PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday has been appointed the champion of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) response at an extraordinary summit by ECOWAS leaders
The appointment took place at the Extraordinary ECOWAS Summit on COVID-19 which was held via teleconferencing under the Chairmanship of His Excellency, Mahamadou Issoufou, President of the Republic of Niger.
During the teleconference, Buhari called on fellow ECOWAS leaders to look beyond the challenges posed by the COVID19 pandemic and tap into various opportunities that it presents for the betterment of lives in the member-states.
“In every challenging situation such as the current one, there are also opportunities.
“Our region must, therefore, seek to find those opportunities provided by this gloomy global outlook for its benefit by embarking on the implementation of such critical policies, which before now, will be difficult to accept.” –Muhammadu Buhari
While calling on his colleagues to intensify collaboration in order to save the region from “this deadly pandemic through sharing our experiences and best practices,” Buhari outlined some measures taken by his government in response to the pandemic.
The reduction of interest rates by CBN, the inauguration of the Presidential task force, the provision of relief materials including medical, food and cash supplies among others.
Buhari also added that unprecedented economic uncertainties, including severe fiscal and foreign exchange constraints, amid a slowdown in global economic growth that most nations are grappling with, have made it imperative for the sub-region to refocus on accelerating the implementation of the popular vision of ‘ECOWAS of the people’ by adopting dynamic regional policies aimed at providing relief to its citizens.
The President affirmed Nigeria’s solidarity with other member states as they battle the virus.
“At a time of global uncertainty such as this, caused by the devastating impact of the COVID-19, let me convey Nigeria’s solidarity with all the Member States as we collectively battle to defeat the pandemic,” Muhammadu Buhari
Buhari on 31 ordered the lockdown of Lagos and Ogun state including the FCT after the NCDC confirmed 139 number of cases of the novel virus, this as an immediate response to curb the COVID-19 pandemic.
The lockdown which was extended by an additional two weeks has experienced a surge of the virus which is now at 879 cases across 26 states of the federation.
Nigeria has tested only about 9,500, with a testing capacity of 500 tests per day in recent times since the arrival of novel coronavirus in the country.