The Lagos State Government Wednesday quarantined four siblings, their teacher from the United States and another man from the United Kingdom even as it disclosed that it has located the two missing contacts of the index case. Disclosing these while giving an update on COVID-19 in the state, the State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi explained that the four children and their teacher who came from the United States may have had close proximity with somebody who has coronavirus. On the index case, he said the patient is doing very well. “He has no symptom but the test shows that he’s still secreting the virus although the level is going down significantly. So if the virus secretion hits zero, we will test him one more time to be sure and he will be discharged from the hospital. The second case is also doing well. He hasn’t developed any major symptoms just some minor aches and pains and he seems to be doing well and we are satisfied. “We will repeat his test tomorrow and we will determine what happens next based on his test.” This comes as Cote D’Ivoire recorded its index case of coronavirus. The case was reported in the capital Abidjan. The country becomes the fifth in West Africa to record a case after Nigeria, Senegal, Togo and Burkina Faso. Elsewhere on the continent, Cameroon, DR Congo and South Africa have recorded cases. The affected patient is a 45-year-old Ivorian man, authorities said.

The Doyin Salami-led Economic Advisory Council appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari told the CBN it will not be appropriate to participate in the economic growth conference which the regulator hosted in Abuja on Wednesday. In a letter delivered on Monday, the council said since today’s conference will be discussing virtually the same issues upon which it (council) has deliberated and forwarded its views to government, there would be no good served for any of its members to participate. Businessday quoted some business leaders as saying that the advisory council’s rejection of the invitation to the conference a fallout and clear indication of the policy divergence between the Central Bank and the council on key issues. The council’s decision to say away from the CBN-orchestrated conference was sent ahead of yesterday’s letter by frontline banker Atedo Peterside who has also announced that he will be staying away from the conference. The advisory council had its meeting in Abuja on Friday and Saturday as the global market meltdown gathered steam.

The MTN Group, Africa’s largest mobile network by subscribers, said on Wednesday that Chief Executive Officer Rob Shuter would step down at the end of a four-year term in March 2021. The company, which is in the middle of a revamp to re-focus on high growth markets on the continent and in the Middle East, said its board would find a new CEO during the year to enable a seamless handover. Shuter, a former head of Vodafone Europe with a background in banking, took over from Sifiso Dabengwa in 2017, who resigned after Nigeria imposed a $1.7 billion penalty on the company for its failure to deactivate unregistered users. The 52-year old told investors and analysts at MTN’s results presentation that he chose not to renew his contract but did not elaborate on the reasons. The company also said headline earnings per share (HEPS) rose 38.9% to 468 cents for the full-year ended Dec. 31 on IFRS 16 accounting basis. On a like-for-like IAS 17 accounting basis, HEPS rose 61.7%. Revenue rose by 9.7%, while service revenue grew by 9.8%.

The amount spent on petrol imported into the country dropped by 42 percent to ₦1.71 trillion in 2019, data obtained from the National Bureau of Statistics have shown. The amount represented 10.75 per cent of the amount spent on all imported goods last year, compared to 2018 when petrol accounted for 22.4 per cent of total imports (₦13.16 trillion). The decline in the amount spent on petrol imports last year was partly due to the fall in the average price of Brent crude oil, the international benchmark. The price of Brent crude averaged $64 per barrel in 2019, down from $71 per barrel in 2018, according to the Energy Information Agency. Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil producer, relies largely on importation for petrol and other refined products as its refineries have remained in a state of disrepair for many years. The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has been the sole importer of petrol into the country for more than two years after private oil marketers stopped importing the commodity due to crude price fluctuations among other issues. The refineries, located in Port Harcourt, Kaduna and Warri, have a combined installed capacity of 445,000 barrels per day but have continued to operate far below the installed capacity.