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West Africa

Presidency reveals plans for economy, healthcare, others after COVID-19

Abuja has revealed measures by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to assuage apprehension, particularly in respect of the economy, healthcare, job security and general wellbeing of Nigerians among others after the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) wave in the country.

The measures, the presidency said, are coming against the backdrop of the global anxiety on what the future holds for humanity post-COVID-19.

“Naturally, Nigerians are not immune from the disquietude, as they belong to the global community,” stated Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina.

The statement highlighted measures Buhari had taken, and would further take, to make life easy for Nigerians.

It explained that an economic team headed by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, had already been set up to examine the impact of COVID-19 on the economy.

Noting that the Economic Sustainability Committee (ESC) headed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo would define a post-COVID-19 economy for Nigeria, the statement also disclosed the setting up of a task force on the free movement of farm produce headed by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development.

As long term measure, emphasis will be placed on integrating local content in proven researches in the cure, and production of materials in the heath sector.”

Further, the presidency disclosed plans for large scale installation of residential solar systems, utilising mainly local materials, and expansion of the Social Investment Programme (SIP).

According to the statement, the 2020 to 2022 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and the Budget 2020 assumptions and targets have already been revised, and that time-sensitive expenditure will be prioritised over less critical spending.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, has said the ministry is fully prepared to take advantage of the opportunities of COVID-19 by developing home-grown solutions to meet national demands.

Onu disclosed this via Skype while addressing participants of senior executive course No.42, 2020 of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, Jos, yesterday in Abuja.

He said agencies of the ministry were already providing indigenous solutions to the problems created by the pandemic through the production of hand sanitisers, disinfectants, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) like high-quality facemasks, body immune boosters, vaccine, and test kits

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