Gunmen, on Wednesday, attacked the Federal Medical Centre in Lokoja, Kogi state, and disrupted a COVID-19 press conference. The hospital had scheduled a media briefing for the day to demand a COVID-19 screening centre in the state and to also speak about the challenges health workers are facing with regard to the disease. The armed men arrived at the facility in three vehicles and shot sporadically to disperse the meeting. Health workers had laptops and vital documents stolen from them by the gunmen who also destroyed property. This attack came a day after Yahaya Bello, governor of the state, insisted that the virus was created to “shorten the lifestyle of the people”, asked residents of the state not to accept what he described as “cut and paste COVID-19″, and said that Nigerians are being made to accept the reality of COVID-19 “by force”. The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has so far announced three cases of COVID-19 in Kogi, but the state government has insisted that the state is free of the disease and repeatedly accused the NCDC of falsifying COVID-19 cases in Kogi.
Nigeria will resume domestic flights from 8 July, the FG said Wednesday after it relaxes the restrictions hitherto placed to curb the new coronavirus pandemic despite mounting cases and deaths. Aviation minister, Hadi Sirika announced via Twitter that the Abuja and Lagos airports are scheduled to resume domestic operations on 8 July, while Kano, Port Harcourt, Owerri and Maiduguri are set for 11 July; other airports will resume operations on 15 July. Sirika said that a date would be announced for the resumption of international travel. The aviation and travel & tourism sectors are largely the most affected industry by the coronavirus pandemic. COVID-19 had brought the global and Nigerian aviation to a standstill as for the first time in world history, a handful of the world’s citizens were restricted from travelling, either to return home or to destinations of choice. The development left employers in the industry with hard choices. Most of the local airlines in Nigeria had either forced their workers to embark on unpaid leave, slashed salaries or dismissed their workforce. Nigeria had confirmed more than 25,000 coronavirus cases and almost 600 deaths as of Wednesday, with little sign of the outbreak slowing. Officials have expressed their concern that the outbreak in the West African country might become much worse. Yet the government is keenly aware of the economic toll of the virus, which has crushed the price of oil, on which Nigeria depends.
The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency has announced a 16.4 percent increase in the price of petrol effective today. According to the agency, the approved new retail price for petrol for the month will vary between ₦140.80 and ₦143.80 per litre. The new price arrangement replaces the previous price band of ₦121.50 and ₦123.50 per litre announced by the agency for June 2020. Asking all marketers to operate within the indicative prices as advised by the PPPRA, the agency noted that the ex-depot price for collection includes the statutory charges of bridging fund, marine transportation average, National Transport Allowance and administrative charge. With the new price, all petroleum products marketing companies throughout the country are permitted to sell at any price with the approved price band of ₦140.80 (lower limit) and ₦143.80 (upper limit) during the month. The lower limit represents the least retail price per litre a marketer can dispense fuel, while the upper limit is the ceiling retail price the marketer cannot exceed in dispensing the product. In line with the approved price modulation template, marketers can sell the product at any price within the band during the period.
Royal Dutch Shell has warned its investors that it could write down between $15 billion – $22 billion in post impairment charges for Q2. The oil giant said this in its second-quarter 2020 review where it estimated its oil sales volumes in Q2 2020 to be between 3.5 million to 4.5 million barrels per day, compared to 6.6 million per day recorded during the same quarter a year ago. This dramatic reversal was attributed to a major drop in demand, the largest the oil firm is experiencing since it merged with Shell Transport & Trading in 2005. The report also reflects how the coronavirus pandemic had dealt with Shell’s businesses. The company lost money in all its divisions from pumping to transport. Other major oil companies including British Petroleum, Chevron have also announced write-downs in 2020. Specifically, British Petroleum announced $17.5 billion in write-downs as Chevron announced a $10.4 billion write-down. Baker Hughes and Occidental both announced write-downs of $15 billion and $9 billion, respectively. Royal Dutch Shell had earlier this year shocked investors after cutting dividend by two-thirds for the first time since the Second World War. Similarly, Guinness Nigeria, on Wednesday, informed the public in a statement to the Nigerian Stock Exchange, about the material circumstances that will impact its full-year financial results for 2020. The firm told investors that the adverse impact of the sharp contraction in economic activities and the knock-on effect of the COVID-19 lockdown took a toll on the on-trade segment of the business across all the company’s markets. It added that production and revenues have thus been negatively affected.