FG To Commence Digital Skills Training For 500,000 Youths In Nigeria


The Ministry of Youth and Sports Development led by Mr. Sunday Dare is set to scale up its digital skills training to cover 500,000 youth across the country after securing funding under the COVID-19 stimulus budget.

The training, under the initiative called A New DEEL for the Nigerian Youth, was conceived last year and was meant to being in December 2019 but was placed on hold due to lack of funding to fully implement its components. DEEL is Digital Skills Acquisition, Entrepreneurship, Employability and Leadership.

The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Dare said

“Through the stimulus plan budget under President Muhammadu Buhari we can now implement 65-75 per cent of DEEL concentrating on digital skills acquisition to bridge the existing gap we have in the area of technology.

We had great ideas on my resumption of office but due to COVID-19 and funding challenges our vehicles for achieving the initiatives were slowed down but not stopped.”


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He also stated that the Ministry was able to train over 30,000 youth during the lockdown leveraging partnerships with IBM and other tech organisations in various states.

The free IBM and Microsoft training in partnership with the Ministry are ongoing and accessible through the ministry’s sites while a partnership with Google will soon be activated to train youth.

States in the six geopolitical zones have been selected for the first phase of Coding for Nigerian youth where each youth undergoes three months training in coding and is given a laptop to commence work upon completion of the training.

The ministry will train youth in the areas of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, Mobile Device Repairs Training, Coding, Data Collection and other technologically oriented aspects.

Meanwhile, the Ministry’s 60 Day App Challenge will this Sunday (National Youth Day) see a number of Youth receive N1million each, laptops and training in Business Development to ensure they are well equipped to start off on their own.

Mr. Dare, who reiterated government’s commitment to empower Nigerian youth to make them competitive globally, expressed optimism that the approved fund for the digital skills training would provide Nigerian youth with the needed skills set and enabling environment to thrive in the post-COVID-19 era.

Source: Ministry of Youth and Sport


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CBN Sets Exchange Rate At N386/$1 On Parallel Market

The Central Bank Of Nigeria (CBN) has set the exchange rate at N386 per $1 On Parallel Market as Dollar Sales Commence On Monday.


The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, on Thursday, in restarting forex trade, directed licensed bureaux de change, BDC, operators to sell dollars to customers at a rate not higher than N386 to the dollar.

This came as the Federal Government, Thursday, said despite the N2.3 trillion Economic Stimulus Plan put in place to contain impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on the economy, there is the possibility that the third quarter, 2020 (Q3’20) Gross Domestic Product, GDP, growth rate will be negative, while the economy will relapse into a recession.

The apex bank in a circular by the Director, Trade and Exchange Department, O. S. Nnaji, said the directive would take effect on Monday.


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According to Nnaji,

As part of efforts to enhance accessibility to foreign exchange, particularly to travellers, following the announcement of the limited resumption of international flights by the Minister of Aviation, commencing with Abuja and Lagos, the CBN, hereby, wishes to inform the general public that gradual sales of foreign exchange to licensed BDC operators will commence with effect from August 31.

“Please, be advised that the application exchange rate for the disbursement of proceeds of IMTOs for the period, Monday, August 31, to Friday, September 4, as follows:

“IMTOs to banks N382/1USD; Banks to CBN N383/1USD; CBN to BDCs N384/1USD; BDCs to end users, not more than N386/1USD; volume of sale for each market is USD 10,000 per BDC.”


Source: Vanguard



Covid-19: Up to 43m Americans Could Lose Health Insurance

Report says that close to 43 million Americans might lose their health Insurance due because of Covid-19 pandemic.


A new report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Urban Institute revealed that almost 43 million Americans could lose their health insurance in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

Report says that roughly half the population of US received their medical insurance through their job. The tidal wave of layoffs triggered by quarantine measures now threatens that coverage for millions.


Katherine Hempstead, a senior policy adviser for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation said;

“The status quo is incredibly inefficient, it’s incredibly unfair, it’s tied to employment for no real reason.”

“This problem exposes a lot of the inadequacies in our system.”


Researchers at the Urban Institute and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) predict anywhere from 25 to 43 million people could lose health insurance if the pandemic results in a 20% unemployment rate.

Many will use social safety nets to obtain insurance, including Medicaid, the public health insurance program for low-income people. However, eligibility criteria varies from state to state, with more restrictions in Republican-led states.

“It’s incredibly segmented and every state has a different story,” said Hempstead. “There’s 50 different experiences.”

Christine Mohn, 51, lives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and worked as a physical therapist. She lost her job of 18 years when her company was bought out in November 2019.

“You walk in the door one day, and they said: ‘Your job is not here and neither is your health insurance – bye,’” Mohn said.


For several months, Mohn, her husband and college-age daughter relied on a program called Cobra, which allows Americans to continue the benefits they once received from a job. But the benefits came at a steep cost. Mohn paid $1,700 a month for insurance using a line of credit on her mortgage until April 2020, when she finally got a new job.


Mohn only worked two weeks before the job indefinitely furloughed its workers because the pandemic closed down all non-urgent health services.

The company that furloughed Mohn allowed her to keep her health insurance, even though it is under no obligation to do so. The insurance costs Mohn $400 a month, and after four weeks she still has not received her first unemployment check. When she finally does go back to work, she said: “I can get to paying off my line of credit I’ve been living off.”

Of those who lose employer-based insurance, an estimated 7 million Americans will remain uninsured, and will lack access to healthcare during the worst pandemic in a century, RWJF predicted. Another 30 million people lacked insurance even before the pandemic, according to the Urban Institute.


“You have people who think they have an infectious disease, but they don’t want to come forward to get tested or get treatment because they’re so worried about what kind of financial liabilities they will have,” said Hempstead. “This problem exposes, really, a lot of the inadequacies in our system.”

a recession,” said Dr Adam Gaffney, the president of Physicians for a National Health Program. PNHP advocates for a single-payer health system in the US, similar to the NHS. “It’s inevitable that people will die because they can’t get the care they need, because of the looming recession.”


Meanwhile, this is for only US and it could happen in any other countries hit by Covid-19.


ALSO CHECK: Insurance Industry Provides N11Bn Free Cover For Health Workers


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Insurance Industry Provides N11Bn Free Cover For Health Workers

The Insurance industry in Nigeria has been applauded by the Federal Government of Nigeria for the provision of free life insurance worth 11 Billion Naira to 5,000 health workers. 


The President of Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari has commended the insurance industry in his address on the cumulative lockdown on Covid-19 pandemic at the State House, Abuja. The president stated that the government has procured insurance cover for 5,000 frontline health workers.


His statement reads;

“In keeping with our Government’s promise to improve the welfare of healthcare workers.

We have signed a memorandum of understanding on the provision of hazard allowances and other incentives with key health sector professional associations.

“We have also procured insurance cover for 5,000 frontline health workers. At this point, I must commend the insurance sector for their support in achieving this within a short period of time.”


However, Tope Smart, the Chairman of Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA) said they were happy that for the first time, their role is being appreciated in the country. He stated that the recognition will further spur them to do more.

The Nigerian Insurance Industry supported the Federal Government by providing N11 billion life insurance cover to the frontline health workers employed in the fight against COVID-19.

Sunday Thomas, the Commissioner for Insurance revealed the cover will enable families or named beneficiary of any medical doctor that dies in the line of duty to claim N3million; Pharmacists/Nurses N2million and others N1million.

He said the premium which is in the sum of N112,500,000 for the cover has been fully paid by the Nigerian Insurance Industry in line with the principle of No Premium No Cover, stressing that a total of 19 Life Insurance companies have been accredited to provide the Cover.

Thomas posited that the cover is for a period of 12 months effective April 14, 2020 and that in event of any fatality, the relevant agencies of government will immediately advise the lead Underwriter – FBNInsurance Limited who will make request for relevant documents needed for payment of the claim.


ALSO SEE: Africa: Afreximbank Raises $3m Grant For Covid-19 Response


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The Truth Behind Access Bank Alleged 340 Branches Closure


The alleged Access Bank of Nigeria on the closure of 340 branches across Nigeria and to sack a lot of workers has been addressed. 


On Saturday, the Managing Director of the bank, Herbert Wigwe allegedly to have announced the closure of over 300 branches nationwide via video conferencing in a town hall meeting with the staff.

Meanwhile, many Nigerians has been reacting to the news and claimed why the bank would donated money to Federal Government and planning to sack staff weeks later. Nigerian female music star, Yemi Alade queried Access Bank management on this.


Wigwe was quoted to have said his decision was in a move to reduce operating costs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


The MD was quoted as said that about 75% of the staff, most of whom are outsourced and are offering “non-essential services,” would be affected and the salary of the remaining staff will be reviewed and reduced.

While reacting to the allegations, the Access Bank’s Head Media Relations, Abdul Imoyo, denied all the allegations, noting that the branches were closed at the onset of the COVID-19 lockdown.


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His full statement reads;

“This is not correct. Branches were closed at the onset of the COVID-19 lockdown.

As the structure of the lockdown has been relaxed, the branches will be reopened in a phased approach, and with adherence to physical distancing guidelines.

“We advised the public when we closed over 540 branches (60 left to operate) in response to our business continuity plan for a crisis of this nature.

This was further buttressed by Lagos State and subsequently the FGN’s stay at home or work from home order.

“With the proposed lifting of that order from May 4th, we recognise that the threat of the virus is still out there and are planning to do a phased opening of the branches.

So yes an additional 200 branches (bringing the total to 260) would be opened in the first phase.

“The staff at the frontline are also people’s sons, daughters, wives, husbands e.t.c and we have to be very mindful how we expose them. So staff would also be rotated.

“We have however made arrangements to pair the branches so customers whose branches are yet to be opened can be served from an alternate branch and those messages are going out to customers over this weekend and by Monday.


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Africa: Afreximbank Raises $3m Grant For Covid-19 Response

$3Million has been raised for African countries by Afreximbank in a way to fight Covid-19 Pandemic.


The African Export-Import Bank, AFREXIMBANK announced a grant of $3million in order to complement African efforts to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

The of the bank, Prof. Benedict Oramah revealed this in Cairo, Egypt. He disclosed that the grant was in response to a request by African heads of state, through the auspices of the African Union Chair Person, the South Africa’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa, for the mobilisation of resources to address the general pandemic.

He said that a significant proportion of the grant would go to the Covid-19 Special Fund set up by the African Union (AU) as well as to the African Center for Disease Control (Africa CDC).

He said,

“We hope that our modest contribution will help to address some of the immediate needs.

We encourage other African banks, funds, corporations and charitable organisations to also contribute to the relief effort.”

Highlighting the need for wide institutional support for the Covid-19 response effort, he said that “no one country or institution will be able to rise to the challenge of the pandemic on its own.”


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Afreximbank’s grant support comes in addition to several initiatives the Bank is taking to support the effort in fighting the pandemic, such as the $3-billion Pandemic Trade Impact Mitigation Facility. This was launched in March to help African countries deal with the economic and health impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Also, Afreximbank has set aside an amount of $200Million for the use in financing the production of Covid-19 equipment and supplies within Africa.

However, Oramah said that the resource constraints and urgent nature of interventions on the ground required significant grant financing to ensure timely support for emergency interventions in combating the pandemic.

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