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DPR happy over compliance with petrol price slash

The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has commended petroleum marketers in Zamfara for complying with Federal Government’s directive on the reduction of petrol pump price to N125 per litre.

Mr Yusuf Shehu, Controller, Gusau DPR Field Office, gave the commendation while on a routine surveillance patrol in Gusau.

“We are on surveillance patrol to filling stations to ensure the level of compliance by marketers with regard to new official pump price of petrol announced by the government.

“We commend the petroleum marketers for complying with the federal directives, to reduce petrol pump price from N145 to N125.

“We observe that almost 70 per cent of filling stations visited are selling the commodity at N125, as directed by the government, while the remaining 30 per cent have exhausted their products,” he said.

According to him, the exercise will be continuous; we will continue to monitor the level of compliance across the state.

He advised members of the public not to panic because of COVID-19, saying that despite the challenges the government would make sure that the products were made available to Nigerians.

The DPR official threatened to deal with any marketer found to be violating the government’s directives, in line with the rules and regulations of the department. 

Tier 1 banks lift trading on NSE by 0.13%

The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) market indices on Thursday rose by 0.13 per cent due to buying interest in Tier 1 banking stocks.

The market capitalisation inched N15 billion or 0.13 per cent to close at N11.338 trillion against N11.323 trillion achieved on Wednesday.

Also, the All-Share Index rose by 27.99 points or 0.13 per cent to 21,757.47 in contrast with 21,729.48 on Wednesday.

Consequently, the Month-to-Date and Year-to-Date losses moderated to -17 per cent and -18.9 per cent, respectively.

The upturn was impacted by gains recorded in medium and large capitalised stocks, amongst which are; Guaranty Trust Bank, Union Bank of Nigeria, Access Bank, Cadbury and Zenith Bank.

Market breadth closed positive with 24 gainers and eight losers.

Morison Industries, United Capital and UBN led the gainers’ chart in percentage terms, gaining 10 per cent each, to close at 55k, N2.20 and N6.60 per share, respectively.

Transcorp followed with a gain 9.84 per cent to close at 64k, while Access Bank rose by 9.82 per cent to close at N6.15 per share.

Cadbury went up by 9.73 per cent to close at N6.20, while Honeywell Flour Mills appreciated by 9.64 per cent to close at 91k, per share.

Conversely, Nestlé Nigeria led the losers’ chart in percentage terms, dropping by 10 per cent, to close at N765, per share.

GlaxoSmithKline followed with a loss of 7.89 per cent to close at N3.50, while Julius Berger declined by 7.17 per cent to close at N22 per share.

Stanbic IBTC dipped 6.90 per cent to close at N24.30, while Oando shed 2.27 per cent to close at N2.15 per share.

The total volume of trade decreased by 26.36 per cent with an exchange of 172.1 million shares valued at N1.89 billion transacted in 3,542 deals.

This was against 233.47 million shares worth N2.24 billion in 3,874 deals on Wednesday.

Transactions in the shares of Zenith Bank topped the activity chart with 40.60 million shares valued at N488.84 million.

United Bank for Africa followed with 15.95 million shares worth N79.34 million, while Sterling Bank accounted for 13.19 million shares valued at N13.68 million.

FCMB Group sold 12.3 million shares worth N18.49 million, while Access Bank transacted 10.27 million shares valued at N61.16 million.

Fidelity Bank moves against COVID-19

Fidelity Bank says it will be actively involved in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic as a responsible corporate organisation.

Mr Charles Aigbe, the Bank’s Divisional Head, Brand & Communications, made the assertion on Thursday in a statement in Lagos, pointing out that one of the staff members tested positive to COVID-19.

Aigbe said the bank had mandated its staff or immediate family member(s) who travelled out the country to self-isolate for two weeks.

He said that they would obtain medical clearance before returning to work as part of the bank’s COVID-19 Preventive and Precautionary Measures.

According to him, this process was activated and strictly adhered to by one of our staff members who returned from holidays in the United Kingdom.

He said that the affected staff members was in self-isolation and had undergone test in line with the bank’s policy.

“The test results returned positive at the weekend and we quickly arranged for him to be moved to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) where he is currently being attended to by health officials.

“We are in constant touch with him and have been monitoring the situation closely. Our thoughts and prayers are with him.

“Though, the staff has not been at the bank since returning from the UK, he however, brought some consignments for two other staff which were delivered to them individually.

“We have self-isolated the two individuals and sent them for necessary testing.

 “In addition, the office where these two individuals work, has been temporarily shut and has been disinfected.

“Due to the proactive measures taken by the bank, contact tracing within the bank was very swift and conclusive with no customers involved.

“We have also shut down our Federal Secretariat, Abuja Business Office and advised all staff/vendors to self-isolate and go for testing in line with our policy on COVID-19, on account of possible exposure of a vendor staff,” Aigbe said.

He said apart from the directive on isolation and testing for staff and family members who have had trips abroad within this period, the bank had in place, several other precautionary measures as advised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other health institutions.

Other precautionary measures, according to him, included, body temperature screening of staff members and visitors before being allowed access to all our premises; wearing of gloves and face masks by all our frontline staff.

He said that the bank had ensured reduction in the numbers of staff expected to come to work with 60 per cent of our staff now working  remotely from home.

Aigbe said that had reduced the number of customers allowed at a time into its banking halls to a maximum of five, among others.

“Fidelity Bank places high premium on health and safety. We shall continue to do everything within our means to ensure the health and safety of all, including customers, vendors, staff and indeed everyone who comes into our premises,” Aigbe said.

CBN, private sector form alliance

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has reported the constitution of

Nigerian Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19.

The bank said it formed the coalition on behalf of behalf of the Bankers’ Committee.

The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, said that the coalition was in partnership with the private sector, led by Aliko Dangote Foundation and Access Bank.

According to him, this Coalition was created out of the urgent need to combat the unfolding COVID-19 crisis in Nigeria.

“The rate at which the virus is spreading is unprecedented and it appears we are fighting our most lethal adversary to date.

“So far, the Federal Government has made giant strides in the fight, but it is clear that the private sector needs to step in and support efforts already being made,” he said.

The apex bank governor said that the objectives of the coalition were to mobilise private sector thought leadership, private sector resources and increase general public awareness.

He said the alliance would educate and buy-in, provide direct support to private and public health care’s ability to respond to the crisis and support government efforts.

Emefiele said that four major Committees had been set up to carry out the tasks.

He said there would be a Steering Committee to provide leadership and steer the coalition and committees in procuring all needed funding, equipment and materials for the battle against the pandemic.

Mr Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, who currently chairs the Federal Government Committee on COVID-19, would chair the steering committee.

Emefiele, however, explained that other members of the committee would be announced later.

NAN also reports that the Funding Committee members are the CBN Governor, Aliko Dangote, Herbert Wigwe, Jim Ovia, Tony Elumelu, Segun Agbaje, Abdulsamad Rabiu and Femi Otedola.

Emefiele said the members would be responsible for the initial funding of the effort, adding that more members would be allowed in, as long as they were willing to contribute at least N1billion.

He said the Operational Committee would be responsible for project management, logistics, communication and advocacy.

Members were comprised of Emefiele, Aliko Dangote Foundation, Access Bank, Zenith Bank, GT Bank, Stanbic IBTC, Ecobank, Fidelity Bank, Unity Bank and Nigerian Breweries Plc.

Emefiele explained that the Technical Committee would be responsible for gathering data about the equipment and materials needed nationwide.

He said that they would also be responsible for intellectual leadership around testing issues, treatment protocols, isolation centers, among others.

According to him, the members are the NCDC, WHO, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Federal Ministry of Health and select members of the operational and funding committee.

He stated that the committee would be working with reputable institutions and consultants, including the Lagos State Commissioner of Health, Dr. Akin Abayomi, Dr Christian Happi as well as Dr Phillip Onyebujo.

Emefiele said that the committee would need a lot of money to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Information gathered so far has revealed that to procure all needed equipment, material, and all infrastructure needed to fight this pandemic, over N120billion need to be raised.

“The Bankers Committee and these important stakeholders will be required to step up to support this endeavor.

“We are already engaging other important stakeholders in Nigeria and abroad, such as the NNPC and players in oil industry.

“An account will be set up at the Central Bank of Nigeria to receive both Naira and foreign currency from our donors,” he said.

He said the Technical Committee would be providing information about the venue where equipment and materials would be received just for those who wish to donate materials and equipment.

Bank donates N5bn to fight coronavirus in Africa

The United Bank of Africa (UBA) Group has promised to provide N5 billion ($14 million) as COVID-19 relief support across Africa.

The bank stated this in series of tweets in its verified Twitter handle @UBA Group on Thursday.

The company said “to catalyze a comprehensive pan-African response to the fight against the #Coronavirus pandemic, we’ll provide N5 billion to #COVID19 relief support across Africa through the @UBAFoundation”.

It noted that the donation would provide significant and much needed support to Nigeria and 19 other African countries, by supplying relief materials, critical care facilities, and financial support to governments.

A breakdown of the support programme allocation shows that N1billion will go to Lagos, Nigeria, N500 million to Abuja, N1billion to the remaining 35 states in Nigeria.

Others are N1.5 billion to UBA’s presence countries in Africa and N1 billion for medical centres with equipment and supplies.

“We’ll fund a medical centre immediately in Lagos, with beds for isolation and ICU facilities, managed and operated in partnership with @Heirs_Holdings healthcare subsidiary, #AvonMedicalHospital.

“In addition, we are providing a free telemedicine platform, that is physician-led, to provide direct access to medical advice to citizens, in compliance with social distancing requirements.

Commenting on the issue, the Chairman of the bank, Mr Tony Elumelu stated “this is a time when we must all play our part.”

“This global pandemic must bring citizens, governments and business leaders together and quickly.

“As we see a rapidly increasing number of cases of the coronavirus in Nigeria and Africa, the private sector has to work hand in hand with various governments, in stemming the spread.

“We commend the efforts of governments  and we are keen to partner and contribute our resources to the collective effort that will ensure the response to the pandemic, is swift and effective,” Elumelu said.

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