Domestic flights resume as covid-19 cases rise in Nigeria

The first case of covid-19 in Nigeria was recorded on February 28. Today there are 30,000 more confirmed cases and a death toll approaching 700.

Lagos state leads in cases followed by FCT then Edo. All states have reported a case thus far. Nigeria CDC statistics show that the most affected age group is 31- 40 which accounts for 24% of infections. Community transmission remains the highest mode of transmission - accounting for 74%. 

E-learning portal opens gives students access to online learning 

Schools across Nigeria have remained shut for 4 months since the onset of the covid-19 pandemic. However, Yobe state and learning institutions are coming up with innovative ways to educate their students while at home.

According to the state’s commissioner for basic and secondary education, Mohammed Idris, a 3-hour lesson is currently being aired live from state radio and social media. The sessions are aired daily by the state broadcasting corporation. Many have lauded the step taken by the state in setting up the online platform. However, critics are not convinced over the availability of the medium to those residing in rural areas. 

Kwara Governor loses Chief of Staff

Chief of staff to the Governor of Kwara died after suffering complications due to covid-19. 

Dr. Aminu Adisa Logun was pronounced dead on Tuesday. Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq declared a seven day period of national mourning. Mr. Logun comes from Ilorin, the state capital. A statement from the state Government commiserates with the family. His untimely death is part of a string of prominent personalities in politics and entertainment who lost their lives to the pandemic. 

Economic impact on the oil industry

Nigeria is a major oil exporter and a key member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). The pandemic shut down most economies globally resulting in a glut in oil prices and a massive drop in demand that has affected all oil-exporting nations.

Faced with dwindling oil revenues, the government has initiated a wide raft of cost-cutting measures to buffer the effects of the covid-19 pandemic. Most oil companies are on cost-cutting mode to remain afloat.

The Nigeria National Petroleum Company (NNPC) reported a deficit in revenues a contrasting result from its surplus last year. In a market governed by deliverables of volume, price, and cost, Nigeria was badly exposed. The price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia resulted in a further plummet in price.

In an interview with Channel TV, Chief Financial Officer for NNPC Umar Isa Ajiya lauded the recent push towards the diversification of the national economy into the gas (LNG) sector.

According to the Africa Development Bank AfDB, the country will suffer USD$189.7 billion in lost GDP due to the pandemic. 

Taraba state 

Taraba state technical committee on covid-19 expressed displeasure with the public’s disregard of the NCDC guidelines. They were surprised that no one has come forward to be treated for covid-19. As of July 7, the state had recorded 22 cases with 20 of them discharged. 

Nigeria resumes domestic flights

Domestic flights will resume flights from Abuja and Lagos. Airline officials were mandated to prepare their operations according to guidelines from the health ministry. Passengers are encouraged to book their tickets online and print their boarding pass before arriving at the airport.

This is part of the measures to ensure there is no contact between people. The people checking the boarding passes will be shielded by a screen barrier. On Aljazeera Nigeria aviation minister Hadi Sirika outlines the measures adopted thus far:

  • Marked areas where passengers are to keep physical distancing
  • Sequenced incoming flights
  • Regulated the entry and exit of airports 

Despite the rise in infections, the government has remained resolute in resuming domestic flights. The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority will determine when is best suited to resume international flights after monitoring operations in the two airports over the next 2 weeks. 

Ph: Oluwafemi Dawodu /