Interior Minister Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has described how the federal government has disappointed “world experts” who had predicted that Nigeria and other African countries would collapse under the damaging economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, which crippled world economies and well-developed health systems Countries collapsed.
The minister made this statement while delivering the third annual lecture by the Faculty of Arts at Ekiti State University, Ado Ekiti, entitled Covid-19: The Economy and Security, on Monday in Ado, capital of Ekiti State.
Aregbesola said that enforcing non-pharmaceutical measures to lock down, isolate, stop movement between states, maintain social distance, wear face masks, and use aggressive public education has been effective in significantly increasing the spread of the disease to stop.
“COVID-19 hit us, but the government has been able to mitigate the consequences. It also demonstrated the ability of the Nigerian people to withstand adversity and the milk of human goodness in the manner in which many of our compatriots showed generosity and kindness to the less privileged among us.
“The federal government set up the Presidential Task Force, which went into action immediately, coordinating with the NCDC and the Department of Health, coordinating all government responses, and hosting daily national television news,” noted the minister.
Aregbesola noted that the deaths recorded, while deeply regretted, could have been worse given projections by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and WHO that Nigeria, along with several other developing countries, would suffer heavy losses. He noted that Bill Gates later reportedly breathed a sigh of relief that his prediction of mass casualties was bogus.
The minister, the scientist and everyone else who works in the health sector commended for properly managing the pandemic and developing a vaccine in record time to support humanity. He then advised Nigerians to get mass vaccinated at various vaccination centers across the country.
On the economic side, the minister praised the efforts of the private sector-led Coalition Against Covid-19 (CACOVID) for the tremendous work that has been done to assist the government and Nigerians in combating the effects of the pandemic. He also pointed out that in April 2020 the federal government started remitting N 20,000 to poor and vulnerable households registered in the National Social Register (NSR).
“The NSR was increased from 2.6 million households (around 11 million people) to 3.6 million households during the Covid-19 crisis. In the same April, the Federal Ministry for Humanitarian Affairs started disaster management and social development with the provision of food rations to endangered households in the four banned federal states. “
He went on to say that the CBN has pledged proactive measures to pump 1.1 trillion NGN into critical economic sectors.
“The federal government has introduced a three-month repayment moratorium for all TraderMoni, MarketMoni and FarmerMoni loans. This is eminently useful. These beneficiaries might not have been in a good position to repay the interest-free loans they took out during the economic stagnation and empty streets. “
Ogbeni Aregbesola said the government’s stimulus package saved 1.3 million jobs, while Vice President Yemi Osinbajo’s economic sustainability plan created nearly a million new jobs on behalf of the federal government.
The Vice Chancellor of Ekiti State University, Professor Edward Olanikeku, had previously praised Interior Minister Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola for accepting the school’s invitation. He advised students, staff and all Nigerians to follow COVID-19 protocols by taking the vaccine and constantly using face masks and other non-pharmaceutical measures.
Also the chairman of the event, Honorary Chairman of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, Hon. Funminiyi Afuye, noted that COVID-19 is having a negative impact on Nigeria’s economy and security as some gangsters public and security shortly after the lockdown caused by the pandemic was eased Destroyed private properties as part of the EndSARS protest.
Avant-Garde News Nigeria