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Airlines, tourism operators seek $10b relief to save industry

The survival of the travel and tourism industry in Nigeria and other African countries has been hinged on foreign relief package in excess of $10 billion.

The estimate, released by a coalition of international travel and tourism bodies, would save the businesses from collapse and keep millions of jobs, news agency reports.

In a related development, Virgin Atlantic has announced plan to reduce 3,150 jobs across all functions as part of efforts to emerge from the crisis.

Businesses want 50% cut in interest rates –LCCI

The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, LCCI, has said 54 per cent of business owners in the country want commercial banks to reduce their interest rates by at least 50 per cent.

The LCCI said the business owners demanded this, among other incentives, in order to keep their business afloat in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, which had disrupted many businesses and supply chains.

COVID-19: Experts advises Nigerians to adhere to safety measures

A medical expert, Dr Paul Okubor, has advised people to adhere strictly to the preventive measures against the spread of COVID-19, as the pandemic enters community transmission level.

Okubor, also the Chief Medical Director, Central Hospital, Warri, gave the advice on Tuesday in Warri.

He spoke while receiving the executive members of the Association of Professional Bodies of Nigeria (APBN), Delta chapter, who were on a fact finding visit to the hospital.

COVID-19: Abuja, Lagos hotels shun use of facilities as isolation centres –Minister

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geofrey Onyeama,  on Tuesday said most hotels in Abuja and Lagos had refused to be used as Quarantine centres for Nigerian returnees abroad.

Onyeama also said the affected hotels had rather preferred to be empty than accommodate suspected Coronavirus patients.

The minister disclosed this at the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 daily press briefing in Abuja.

IMF, World Bank urge action to cover $44 bln gap in Africa's pandemic needs

African leaders, the IMF and the World Bank on Friday appealed for rapid international action to help African countries respond to the coronavirus pandemic that will cause the continent’s economy to shrink by 1.25% in 2020, the worst reading on record.

IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva told ministers, U.N. officials and others that the African continent lacked the resources and healthcare capacity to address the crisis, and needed at least $114 billion to cover urgent fiscal needs.

Developing countries unlock key industries to safeguard earnings and jobs

From Africa to Asia and Latin America, emerging countries disproportionately bruised by the COVID-19 pandemic are allowing some key industries to start back up in a bid to soften the economic blow.

This tentative unlocking highlights the balancing act for developing nations as they seek to protect their people while averting an economic collapse some fear could do more damage than the disease itself.

Nigeria urges 'appropriate' debt solutions for middle-income countries

Nigeria’s finance minister said a debt relief agreement reached this week to help the world’s poorest countries deal with the coronavirus pandemic was a welcome first step but that middle-income countries with debt challenges also needed urgent help.

In remarks to be delivered at Friday’s meeting of the World Bank’s Development Committee, Zainab Ahmed said most countries in sub-Saharan African were particularly vulnerable to the pandemic because high rates of self-employment meant social distancing could not be sustained for long.

Nigeria’s private sector coalition contribution against COVID-19 hits ₦19.4b

The Nigerian Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) has so far realised N19.4 billion to help fight COVID-19 pandemic.

A statement issued on behalf of the coalition by the Director, corporate communications, CBN, Isaac Okorafor, revealed that 47 donors, including individuals, banks and other corporates have supported the fund. In the statement, showed that four contributors also pledged to redeem N3.4bn.

Voice of Nigeria recalls that the Central Bank of Nigeria  recently announced plans to raise about N120bn to curb the coronavirus pandemic.

Business booms for coffin-makers in coronavirus-hit France

Two hauliers load their lorries with what is fast becoming a precious commodity in France as the coronavirus pandemic takes its dreadful toll - coffins.

While most businesses have shut their doors as part of a national lockdown designed to slow the spread of the disease, the coffin-making factory in the sleepy town of Jussey in northeastern France can barely keep up with the orders, Reuters reports.

France has confirmed nearly 60,000 cases of the coronavirus and as of Friday 5,387 deaths, the fourth highest tally in the world.

Airlines face ‘deepest crisis ever’ amid Coronavirus pandemic

As the novel coronavirus continues to spread, the head of the trade group representing the world’s airlines, the International Air Transport Association has described losses in the industry as “its deepest crisis ever,” news agency reports.

According reports, commercial flights have stopped an analysis have shown that there have been series of sequential and precipitous declines in flights in four key regions.

From March 24 to March 30, FlightAware tracked about 280,000 flights, down almost 500,000 from the same week a year earlier.

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