President Muhammadu Buhari has finally addressed Nigerians on the coronavirus pandemic and revealed his administration's plans and actions to contain it.
The president addressed Nigerians in the evening of Sunday, March 29, via a live broadcast on the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA).
In this piece, Legit.ng highlights key points from President Buhari's much-awaited speech on the Covid-19 pandemic.
1. Lockdown of Lagos, Ogun, and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT)
In a bid to deal with the coronavirus pandemic and ensure it does not spread to other states, President Buhari announced that Lagos, Ogun and the FCT will be locked down for 14 days, effective from Monday, March 30.
2. Journalists, others exempted from lockdown
Due to the nature of their jobs, journalists, those involved in food production, private security companies, petroleum distributors and retailers, and electricity workers are exempted from the lockdown order.
3. Coronavirus has no cure, at the moment
President Buhari noted that the novel coronavirus does not have a cure at the moment. He, however, said his administration is in touch with relevant institutions working on getting a cure for the deadly virus.
In the meantime, President Buhari said "the best and most efficient way to avoid getting infected is through regular hygienic and sanitary practices as well as social distancing."
4. Conversion of all federal owned stadia to isolation centres
To ensure there are enough isolation centres for infected Nigerians, President Buhari directed that all the stadiums owned by the federal government, pilgrims camps and other facilities to isolation centres and makeshift hospitals.
5. Stipend for the most vulnerable
To cushion the effect of the stay-at-home order, President Buhari announced that the most vulnerable in the country will get stipends.
He directed that the conditional cash transfers for the next two months be paid immediately to the vulnerable.
President Buhari also urged privileged Nigerians to assist those who are vulnerable within their communities.
He also disclosed that the IDPs will get two months of food rations in the coming weeks.
6. Suspension of loan repayment to FG
Also to relieve Nigerians of some financial burdens in the face of Covid-19, President Buhari directed the suspension of repayment of federal government loans (TraderMoni, MarketMoni and FarmerMoni loans) for three months.
The president added that the three-month loan repayment suspension also applied to loans issued by the Bank of Industry, Bank of Agriculture and the Nigeria Export-Import Bank.
7. Movements of private jets are also suspended
President Buhari also announced the suspension of the movements of both (passenger) commercial and private jets.
He, however, noted that special permits will be issued on a needs basis.
8. N15 billion approved for intervention
President Buhari also stated in the nationwide broadcast that his administration had provided an initial intervention of N15bn to support the national efforts to contain and control the spread of Covid-19.
9. The NCDC boss received a presidential commendation
President Buhari commended the efforts of Chikwe Ihekweazu, the director general of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
He said: "Indeed, the Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) was one of ten global health leaders invited by the World Health Organisation to visit China and understudy their response approach. I am personally very proud of Dr Ihekweazu for doing this on behalf of all Nigerians.
"Since his return, the NCDC has been implementing numerous strategies and programs in Nigeria to ensure that the adverse impact of this virus on our country is minimized. We ask all Nigerians to support the work the Federal Ministry of Health and NCDC are doing, led by the Presidential Task Force."
Meanwhile, the national efforts to contain the pandemic are being handled by the NCDC under the leadership of the Federal Ministry of Health and the Presidential Task Force.
Meanwhile, the general overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Enoch Adeboye, said on Sunday, March 29, that the current COVID-19 outbreak ravaging the world will end soon.
The respected man of God said only those “whose time has come” will die of the coronavirus disease.
Legit.ng notes that over 600,000 persons across the world have been infected with over 25,000 deaths recorded so far.
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