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COVID-19: Nigeria’s testing capacity very low, NMA, nurses, others warn



Nigeria’s testing capacity

COVID-19: Nigeria’s testing capacity very low, NMA, nurses, others warn

Olufemi Atoyebi, Eniola Akinkuotu, Olaleye Aluko, Dayo Ojerinde, Bola Bamigbola and James Abraham Some professional associations in the health sector on Sunday said Nigeria must step up its testing capacity to successfully stop the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

The groups, including the Nigerian Medical Association, the Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria and the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives, said it was not enough for the federal and state governments to impose lockdown on citizens without ensuring that those who had been infected with the virus were fished out and tested.

President Muhammadu Buhari had, on March 29, ordered lockdown in the Federal Capital Territory, Lagos and Ogun states to trace and treat people that had contracted coronavirus. Some state governments, including Osun, Rivers, Katsina and Kwara, on their own also ordered lockdown of their states.

According to, as of 10pm on Sunday, Nigeria had tested 5,000 people, while 37,954 persons were tested in Ghana. On the other hand, South Africa had tested 80,085 of its citizens.

The World Health Organisation had, last week said there was an urgent need to increase COVID-19 testing in Africa. It advised that testing must go beyond cities. When COVID-19 was first recorded in the country on February 27, Nigeria had five centres, where the virus could be tested.


The centres were increased to 10 on Friday. Cases more than what govt recorded – Nurses Commenting on Nigeria’s testing capacity, the President of the NANNM, AbdulRauf Adeniji, in an interview with The PUNCH, said COVID-19 had brought to the fore problems in the country’s health sector.

He stated, “The truth is that we are not well-equipped for the virus. Before COVID-19 came to Nigeria, the minister (of health) said we were equipped, but it is clear that our infrastructure cannot handle the testing capacity.

“People can have the virus and will not know it and still mingle with health officials and even their families thereby spreading it.

We are playing with the tail of a rattle snake in this country. “What I am saying is that the number of people, who have coronavirus in Nigeria, is more than the number recorded by government.

“The PTF (the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19) should be able to advise government properly on what should be done. The case definition is a problem. People may have it without all the conditions (high temperature, coughing and sneezing) stated.

Despite lockdown, we still see people walking around. People may have COVID-19 and seek herbal treatment – NANNM “All federal teaching institutions must be able to, by now, test people for it. At least, in each senatorial district, there should be a testing centre.

“People may have it and seek herbal treatment while disobeying social distancing order. The commitment of our health workers is still the grace we have in Nigeria.

” There is under-testing, lockdown not effective – Resident doctors On his part, the President of the Association of Resident Doctors, University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Dr Abbah Ugwu, said the government was not doing enough.

He stated, “We have limited cases because our testing capacity is not enough. We have not tested enough people as in other countries. Government is chasing thousands of people who have had contact with established cases, but I cannot say that the number we have is a true picture of the existence of the virus in Nigeria because we are not testing enough.

“There is gross under-testing of the people so the lockdown is not effective. In other countries, they have started doing house-to-house testing of their people. But it is unfortunate that we are not getting enough information from government concerning the testing capacity we have.

Only increase in the number of testing will make the lockdown effective.” Decentralise testing centres, MDCAN tells FG Also, the MDCAN advised the Federal Government to redouble its efforts in the fight against coronavirus in the country. It said testing centres should be decentralised.

The MDCAN President, Prof. Kenneth Ozoilo, who spoke to one of our correspondents in Jos on Sunday, said although state and federal governments were doing a lot to stop the spread of the disease, the anxiety among Nigerians was enough reason to test more people to ascertain their status.

He said that a situation where only those who had symptoms of coronavirus were being tested for the disease leaving the healthy carriers would not solve the problem.

Ozoilo said, “You cannot respond appropriately to coronavirus with the lockdown. It’s true we have low figures in the numbers of recorded deaths and infected persons compared with other countries, but we are not testing enough people considering our population.

“The people who are infecting other people are the healthy carriers of the disease. But what we find in our country is a situation where only people who are already sick as a result of the disease are being tested. That means they would have infected so many people before they become eligible to be tested.

“That is absurd and wrong. So, we should be testing both the sick people and any other person that has contact with a suspected person even if he does not get sick” The MDCAN President, who identified testing centres as crucial in the fight against coronavirus, urged the government to decentralise the centres for the benefit of Nigerians.

Limited testing means we don’t know number of cases – NMA The President of the NMA, Dr Francis Faduyile, called for increase in the country’s testing capacity for COVID-19. Faduyile, in an interview with one of our correspondents, said the more cases would be discovered if more tests were carried out.

He said, “There is no doubt that we need to step up our testing capacity. Not doing enough tests means we don’t know the total number of cases we have.

We cannot plan appropriately to take care of those who are infected and those who have not been tested and do not know their status.

Such people are sources of transmission to the general populace.

” Without lockdown compliance full blown transmission imminent – NMA The NMA president also warned that Nigeria risked full blown transmission of COVID-19 if people continued to flout the Federal Government lockdown order.

Despite the lockdown order, a lot of people are still seen on the streets, especially in Abuja and Lagos where the curve for coronavirus cases has been on the rise. Faduyile said although economic reality in the country had made it difficult for people to stay at home, it was important to make the sacrifice to stay at home to avert a major health crisis.

He said, “We still have a heightening of the slope and it will take some time to flatten it. That will, however, depend on how much our people obey the government order on stay at home and the FG’s commitment and intervention to ensure the order on physical distancing is obeyed.

“Economic reality makes people rebuff the order, but if we have a full blown epidemic in Nigeria, we will know why it is important to obey the stay at home order.”

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Labour Force

Kogi Governor Approves Implementation of N30,000 Minimum Wage for workers



Kogi Governor Approves Implementation of N30,000 Minimum Wage for workers

Kogi state governor, Yahaya Bello, has approved the implementation of N30,000 as minimum wage for the workers in the state.


The secretary to the state government, Folashade Ayoade disclosed this on Tuesday after an extensive meeting with the organized labour in Lokoja


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She blamed the delay in the implementation on the inability for the committee to meet regularly due to the covid-19 pandemic which has been overcome.


The SSG equally commended the organised labour for their understanding and patience, which she said has resulted into the signing of the implementation of the new minimum wage.

Read Also: FCTA Set to Implement Minimum Wage for FCT Workers

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CBN to End Forex Sales to Commercial Banks in 2022



Author: Eunice Johnson, Abuja 

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has put Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) on notice that it will stop selling forex to them by the end of 2022. CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele made this known in Abuja on Thursday at the end of the Bankers’ Committee Meeting where he also introduced the RT200 Programme.




Emefiele said the time had come for the banks to go out there and source for forex by funding entrepreneurs with ideas. The CBN, Emefiele said, will support the banks by granting rebates and other support until the banks find their feet in sourcing their forex by themselves.

He also disclosed that the apex bank’s policies and measures have led to a significant improvement in diaspora inflow from an average of US$6 million per week in December 2020 to an average of over US$100 million per week by January 2022. He added that the CBN would be reviewing these intervention programmes going forward to ensure that they continue to achieve the desired results.

He said international bodies, including some embassies and donor agencies, have been complicit in illegal forex transactions that have hindered the flow of foreign exchange into the country.


Read Also: CBN Encourages Nigerians to Accept E-Naira

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Customs Corner

Customs CG Deploys 37 Comptrollers as Comptroller Attah Heads Kebbi Command



Customs CG Deploys 37 Comptrollers as Comptroller Attah Heads Kebbi Command

Author: Gift Wada, Abuja

The Comptroller General of Customs Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd.) has approved the deployment of 37 Comptrollers to various Units, Departments and Commands across the country.

This was disclosed in a release signed on Tuesday by the Customs Deputy National, DC Timi Bomodi for the Comptroller General of Customs.

Among those deployed are the present National PRO of Customs Comptroller Joseph Attah who will assume the office of Area Controller of Kebbi Command, Comptroller AAS Oloyede who shall be moving from ICT/MOD to Tin Can Island Port Command, while Comptroller SI Bomoi to FCT Command. Other postings are Comptroller BA Jaiyeoba to Oyo/Osun Command, Comptroller A Dappa-Williams to Eastern Marine Command, Compt. MA Umar Kano/Jigawa, Compt. KC Egwuh ICT/MOD, Compt. LM Mark Enugu/Anambra/Ebonyi, Compt. T Tachio CTC Kano, Compt. AA Umar Western Marine, Compt. M Dansakwa North Eastern Marine, Compt. AC Ayalogu T & T and Compt. KD Ilesanmi will assume duty as Comptroller Board among others.


Ali in postings released on 7th of February, charged the newly posted Comptrollers to justify the confidence reposed in them by NCS Management by bringing to bear their years of experience and training in trade facilitation and anti-smuggling activities on their new assignment.


Given the enormous expectations of government regarding revenue generation in the current year, the Comptroller General reiterated the need for all Area Controllers and Unit heads to take full charge of the affairs of their Commands by ensuring absolute compliance with extant fiscal policies while leveraging on the efficient management of data to optimize trade facilitation and revenue collection.

Furthermore, the CGC directed all officers to be extremely vigilant in protecting the lives and wellbeing of Nigerians by ensuring the full fortification of our borders against the incursion of smugglers and other cross border criminals.

Read Also:

Customs Raises Concerns over Finance Act as Senate Sets N3trn Target for Revenue Agencies

Comptroller Ali Ibrahim Assumes Duty as New Customs FOU Zone ‘C’ Boss

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