ECOWAS leaders nominate Buhari as Response Champion for COVID-19

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Under the aegis of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government, the leaders of West African countries have named President Muhammadu Buhari as champion of the answer to COVID-19.

President Buhari’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, disclosed this in a statement on Thursday.

He clarified that the appointment took place at the COVID-19 Extraordinary ECOWAS Summit which took place via teleconference.

The meeting was chaired by the President of the Republic of Niger and Chair of Heads of State and Government of the ECOWAS Authority, Mahamadou Issoufou.

Throughout the teleconference, President Buhari called on fellow ECOWAS members to look beyond the problems raised by the COVID -19 pandemic and explore various opportunities it has provided to improve lives in member states.

“There are opportunities in any difficult situation like the current one too,” he was quoted as saying in the interview.

The President added, “Our country must therefore try to find the opportunities that this bleak global outlook provides to its benefit by embarking on implementing these vital policies, which will be difficult to consider until now.”

He called on his colleagues to improve cooperation by sharing their insights and best practices to save the world from the pandemic.

Therefore, President Buhari outlined some steps his government has taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Which include the reduction of interest rates on all relevant interventions by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) from nine to five per cent and the implementation of a one-year moratorium on CBN intervention facilities, as well as the installation of the Presidential Task Force to coordinate national efforts to combat the spread of the virus and to ensure productivity and effectiveness in line with Nigeria.

Other measures, according to the President, are provision of relief materials, including medical and food supplies, as well as conditional cash transfers of N20,000 each for poor and vulnerable households; and the establishment of more isolation centres and testing facilities to contain the spread of the disease.

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