A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abia state, Chief Ndukwe Iko has called on the federal government to adopt globally recognized standards in overcoming the impact of COVID-19 on the economy.
Chief Iko, a former governorship aspirant in Abia state, said that there is a need for the government to scale down on major capital projects at this juncture and face the challenges in health care and food sustainability.
Speaking with newsmen in Abia recently, Chief Iko advised the Nigerian Government to continue to be innovative, share other countries’ successful innovations, and apply all useful measures to sustain the economy.
“COVID-19 gave the world punctuation that will leave almost an eternal scare on the body of a confusing world. Nobody had prepared for a pandemic of this magnitude and cost, even the superpowers. The scientists, the political leaders, the economist are all at a loss as to the cause, the cost, and the impact of this totally strange pandemic.
“The strategy now is for the government to do anything other nations are doing to sustain a defence against this battle. The Nigerian Government must continue to be innovative, share other countries’ successful innovations, and apply all the internationally accepted safety modules in the struggle to defeat this superficially contagious and deadly pandemic.
“Short term economic strategy at wartime is to sustain a living economy. Any strategy that will ensure food security to the people is good for now. The government must scale down on major capital projects at this juncture and face the challenges in health care and food sustainability” he said.
While stating that test kits and finances could be responsible for why many Nigerians have not been tested for the COVID-19, he appealed to government and relevant agencies to hasten up with testing to avoid upsurge in number of positive cases.
“Resources and supplies have remained very challenging elements of this fight against the pandemic. Countries are competing to get the right quantities of supplies from manufacturers who are completely overwhelmed with demands. Indeed Nigeria is not testing enough. Not anywhere near, for instance, what we see of the USA and some of our African neighbors.
“It is very dangerous and may make us suffer great losses for a very long time with this disease. It will not be good that whilst other countries are flattening their curves, ours will be rising which will give us the toga of the epicenter of the disease. The world will stigmatize us. Our economy shall be totally damaged. The government must do all it can to scale up testing now, considering our huge population” he said.
On whether he thinks it’s time to relax the ban on Inter-State movement, he said, “Coronavirus like other known viruses has come to stay. No amount of human fight will totally obliterate it from amongst us. It can only take the supernatural to eliminate it permanently; very soon it shall be handled the same way as other viruses, so simply, without the level of panic and trepidation that subsists now. Governments should work ingeniously with caution and not fears going forward to ease the lockdown and return to full economic engagement and activities across states and regions”.