this trend, the share of international migrants as a proportion to Nigeria’s population has remained largely constant, increased slightly from 0.5 per cent in 1990 to 0.7 per cent in 2019.

 

In the report titled: ‘Of Roads Less Travelled: Assessing the Potential for Migration to Provide Overseas Jobs for Nigeria’s Youth’, the World Bank further estimated that there were 2.1 million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Nigeria in 2020 alone.

The recent rise in irregular migration notwithstanding, the share of international migrants in Nigeria’s population was much lower compared to the shares in Sub-Saharan Africa and globally.

The World Bank while noting that key sectoral documents such as the National Labor Migration Policy (2014) and National Employment Policy (2017) offer suitable suggestions to leverage managed migration for providing overseas employment opportunities to Nigerian youth, the issue of migration is absent or less salient in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP 2017–2020).

“With Nigeria receiving more than US$25 billion in remittances in 2019, the absence of migration as a mainstream development tool to provide jobs to the bulging youth population is perplexing,” the transcripts stressed.

Adding that “the drafting of the new ERGP provides a good opportunity for labor migration to be mainstreamed as one of the key strategies to generate employment for Nigerian job seekers”.

Nigeria Will Not Experience Civil War Again – Gov Abiodun

A file photo of Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun. Photo: [email protected]

 

The Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun is confident that Nigeria will neither experience another civil war nor break-up.

Speaking on Wednesday while receiving the League of Imams and Alfas in the state at his Iperu country home, the governor declared that the socio-economic challenges confronting the country will also be eventually surmounted.

While admitting that the country was going through a difficult time owing to insecurity and other challenges, he expressed the faith that Nigerians would overcome the situation in the end.

Governor Abiodun called on Nigerians not to give up, but continue to have faith and trust in God, saying no problem is too big for God to solve.

“This country will not break into two; nothing will happen to us in this country, we will not go into civil war, the unity of this country is non-negotiable, God will give us peace in this country, He will give us rest,” he said.

“I have a mountain-moving faith in God because He alone can do the impossible he said. As a government we will try our best, please continue to pray for us.”

Abiodun emphasised the need for Nigerians to unite and fight their common enemies as the diversity of the country remains her strength.

He also sued for religious tolerance among adherents of different faiths, admonishing Nigerians to imbibe the virtues of Prophet Ibrahim who was regarded as the Father of Faith by having absolute trust and faith in God.

The governor explained that his administration in the last two years has been fair to all irrespective of religious beliefs, adding projects had been executed in each of the 236 wards of Ogun in line with the inclusive approach of his administration.