Coronavirus threatens 2020 budget

Posted by News Express | 2 March 2020 | 939 times

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• President Buhari



Nigeria’s 2020 budget is set to be one of the major world casualties of the ravaging health crisis called Coronavirus (COVID-19), as fears of a major economic slump sent oil prices to their lowest in more than a year.

This came as the international oil benchmark, Brent crude, tumbled below the $50 per barrel mark on Saturday as the spread of Coronavirus stoked fears that a slowing global economy would hit energy demand.

Brent, which rose to as high as $70 per barrel in January, has been on a downward trend since the coronavirus broke out, posing a serious threat to Nigeria’s 2020 budget.

The budget, which was signed by President Muhammadu Buhari in December, was based on projections of oil production of 2.18 million barrels per day with an oil price benchmark of $57 per barrel.

The Federal Government is looking to generate N2.64 trillion oil revenue, which is 32.34 per cent of expected total revenue for this year, with non-oil revenue projection being N1.80 trillion.

However, Brent crude, which Nigeria produces, plunged to $49.67 per barrel on Saturday morning.

A day earlier, Brent dropped below $50 per barrel for the first time in two and a half years but it later rose to settle at $50.52 per barrel by Friday evening.

For the week, Brent has lost about 14 per cent, its biggest weekly percentage decline since January 2016, according to Reuters.

Lagos decontaminates hotel where index case lodged, traces 130 Turkish Airline passengers

The Lagos State government, yesterday, said it has decontaminated a hotel in Ikeja used by the index case of Coronavirus and begun tracing the 130 passengers of the Turkish Airline which brought the patient to Nigeria last Monday.

The government, also debunked and described as fake news, reports that the Italian patient who tested positive to Coronavirus attempted to escape over poor facilities at the isolation centre.

The state’s Commissioner for Health, Professor Akin Abayomi, who disclosed this, also said that based on the condition of the index case, the chance of transmitting the diseases is very low as he has not begun to sneeze and cough, but was only experiencing other symptoms. 

He added that the state government has decontaminated the (unnamed) hotel where the index cased lodged before heading to Ogun State, adding that those who used his room in the last three days are also being traced.

Speaking with Sunday Telegraph in an update on coronavirus management in the state, Professor Abayomi, who said he saw the index case on Friday evening, said there was no iota of truth in the report, urging the public to discard it.

“The report is not true at all. The facility there is fantastic.  Not a true representation of what has been reported.  The patient never made any attempt to escape.”

Asked about the facility, Abayomi said that the facility is opened for the people to see.

“Some people were there the other time after the permission was given to them and they went in and filmed the place,” added.

On the contact tracing, Abayomi said: “We are seriously working on that with the airline and in order to get the passengers in the aircraft and who possibly had contact with the man. The truth is that I can’t give the figure of how many have been contacted now but the contact tracing is on-going.”

Reacting to the stories of the men who claimed to be Uber driver that conveyed the man while in Lagos and Ogun, he said: “That is fake news also. From the report, you can easily see the story is not true, that’s was a false.

On steps that have been taken on the hotel, where the man slept in Lagos before moving to Ogun State, Abayomi said again: “My friend. We are not sleeping over issues, we have dealt with the hotel and disinfected the place. It is not Randison Blu as being speculated on social media. There is so much fake news on that also which is trending on social media.” (New Telegraph)

Source: News Express

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