The reduction of the Monetary Policy Rate by the central bank to 12.5 percent from 13.5 percent and the alarm raised by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 over increasing deaths caused by rejection of patients in the country’s hospitals dominate the headlines of Nigerian newspapers on Friday.The Vanguard reports that the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday reduced its benchmark interest rate, the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) to 12.5 percent from 13.5 percent, in a bid to stimulate the economy ahead the projected economic recession arising from the impacts of Coronavirus, COVID-19, pandemic.
The report added that the Committee, however, retained the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) and the Liquidity Ratio (LR) at 27.5 percent and 30 percent respectively. The Committee also retained the Asymmetric band at plus 200 basis points and minus 500 basis points around the MPR.
The Punch says that the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 on Thursday raised the alarm over increasing deaths caused by rejection of patients in the country’s hospitals.
The PTF Chairman and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha, at the task force press conference in Abuja, lamented that despite the admonition of the Federal Ministry of Health, hospitals were still rejecting non-COVID-19 patients.
The report also said that the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control Director General, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, raised the alarm over the growing rapid test kits in the black market in the country.
According to him, some organisations are selling “what they call antibody tests.”
The Nation newspaper said that the Federal Government health agencies including the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration Control (NAFDAC) have received Madagascar’s COVID-19 treatment drug for evaluation.
The samples were brought to the country on May 16 by Guinea Bissau President Umaro Sissoco Embaló.
Minister of health Dr. Osagie Ehanire said on Thursday that the samples were found to be in two varieties – one for prevention, the other for treatment.
The other government agencies that also got samples of “COVID Organics” are: National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD), and Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR).
The newspaper also reports that major airports in Nigeria will in the “next few days” roar into life after weeks of inactivity caused by the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.
The airports are the Murtala Mohammed Airport, Ikeja; Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport, Abuja; Aminu Kano Arport, Kano and the Port Harcourt Airport, Choba, Rivers State.
On March 13 the Nigerian government shut all airports for one month and later extended it by two weeks. On May 6, the government further extended the airports’ closure by four weeks until June 7.
ThisDay says that the Nigerian government is to engage 800,000 volunteers nationwide to sensitise Nigerians on the dangers and spread of COVID-19, the National Coordinator of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Dr. Sani Aliyu, said Thursday in Abuja.
He added that another 880 people were trained on sample collection, packaging and transportation.
The report added that with the upsurge in the number of cases and shortage of bed space, the government is considering repurposing hotels and schools to serve as quarantine and isolation centres for COVID-19 patients.
The newspaper also reports that one of the leading companies in the world, Apple Music, is launching its first radio show in Africa on Sunday with DJ Cuppy, Nigerian-born DJ and music producer, as its host.
The streaming platform announced yesterday that “Africa Now Radio with Cuppy,” whose real name is Florence Ifeoluwa Otedola, would debut on Sunday and would feature a mix of contemporary and traditional popular African sounds, including genres like latest African sounds, be it Amapiano, Afrobeats, Highlife, Alte, House, Hip-Hop, Afrobongo or Kuduro, and more.
Apple, in a statement, said listeners would hear the latest and greatest African artistes and new forms of African popular music, which fuse traditional and contemporary sensibilities, morphing into hybridised sonic fragments connecting all corners of Africa.