Coronavirus: 6 takeaways from Atiku Abubakar's advice to African leaders

Coronavirus: 6 takeaways from Atiku Abubakar's advice to African leaders

Atiku Abubakar, former vice president and the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 general election, on Tuesday, April 7, gave African leaders the economic roadmap on how to mitigate the effect of coronavirus crisis.

In a statement released by him via his social media pages, the Adamawa chieftain listed several key recommendations the African leaders should adopt to save their countries' economies.

For Nigeria, Atiku advised President Buhari to engage Saudi Arabia and Russia diplomatically to settle the crisis between the two which is affecting the price of oil and review the 2020 budget to reflect realities of the current pandemic., meanwhile, highlights six (6) major takeaways from Atiku's economic roadmap advice to African leaders.

Coronavirus: 6 key takeaways from Atiku Abubakar's advice to African leaders
Atiku said African leaders must unite to save their economy and defeat the coronavirus scourge.
Source: Facebook

1. Nigeria, like other countries, is not immune to coronavirus

Atiku submitted that with the dangerous direction of the coronavirus pandemic, Nigerians must not have a false sense of security that the Italy and United States experience cannot occur.

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"We should not take solace in any false sense of security that nations like Nigeria are either immune to the vagaries of this plague or that we would not be as hard hit.

"The reason countries in the Western Hemisphere are reporting more significant numbers than developing nations is primarily due to the availability of testing and real-time information."

2. African leaders must unite to defeat coronavirus

Atiku described the trend of coronavirus in Africa as dangerous and called on African leaders to unite and tackle the pandemic together and avert its effects on the economy of Africa.

In his words, "Nigeria and other African nations are yet to see the worst of the effects of this scourge.

"That is why we should unite together and seek debt forgiveness, as a direct consequence of the impact of this pandemic on our economies. This crisis should force a commonality of purpose in Africa."

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3. Nigeria, others must not panic over coronavirus and "doomsday scenarios"

The former vice president also called for calm amid the growing tension of coronavirus pandemic on the African continent.

He expressed hope that since Africa can defeat Ebola virus, coronavirus too can be defeated by "applying that same level-headedness to this (Covid-19) crisis."

4. We (Africans) must fall back on ourselves or we will fall headlong

Giving his economic roadmap out of the Covid-19 crisis, Atiku said Africa cannot afford to wait for help from the West.

He explained that with the scourge of the pandemic, the continent will not feature much on the list of priorities of the world's leading countries.

"This is the time for every money made in Africa to stay in Africa. We have hospitals to build. We have economies to reboot. The world is too preoccupied with its challenges to prioritise Africa, and so we have to prioritise ourselves," he noted.

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5. Nigeria must avoid debt relief funds and cut profligacy

Atiku noted that at this period, Nigeria cannot afford to add to its deluge of foreign debts. He called on the federal government to cut down its extravagance and embark on internal spending control.

6. Nigeria must cut down the 2020 budget and reduce expenditure

Atiku further explained that with the outbreak of coronavirus in Nigeria, the 2020 budget becomes useless, hence federal government must come up with a realistic fiscal policy.

"We are certainly no longer in a position to budget ₦100 billion-plus for our legislatures and almost ₦50 billion for the presidency (in truth, we were never in a position to do that).

"Other African nations must likewise re-budget and reassign and reduce expenditure," the former vice president noted.

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