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Tuesday, 24 March 2020
Statistics released on Sunday by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) reflects that it sold around 21.51 billion litres of petrol estimated at N2.64 trillion, indicating the aggravating pressure of energy needs on the disposable income of the populace.
 
Inflation in Africa’s largest economy is currently at a 22-month high of 12.20%, having been on a steady rise for six months on end.
 
From December 2018 to December 2019, Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC), a subsidiary of the state-owned corporation sold 21.861 billion litres of white products such as Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), gasoline, kerosene, diesel and residual fuel oil.
 
Of this range, gasoline accounted for 98.41 per cent.
 
The average price per litre of kerosene, the energy source a great majority of Nigeria’s ordinary population is known for, rose “1.01% month on month and by 7.04% year on year to N326.93 in February 2020 from N323.66 in January 2020,” the statistics office said last week.
 
Revenue amassed by the Nigerian Government from petroleum products sales in the period under review came to N2.71 trillion out of which petrol made up 97.56%.
 
The incidence of pipeline vandalisation at the NNPC recorded moderate improvement last December with 40 vandalised points recorded relative to the 68 posted a month before, a 41% improvement as a matter of fact.
 
10 vandalised spots could not be welded out of the total figure and no rupture case was observed, the NNPC said.
 
Of all the breach cases, 30% and 35% were recorded by Mosimi-Ibadan and Atlas Cove-Mosimi axes respectively, leaving the remaining routes with 35%.
 
The firm confirmed it had intensified its synergy with the local communities and stakeholders to help curb the threat.
 
The data reveal the PPMC’s distribution figure ballooned from 0.841 billion litres in November to 2.775 billion in December 2020.
 
This was made up 2.76 billion litres of petrol, 0.013 billion litres of diesel and 0.003 billion litres of Low Pour Fuel Oil.
 
Income realised from petroleum products distribution totalled N337.63 billion compared to the N105.62 billion reported in November.
 
In the month under review, the NNPC posted a trade surplus of N5.28 billion up from the N3.95 billion in November.
 
Improved results from the NNPC’s upstream and downstream operations were largely for the 34% performance growth, the corporation said.
 
It cited reduction in the shortfall recorded by its corporate headquarters and modification to the earlier inaccurate figure of Integrated Data Services and Duke Oil as parts of the grounds for the improved performance.
 
Cuts in pipeline repair/Right of Way Maintenance spending by Nigerian Pipeline and Storage Company as well as reduction in the cost of gas purchases by the Nigeria Gas Marketing Company also accounted for the revenue improvement.
 
148.32 billion cubic feet of supplied gas out of the 239.29bcf of gas supplied in December was commercialised with 34.7bcf and 113.54bcf apportioned to the domestic and the export markets in that order.
Published in Business
Senegal and South Africa issued curfews Monday as part of measures against the novel coronavirus, which has claimed more than 16,000 lives worldwide.

Following a nine-hour-long meeting, Senegalese President Macky Sall said a state of emergency was declared in a bid to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, adding free movement would be limited for the next three months.

Sall said demonstrations and rallies were prohibited, public spaces would be closed, and a curfew would be in effect from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. while transportation between cities has been restricted and could be completely banned if necessary.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation on TV and said a three-week-long curfew would be in effect due to coronavirus fears.

Ramaphosa said shops, pharmacies, banks and gas stations would remain open along with the stock exchange in Johannesburg.

According to the latest official statements, Senegal currently has 79 confirmed coronavirus cases while South Africa has 402.

After emerging in Wuhan, China last December, the coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19, has spread to at least 168 countries and regions, according to data compiled by U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.

The number of confirmed cases worldwide totals 378,287 and the death toll now tops 16,000, while over 100,000 people have recovered.

Published in World
Nigeria has marked down the prices of different grades of its crude in an effort to stimulate sales and clear glut after buyers rejected more than 50 cargoes of its crude in preference for low-priced substitutes.
 
The decision was taken in the aftermath of the coronavirus outbreak and the record glut in the global oil market, where a fierce price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia had opened a floodgate of oil in varying volumes, grades and prices from all around the world.
 
The country’s May loading arrangement made public Monday, revealed increased crude oil volumes compared with the quantity posted the month before.
 
Bonny Light and Forcados were upped and scheduled to load 245,000 barrels per day (bpd), Qua Iboe 215,000 bpd and Bonga 123,000.
 
Usan and Yoho have been timed to load two cargoes each, Brass River and Agbami five cargoes each while Egina and Amenam will load six and four cargoes in that order.
 
“Late on Friday, NNPC cut its April Official Selling Prices (OSP) for Bonny Light and Qua Iboe by $5 a barrel to date Brent minus $3.29 and minus $3.10 per barrel, respectively,”
Published in Business
Tuesday, 24 March 2020 06:42

Coronavirus case returns to Wuhan

Mainland China saw a doubling in new coronavirus cases, including one in the central city of Wuhan.

The jump in cases was driven by a jump in infected travellers arriving from abroad, while more locally transmitted cases crept into its daily tally. .

China had 78 new cases on Monday, the National Health Commission said, a two-fold increase from a day earlier.

Of the new cases, 74 were imported infections, up from 39 a day earlier.

Wuhan, capital of Hubei province and epicentre of the outbreak in China, reported one new case, the National Health Commission said on Tuesday, following five days of no new infections.

Three other local infections were reported elsewhere in the country.

Published in World

Even as China, South Korea and Singapore make progress controlling the new coronavirus, its spread raises alarm in many more parts of the globe as the pathogen’s toll on human health and world economies climbs.

In the past week many more citizens have had to stay at home in the hope that infection rates can be slowed to prevent health systems being overwhelmed. The collapse in consumer activity has sent stock markets swooning, prompting governments and central banks to take steps to soften the blow of an expected global recession.

At the same time, public health authorities around the world are devising strategies to contain the spread, hoping to avoid the plight of the worst-hit countries, such as Iran and Italy, which has now has had more deaths than China from the virus.

At The Conversation, editors have been working closely with academic experts in a range of disciplines from around the world to convey the scope of this fast-moving story and to help readers understand what it all means. In this third weekly column, here are some of the themes editors at The Conversation International network covered.


This is our weekly roundup of expert info about the coronavirus.
The Conversation, a not-for-profit group, works with a wide range of academics across its global network. Together we produce evidence-based analysis and insights. The articles are free to read – there is no paywall – and to republish. Keep up to date with the latest research by reading our free newsletter.


Public health responses

Public health agencies have responded to the crisis in very different ways. Our experts explained how critical those differences are to each country’s trajectory thus far and, potentially, in the future.

  • Singapore, the model response? Singapore, which suffered from the SARS epidemic in the early 2000s, had a highly organized response that, among other things, avoided a lockdown. The chair of infection control for National University of Singapore, Dale Fisher, explains how the country did it and the lessons for other countries.

  • South Korea’s contact tracing. South Korea, too, has been held up as a global model. One interesting aspect of its response is its acceptance of surveillance systems, notably CCTV and the tracking of bank card and mobile phone usage, to control the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

  • The picture in Africa. There have been comparatively few reported cases in Africa so far. Akebe Luther King Abia, research scientist from University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa explains why that might, adding that countries on the continent need to do much more to prepare their health systems and public responses. Meanwhile, among many people in South Africa, joking is a common way to cope.

Grim economic outlook

Even as governments deal with the pandemic, they are trying to forestall what’s expected to be widespread economic pain caused by the halt of so much economic activity. In the U.S., the White House and Congress are seeking to spur economic activity through multiple measures, including tax cuts, business loans and handing out money to families, on the order of US$1,200 per taxpayer.

  • Direct payments to citizens are particularly beneficial to low-wage workers, many of whom will be hurt by the slowdown in consumer spending, says economist Steven Pressman from Colorado State University.

  • Low to middle-income countries more vulnerable. Globally, the impact of the coronavirus could be worse on low to middle-income countries and harm particularly vulnerable people, say professor of public policy David Evans of Pardee RAND Graduate School and Mead Over of Georgetown University. As previous pandemics have shown, the short-term shocks on the economy typically translate into slowing long-term growth.

On the front lines of science

Scientists are racing to get a better understanding of the novel coronavirus, known as SARS-CoV-2.

  • Seeking the virus’s origin. Researcher Alexandre Hassanin, of Sorbonne Université, ISYEB - Institut de Systématique, Evolution, provides some context for one of the most vexing questions facing scientists: did it originate in a bat or pangolin and where? He describes a recent genetic analysis which suggests that the “SARS-Cov-2 virus is the result of a recombination between two different viruses.” (To read the original article in French, click here.)

  • The quest for anti-viral treatments. Could existing drugs work? Nevan Krogan, who is director of Quantitative Biosciences Institute at the University of California, San Francisco, describes the work of a 22-lab research team working around the clock to identify the most promising candidates for disarming this new virus.

  • The biology of why elders are more at risk. As scientists generate new data on how COVID-19 affects people, one point is very clear: Older people and those with chronic medical conditions are most at risk of serious illness or death. Brian Geiss, associate professor of microbiology, immunology and pathology at Colorado State University, explains how changes to a person’s immune system as we age affects its ability to fight off infections like COVID-19.

Changes to daily life

For people who remain healthy and staying at home, the virus has upended many lives.

  • Confused children. Child development experts from the University of Calgary explain how parents can talk to their children about the pandemic.

  • Complex daily decisions. Many people isolating themselves at home still have questions. Adam Kamradt-Scott from the University of Sydney gets into a more nuanced discussion around social distancing and tries to answer basic questions such as: Can I take the dog for a walk?

  • The psychological toll. Finally, one common thread across all countries is stressed-out individuals. Nita Bharti from the Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics at Pennsylvania State University offers some tips on how to maintain physical and mental health during this period.

Get the latest news and advice on COVID-19, direct from the experts in your inbox. Join hundreds of thousands who trust experts by subscribing to our newsletter.The Conversation

Martin La Monica, Deputy Editor, The Conversation

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Published in World
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