The coronavirus outbreak was completely unexpected as it took a toll on the entire planet in a matter of a couple of months. The spread of the infectious disease that has long been declared as a global pandemic is the biggest threat humanity has faced in almost a century. The human cost is absolutely unprecedented, yet, the economic aftermath is also expected to break records of the 20th century. It has been forecasted that the novel coronavirus pandemic will push the global economy into a major recession not witnessed since the great depression.
The novel coronavirus, later named COVID-19, initially started in China, specifically in its Hubei province which is home to more than 58 million people. Roughly the size of Italy, the virus spread within the province and later across mainland China faster than anyone would have expected. The epicenter of the country was the capital of the province – Wuhan. The city of 11 million inhabitants became the first major area to go under strick lockdown in the world.
Nevertheless, despite strict measures and suspended flights from many countries to and from China, the virus still found its way out of the country. It first entered other Asian nations followed by first European and American cases in Bordeaux, France, and the State of Washington respectively. Soon, Italy became the global epicenter of the deadly virus pandemic, infecting tens of thousands and killing more than 24,000 people. The northern region of Lombardy, the economic driving force for the nation came under particular pressure as Milan and Bergamo were the first two urban areas to go into strict lockdown.
However, the virus would not stop there as it infected hundreds of thousands all across Europe. As of now, Spain is the main hotspot on the continent with over 200,000 confirmed cases. The situation in the United Kingdom is developing fast as well with the highest number of daily cases on the continent. The country’s prime minister Boris Johnson is still recovering from the virus after testing positive and spending a few nights in intensive care. This makes the situation for Britons even more unbearable and stressful.
The United States, due to its late response, is the most affected nation globally. The country has more than 820,000 confirmed coronavirus cases while the death toll has already exceeded 45,000. The nation’s and globe’s financial center, New York, has the highest concentration of cases per 1 million inhabitants across the US. This economic powerhouse remains closed, threatening millions of jobs and income sources for Americans, as well as for people from all around the world.
Nigeria unlike countries with tens of thousands of cases remains thoroughly stable in regard to the health system. It is not yet overwhelmed as the nation of almost 200 million has only 782 infections. However, the crude oil price slump in the US put Nigeria in a very difficult economic position. The country exports the vast majority of its oil products to the United States, the sector that generates 60% of the government revenues and represents 90% of all foreign trade.
As a result, the market prices of Nigerian companies are falling. So is the Nigerian Naira, which remains stable but is expected to drop dramatically following the plunge. People are particularly sensitive to recession fears in this country which remains utterly poor. People and households with some savings are trying to do their best in an effort to avoid the devastating impact of the upcoming economic crisis. Many people are finding the best solution in purchasing foreign sovereign currencies in Forex markets. As a result, a growing number of people are approaching entities on the ECN forex brokers list here in Nigeria.
How are ECN brokers reacting to the crisis?
The Forex platforms have been an important part of the financial industry for a while now. Many influential and well-known businessmen, including the famous Hungarian philanthropist George Soros, made their wealth out of Forex trading. It is playing a major role in the financial sectors of many countries, including Nigeria.
Nigeria is becoming increasingly globalized, with more international businesses present than ever before. Thus, in this process, ECN brokers became particularly popular. What is different with them? ECN brokers are financial experts that give their clients direct access to financial markets through electronic communications networks (ECNs). They are quite efficient, convenient, and fast while not including ‘middlemen” between the two sides.
Yet, their main trait is being utterly transparent. Nigeria is quite a corrupt nation, thus, the ability to see through every transfer and operation is a major asset. Transparency is crucial for many in this nation, but ECN brokers are often quite expensive.
Nevertheless, a soaring number of people are using ECN brokers to safeguard their future amid the global crisis. Such brokers, unlike others, are not allowed to trade against their clients, adding to the safety rank. Moreover, they usually charge fixed commissions which are rather attractive for many individuals.
Now, considering the growing demand as a result of the oil crisis, Nigeria’s ECN brokers are trying to make most out of the current situation. Some of them have already increased one-time commissions sometimes to unreasonably high rates. Despite this, they are not reporting the fall in demand following the increase. However, no one knows if the price will remain at this rate after the crisis. This would be highly unlikely as ECN brokers are much more expensive than regular ones and high prices would not sustain their business during the normal demand period.
However, others are doing the complete opposite, making their service more flexible and inclusive in an attempt to attract even more customers. Many in the industry are saying that this approach could be more liquid and stable for brokers during the crisis.
GoG: Nigerian, Ghanaian Navies Meet On Joint Operations
Against the backdrop of renewed piracy and hostage-taking incidents in the Gulf of Guinea, Nigeria’s Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo and his Ghanaian counterpart, Rear Admiral Issah Adam Yakubu, have commenced a security engagement aimed at joint security initiatives to tackle the situation.
Speaking during the meeting held at Naval headquarters, Abuja, Vice Admiral Gambo said, “The Gulf of Guinea is currently bedevilled by the activities of criminal elements who take advantage of limited capability of the navies in the region to adequately secure the area.
“The threat posed by the activities of these criminal elements constitute a major challenge not only to the littoral states but equally undermines regional development and global trade.
“Notably, the trans-boundary and trans-national nature of maritime crime makes the security of the maritime domain a task beyond the capacity of any country acting alone.
“It is against this backdrop that this bilateral engagement was convened at the instance of the Heads of Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Republic of Ghana towards addressing the maritime security challenges within the region”.
Vice Admiral Gambo expressed belief that “the engagement would foster greater collaboration and burden sharing that is hinged on cooperative maritime security framework as envisioned in the 2013 Yaoundé Protocol to arrive at strategies that would help address the maritime insecurity for enhanced economic prosperity in the region”.
Declaring the technical session open, the CNS said, “In deliberations, please consider amongst others: maritime area of interest covering Zone E and integration of the capabilities of the countries in Zone E, emplacing a robust intelligence sharing mechanism and collaboration with international partners”.
On relations between both countries, Gambo said, “This good relation is equally manifest in the several interactions between the Nigerian Navy and Ghana Navy. I must not fail to mention the remarkable contributions of the Ghana Navy-CNS to manpower development during his tour of duty at the prestigious AFCSC, Jaji as a member of the Directing Staff. I have no doubt that this engagement would further strengthen the existing cordial bilateral relations between Nigeria and Ghana navies.
In his address, Chief of Naval Staff of Ghana, Rear Admiral Issah Yakubu, noted that he and his delegation were in Nigeria at the behest of President Nana Akufo Ado to engage the Nigerian Navy and come out with collective strategies to tackle insecurity which is in the ascendancy in recent times in the Gulf of Guinea.
“We hope our navies will buy into this engagement to improve security in the Gulf of Guinea. We know our big brother Nigeria has bigger capacity to chart the way forward”.
He disclosed that, “Since year 2020, the situation has bot been good in the Gulf of Guinea”, noting that “Last May, two Ghanian vessels were attacked and 10 persons were abducted with investigations still ongoing”.
Consequently, the Ghanian Navy Chief said, “We are proposing an ECOWAS naval task force and joint maritime security architecture to checkmate these threats, adding that this was done in the past successfully during ECOMOG operations without problems with inter-operability and doctrinal issues.
Furthermore, he proposed the setting up of a ‘transit corridors’ where ships from fellow West African countries can go to anchor for assistance and joint naval assets will conduct regular patrols especially for protection of commercial fishing vessels.
Wike Orders Destruction Of Criminal Hideouts In Rivers
The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has ordered the destruction of all criminal hideouts in Ahoada, Elele, Eleme and Onne to prevent attempt to undermine security of the state.
The governor said criminals were already coming to terms with the reality that Rivers State was too hot for them to invade at will and detonate their foolish attacks on targeted security posts and personnel.
Wike, who made this assertion in a state broadcast, last Friday, disclosed that the state government has identified the hideouts, safe houses and secret places that provide both cover and comfort for the hoodlums to plan, execute and return to after operations.
“This was the reason we ordered the destruction of all the shanties and makeshift structures located along Elele to Ahoada expanse of the East–West Road to deny the criminals the opportunity to continue to undermine our security from these hideouts.
“We have equally decided to destroy all the shanties, illegal shops and mechanic sheds along the Eleme to Onne stretch of the East-West Road having discovered these places also as hideouts and operational bases for criminals and criminal activities in the state.
“Consequently, I hereby direct owners of such shanties and illegal structures along the Eleme – Onne axis of the East-West Road to vacate the area within two weeks from June 11, 2021, as the state government will go ahead to destroy these structures without any further notice.”
Wike said the government was not unmindful of the economic effect these measures would have or may have had on residents carrying out businesses in the affected areas.
He, however, stressed that government was merely discharging its constitutional responsibility to advance the collective security of all with no ethnic targets in mind or attachment to political sentiments.
He explained that the existing curfew in Rivers State will not last one day beyond necessary, and pleaded with all residents to endure the temporary inconveniences in the interest of the state and collective wellbeing of all.
“We will continue to take the war on criminality and insecurity to the den of the criminals and we will neither yield nor lower the tempo of our assault until they are comprehensively neutralized. As a matter of fact, they want us to prematurely terminate the state wide night time curfew in order for them to have the leeway to operate again and roll back the gains of the last few weeks.”
Wike said he has received reports about the excesses of the State Task Force on Illegal Trading and Parks, especially the alleged shooting of motorists, extortions and abuse of the human rights of citizens.
He assured that government would not hesitate to bring the full weight of the law on any member of the task force who crosses the boundaries of the law and rational behaviour.
The governor, who appealed to motorists and residents to be responsible road users by complying with the clear regulations against illegal trading, indiscriminate parking and irresponsible driving, noted that the situation where some motorists would have the effrontery to compete for traffic space with or even attempt to block his official vehicular convoy leaves much to be desired.
He has meanwhile, directed the management of the Rivers State Waste Management Authority to clear the state of filthiness within one week or be disbanded without any further notice.
Army Begins Shooting Exercises In Rivers
The Nigerian Army, 6 Division, has announced that it would commence its annual range classification exercise from yesterday to Sunday, June 27.
The division’s spokesman, Lt.-Col. Charles Ekeocha, said in a statement in Port Harcourt, that the exercise aimed at ascertaining the professional competence of troops on the use of firearms.
He said troops from the division and its affiliated formations and units would conduct the exercise at the Army Shooting Range in Igwuruta and Elele Barracks, both in Ikwerre Local Government Area of the state.
“The shooting exercise is a routine activity in the Nigerian Army which involves the firing of various calibre live ammunitions.
“Members of the public, especially residents of Igwuruta and Elele, as well as its environs, are advised to keep away from the general shooting area,” he stated.
The Army spokesman also advised the public not to panic over the movement of troops, military hardware and sound of gunshots.
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