- Rauf Aregbesola said numerous non-pharmaceutical steps taken by the federal government helped control COVID-19 spread in Nigeria
- The interior minister added that some proactive economic measures also reduced the impact of the virus, thereby averting the gloomy predictions by experts
- Aregebesola also commended scientists for developing the vaccine against the virus just as he urged Nigerians to take their jabs
Ado Ekiti, Ekiti state – Rauf Aregbesola, the minister of interior, says the federal government must have disappointed experts who predicted that Nigeria and other African countries would collapse under the damaging economic effects of COVID-19.
The minister made the assertion while delivering the Third Annual Lecture of the Faculty of Arts, Ekiti University, Ado Ekiti, titled, “COVID-19: The Economy and Security,” in Ado Ekiti.
Legit.ng also sighted a copy of the minister’s full speech at the event posted on his Facebook page.
Aregbesola listed some non-pharmaceutical policies put in place by the government which controlled the spread of the virus. These, according to the minister, include:
1. Empanelling of Presidential Task Force on COVID-19
3. Stoppage of inter-state movements
4. Maintaining social distance
5. Wearing of face-masks
6. Aggressive public enlightenment
Aregbesola admitted that the pandemic hit Nigeria but noted that the government was able to mitigate the consequences.
He added that the presidential task force worked with the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control and the Ministry of Health to respond positively to the occasion, including holding daily national televised briefings.
How FG managed the economy amid the pandemic
On the economy, Aregebesola listed several measures taken by the government to mitigate the adverse impacts of the pandemic. These include:
1. Transfer of N20,000 to poor and vulnerable households registered in the National Social Register (NSR)
2. Extension of the NSR from 2.6 million households to 3.6 million households
3. Provision of food rations to vulnerable households in the four states put under lockdown
4. CBN proactive interventions, including the pledge to pump N1.1 trillion into critical sectors of the economy
5. Three-month repayment moratorium on all TraderMoni, MarketMoni and FarmerMoni loans.
6. 1.3 million jobs saved through government’s stimulus package,
7. About one million new jobs created through the Economic Sustainability Plan
The interior minister also applauded the efforts of the Private Sector-led Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) for the tremendous work done to assist government and Nigerians in curbing the effect of the pandemic.
The need to get vaccinated
Speaking further, Aregbesola commended the scientists and others in the health sector for properly managing the pandemic.
The minister also hailed the health specialists for developing a vaccine in record time to assist humanity.
He subsequently urged Nigerians to go out en masse to be vaccinated at the various vaccination centres across the country.
Africa has not escaped COVID-19, WHO DG warns
Meanwhile, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the World Health Organisation (WHO), has warned that the African continent has not escaped from the coronavirus pandemic.
The WHO boss made this known on Tuesday, May 25, at the third edition of the annual UBA Africa Conversations organised to mark Africa Day and attended by Legit.ng.
The event which was moderated by billionaire Tony Elumelu featured four panellists including President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, Dr Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and the managing director of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Makhtar Diop.
Source: Legit Nigeria