By Chesa Chesa
President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday assured Nigerians that they need no fret much about their wellbeing after the Covid-19 pandemic blows over, because he has got their back covered.
In response to the anxiety over the future, particularly in respect of the economy, healthcare, job security, and general wellbeing, Buhari said he had taken and would still take more steps to cushion the impact that the disease would have wrought on the citizens.
In a statement issued on his behalf by his spokesman, Femi Adesina, to President listed some of the steps to include two economic teams to secure the economy, more local content in healthcare solutions and infrastructure, mass housing schemes, rural road construction programmes, and installation of residential solar systems, among other initiatives.
According to the statement: “There is global anxiety on what the future holds for humanity post-COVID-19, particularly in respect of the economy, healthcare, job security, and general wellbeing.
“Naturally, Nigerians are not immune from the disquietude, as they belong to the global community.
“Below is a checklist of some measures that President Muhammadu Buhari has taken, and will further take, to make life abundant for Nigerians. This should assuage some apprehensions:
Ø An economic team, headed by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning has been set up to examine the impact of COVID-19 on the economy.
Ø Economic Sustainability Committee headed by the Vice President to define a post-COVID-19 economy for Nigeria.
Ø Task force set up on free movement of farm produce headed by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Ø Plans afoot to tackle weak health systems and infrastructure through establishment of standard laboratories, intensive care units, and isolation centres in all states of the Federation. The health infrastructure will eventually be recalibrated for the good of the people, and in readiness for future emergencies.
Ø As long term measure, emphasis will be placed on integrating local content in proven researches in cure, and production of materials in the heath sector.
Ø A Fiscal Sustainability Plan to complement the suite of monetary and banking interventions recently announced by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Ø A mass agricultural programme to be put in place.
Ø Major rural road construction programme.
Ø Mass housing programme.
Ø Large scale installation of residential solar systems, utilizing mainly local materials.
Ø Expansion of the Social Investment Programme.
Ø The 2020-2022 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and the Budget 2020 assumptions and targets have already been revised.
Ø Time-sensitive expenditures are to be prioritized over less critical spending.
Ø Extant financial controls are to be strengthened to detect, eliminate and sanction instances of waste, funds misappropriation and corruption.