President Mohammadu Buhari, has urged Nigerians to take precaution against Covid-19 (Coronavirus), however assured that the federal government is on its way to eliminating the novel virus thus there is no cause for panic.
According to a statement from the State House on Thursday, the Senior Special Assistant, Media and Publicity to the President, Mallam Garba Shehu, said the Presidency wishes to assure Nigerians that government is on top of the situation adding that there is no cause for panic as strategic measures that have been put in place are already working efficiently and have been recommended as a template.
Similarly, he noted that Nigeria, like every other country around the world, is dealing with the unexpected and unprecedented impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Muhammadu Buhari administration has taken some steps to mitigate the effects on the Nigerian people
However, Garba highlighted and recalled that in order to prevent the spread of cases imported into Nigeria, the presidency has already ordered the restrictions of travel from 13 countries with more than 1,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 each.
“Suspended visas issued to nationals of these countries. The restriction will take effect from March 21 and will remain until further notice. While Nigeria delights in welcoming the world, the safety and protection of our citizens and land must take priority”, he said.
Furthermore, he noted the President trusted relevant Ministers in his cabinet and the officials of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), to provide him with constant updates and professional counsel.
Buhari on Wednesday instructed the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to reduce the pump price of fuel from 145 naira per litre to 125 naira per litre as the novel Covid-19 pandemic has led to a crash in the global price of crude oil.
Also, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Monday announced a credit relief of N1.1Trillion Naira to businesses affected by the pandemic. The Bank has also established a facility for household, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and announced a reduction of interest rates for loans from 9% to 5%.
In his statement, Garba said: We do not want to create panic. But we will continue to update the Nigerian public with relevant information. We plead with every Nigerian to cooperate with the government in the fight against Covid-19 and obey all instructions from the NCDC. We have a high level Presidential Coordination Committee chaired by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF). This body should be allowed to carry out its duties”.
“We also plead with Nigerians not to see this most peculiar of times as one to be politicised or seen as an opportunity to regurgitate grudges against the government or the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). North, South, East, and West – all Nigerians must unite to fight this plague, irrespective of religious or ideological affiliation”.
“In this regard, populist advocacies such as the one accusing the President of “complacency” simply because he has not made a television address by ranking members of our respected parliament are cheap and sensational. These are not the times for populism and cheap politics”, he added.
President Buhari however expressed his gratitude to all those at the forefront of the fight against the deadly disease.