The World Health Organisation has declared Africa free of the wild polio virus since the continent did not record more cases since 2016. The polio virus once killed hundreds of thousands of children every year and led to summertime lockdowns for children, according to a statement jointly authored by the Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus; and President of Rotary International, Holger Knaack. The United Nations specialised agency on public health described the feat as “one of the greatest achievements in public health history. They say leadership from all levels of government across party lines, a historic public-private partnership that raised billions, millions of health workers reaching children across the region – from conflict zones to remote areas only accessible by motorbike or helicopter – and a culture of continual improvement were all critical to overcoming challenges and bottlenecks. They added that many of the same basic traditional public health methods used in polio eradication, including contact tracing and surveillance, are key to breaking the chains of transmission and saving lives and livelihoods from the first coronavirus pandemic in human history. Half of all globally recorded cases of wild polio virus as of 2012 were in Nigeria, the final country in the region to rid the virus from its borders. On 18 June, WHO certified Nigeria a polio-free country, after three consecutive years of no record of the outbreak of the disease. The process of certification which commenced a few months ago culminated in the complete documentation by officials of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency and was accepted by the World Health Organisation team.
The Central Bank of Nigeria debited ₦2.476 trillion from the commercial banks between April and July as Cash Reserve Requirement and as part of measures to strengthen the Naira. CBN debited ₦216 billion from the banks with excess cash holdings in July 2020 as part of measures while in June, ₦460 billion was deducted from the lenders that failed to meet the CRR targets for May. This occurred barely a month after many banks were collectively debited ₦1.4 trillion for the same reason in April. The development has prompted some shareholders’ groups to warn the monetary regulator not to push the banks off the cliff. The CRR is the amount that the CBN debits from banks’ accounts in compliance with its monetary policy objective of mandatorily keeping cash on behalf of the banks. By the CRR policy, banks are required to keep 27.5 per cent of all deposits with the CBN. It was 22.5 per cent last year, but it was jacked up at the January MPC meeting. Press reports last month quoted unnamed banking sources as saying that the liquidity withdrawal happened before the foreign currency auction. According to an unnamed official in one of the banks, the CBN is trying to manage the forex rate using the CRR. He added that the debits had become frequent and over the 27.5 per cent limit and offshore lenders were the most affected by the levies since they don’t operate retail business in the country but are still debited from their corporate deposits or borrowings. The development has made some banks forecast a decline in their profits this year. Fitch Ratings had forecast a 20 per cent hit in Nigerian banks’ revenue this year due to the CBN’s CRR policy and forex scarcity.
The Inspector-General of police, Mohammed Adamu, has ordered the suspension of entry requirements for applicants into the constable cadre of the Nigeria Police Force. Adamu directed police commands and formations nationwide to attend to all applicants who successfully submitted their applications online. This is contrary to the earlier publication that applicants were required to be medically, physically, psychologically fit and must not be less than 1.67m tall for male and 1.64m tall for female. According to the announcement made by the force public relations officer, Frank Mba, the NPF is looking to recruit 10,000 personnel in line with the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari to add 40,000 policemen to the NPF over a period of four years. The requirements listed in the recruitment include that applicants must be aged between 17 to 25 years and possess a minimum of five credits, including English and Mathematics, in WASSCE/NECO/GCE/NABTEB. Female applicants must not be pregnant at the time of the recruitment, the statement read. The force authorities had also barred persons with amputated body parts, defective eyesight, speech impediment, bow legs, knock knees, bent knees, and gross malformation of teeth from being enlisted into the force. The IGP said on Monday that no applicant should be suspended irrespective of physical appearance, age, and qualification.
331,003 Nigerian workers who lost their jobs have withdrawn ₦116.87 billion from their Retirement Savings Accounts under the Contributory Pension Scheme. The figure amounted to 25 percent of the total balance in their RSAs with Pension Fund Administrators as of the end of the third quarter of 2019. According to the National Pension Commission approval was granted for payment of ₦3.67 billion to 6,862 RSA holders who were under the age of 50 years and were disengaged from work and unable to secure another job within four months of disengagement. A breakdown of the development showed that the private sector accounted for 95.17 per cent of those who benefited from these payments while the public sector accounted for 4.83 per cent. PenCom said it sustained its effort at collaborating with social partners to drive compliance with the provisions of the Pension Reform Act 2014 by the organised private sector.