Nigeria's tally of coronavirus cases now stands at 44, according to the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC).

"Two new cases of #COVID19 have been confirmed in Nigeria: 1 in FCT (Abuja) and 1 in Bauchi," the NCDC tweeted.

"The cases have travel history to Germany and the UK.

"As at 06:25 pm on 24th March, there are 44 confirmed cases of #COVID19 in Nigeria. 2 have been discharged with 1 death."

A current breakdown of cases by states stands as follows:

  1. Lagos- 29
  2. FCT- 8
  3. Ogun- 3
  4. Ekiti- 1
  5. Oyo- 1
  6. Edo- 1
  7. Bauchi-1

Total: 44 confirmed cases

The President's right hand man

It is believed that the new cases are those involving President Muhammadu Buhari's all powerful Chief of Staff (CoS), Abba Kyari and the Bauchi State Governor Bala Mohammed.

Kyari travelled to Germany in early March alongside other Nigerian officials for meetings with engineering and industrial giant Siemens AG.

Germany has reported some 27,000 cases of coronavirus and 114 deaths from the pandemic at the time of reporting.

Kyari has a history of medical complications, including diabetes, and is the gatekeeper to the president.

Many who wish to deal with Buhari must go through Kyari, including Nigeria’s top politicians and businessmen, Reuters writes.

Matthew Page, an associate fellow with the Africa Programme at Chatham House, described Kyari as the “lynchpin” of the Buhari government. “This has the potential to further slow down decision-making within top tiers of Nigerian government,” he said.