Nigerians with over ₦5,000 in their bank account will not benefit from the federal government palliatives to cushion the effect of the lockdown as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, Sadiya Farou the ministry will be using the mobile networks to know people that top up the credit units for their phones with maybe ₦100 or less as the state governments will now be involved in the distribution of food items to vulnerable citizens in their various states. After a meeting behind closed doors with President Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Farouq said that the Ministry will now focus on the urban poor as it carries out with Buhari’s directive on the distribution of the palliatives to cushion the effects of COVID-19 on Nigerians. Buhari had directed, in his broadcast of Monday 13 April, that the ministry to expand the beneficiaries of the conditional cash transfer by one million. The ministry has decided to focus more on the urban poor, people who depend on the informal sector to earn their livelihood; daily wage earners and people living with disabilities. The ministry is adopting three options in identifying the beneficiaries of the stimulus, including utilising verified BVN accounts and mobile networks to know people that top up the credit units for their phones with a ₦100 or less.
Aggrieved casual workers at a Chinese firm in the Ogun, Guangdong Free Trade Zone, in Ado-Odo/Ota LGA in Ogun State, set fire to one of the company’s vehicles and destroyed two other vehicles in protest against the company’s decision to lock them within the premises. The Punch reported that the decision to lock them up within the premises was part of measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 and to obey the order of the two-week extension of the lockdown order by the government. The Police spokesperson for Ogun state, Abimbola Oyeyemi, said there was no loss of life as a result of the incident.
Nigeria is yet to sell its 60 crude oil cargoes despite the reduction of the official selling prices by its state oil firm, NNPC. Reuters reported that a glut of Nigerian and Angolan crude weighed on the market on Tuesday with demand from China slower than in the last few weeks. The glut of unsold Nigerian oil was around 60 cargoes for April and May, and cargoes of Qua Iboe and Bonny Light crude continued to be offered at around dated Brent minus $3 as a trader was quoted to have said that “it’s a buyer’s market right now.” He said nothing was shifting. The NNPC was reported in March to have cut its April official selling prices for Bonny Light and Qua Iboe, two of the nation’s major grades, by $5 per barrel to dated Brent minus $3.29 and minus $3.10 per barrel, respectively.
The South African government has refused a request from the beleaguered national carrier for $500 million worth of emergency funding. South African Airways now faces liquidation, with the possible loss of 5,000 jobs. The airline has not turned a profit since 2011 and has received more than $1 billion worth of bailouts over the past three years. It has suspended most domestic and international flights because of the coronavirus pandemic. It has received more than 20 billion rand ($1.1 billion) in bailouts in the past three years. The public enterprises ministry said in a statement it was still exploring options for SAA. A copy of Finance Minister Tito Mboweni’s speaking notes, circulated by the National Treasury during a briefing, said part of the government’s fiscal response to the COVID-19 crisis included closing SAA. SAA’s rescue practitioners have been consulting trade unions for weeks on potential job cuts. Last month they warned that without drastic measures the airline’s “situation will deteriorate to such an extent that it will threaten the very likelihood of the company being rescued.”