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NECA urges CBN to tackle supply-driven inflationary factors



The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to collaborate with relevant government agencies in addressing supply-driven inflationary factors.

The Director-General, Mr Adewale-Smatt Oyerinde, said this in a statement on Wednesday, in Lagos.

He said that such factors include high energy prices; high costs of logistics and Foreign Exchange pressure, among others.

Oyerinde was reacting to the decision by the Monetary Policy Committee of CBN to raise the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) by 25 basis points to 18.75 per cent.

According to him, such increase can be chaotic to the growth trajectory of the nation.


“It is apt that the apex bank collaborate with fiscal authorities in addressing the fundamentals behind the persistent increase in consumer prices, which has defied the policy measures put in place by previous rate hikes.

“Tightening monetary policy stance by raising the anchor rate has proved ineffective, as inflation has been rising steadily and could climb as high as 25 per cent before year end.

“The focus of CBN should be on tackling the structural drivers of inflation, mostly the supply-side, “ he said.

The NECA boss said it was understandable that CBN’s stance in raising interest rate was needed to attract foreign inflows into the economy to moderate pressure on the foreign exchange rate.

He said, however, that in the light of hardship being experienced by the populace, it would have been appealing that CBN retained the MPR for a while, to observe the impact of the current executive orders on the economy.


“In our view, high cost of borrowing is injurious for business growth; amid tough business conditions, small and medium enterprises need to be supported with relatively low interest rates to stimulate access to liquidity.

“The focus should be driving up investment and ensuring the sustainability of local businesses as one of the key elements to improving economic stability, “ Oyerinde said.


Diphtheria: Children at risk as 7,202 cases are confirmed in Nigeria



A staggering 7,202 cases of diphtheria, a highly contagious bacterial infection that can be fatal without treatment, were confirmed in Nigeria last week.

The outbreak has been particularly severe among children under 14, with three-quarters of cases (73.6%) in this age group.

Most cases have been recorded in Kano state, Nigeria’s second most populous state. In the past three months, there have been 453 deaths from diphtheria in Nigeria.

Diphtheria is a vaccine-preventable disease, but low vaccination rates in Nigeria have made the outbreak possible. Only 42% of children under 15 in Nigeria are fully protected from diphtheria.

Diphtheria symptoms begin with a sore throat and fever. In severe cases, the bacteria produce a toxin that can block the airway, causing difficulty breathing and swallowing. The toxin can also spread to other body parts, causing heart kidney problems and nerve damage.


Save the Children is launching a wide-scale health response in the three most impacted states of Kano, Yobe, and Katsina. The organization is deploying expert health and supply chain staff to help overstretched clinics detect and treat diphtheria cases and to support mass vaccination campaigns.

However, Save the Children warns that a mass vaccination campaign will only be successful if the vaccine shortage is urgently addressed.

Severe shortages in Nigeria of the required vaccine and the antitoxin needed to treat the disease mean that the situation could continue to escalate, placing many children at risk of severe illness and death.

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WHO releases $16m to tackle cholera, says Director-General



The World Health Organisation (WHO) has released 16 million dollars from the WHO Contingency Fund for Emergencies to tackle cholera.

Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General said this during an online news conference.

Ghebreyesus said that the organisation was providing essential supplies, coordinating the on the ground response with partners, supporting countries to detect, prevent and treat cholera, and informing people how to protect themselves.

“To support this work, we have appealed for 160 million dollars, and we have released more than 16 million dollars from the WHO Contingency Fund for Emergencies.

“But the real solution to cholera lies in ensuring everyone has access to safe water and sanitation, which is an internationally recognized human right,” he said.


According to him, in the previous week, WHO published new data showing that cases reported in 2022 were more than double those in 2021.

He said that the preliminary data for 2023 suggested was likely to be even worse.

“So far, 28 countries have reported cases in 2023 compared with 16 during the same period in 2022.

“The countries with the most concerning outbreaks right now are Ethiopia, Haiti, Iraq and Sudan.

“Significant progress has been made in countries in Southern Africa, including Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, but these countries remain at risk as the rainy season approaches,” Ghebreyesus said.


According to him, the worst affected countries and communities are poor, without access to safe drinking water or toilets.

He said that they also face shortages of oral cholera vaccine and other supplies, as well as overstretched health workers, who are dealing with multiple disease outbreaks and other health emergencies.

On COVID-19, Ghebreyesus said that as the northern hemisphere winter approaches, the organisation continued to see concerning trends.

He said that among the relatively few countries that report them, both hospitalisations and ICU admissions have increased in the past 28 days, particularly in the Americas and Europe.

WHO boss said that meanwhile, vaccination levels among the most at-risk groups remained worryingly low.


“Two-thirds of the world’s population has received a complete primary series, but only one-third has received an additional, or “booster” dose.

“COVID-19 may no longer be the acute crisis it was two years ago, but that does not mean we can ignore it,” he said.

According to him, countries invested so much in building their systems to respond to COVID-19.

He urged countries to sustain those systems, to ensure people can be protected, tested and treated for COVID-19 and other infectious threats.

“That means sustaining systems for collaborative surveillance, community protection, safe and scalable care, access to countermeasures and coordination,” he said.

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