By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA—VICE President Yemi Osinbajo and governors who are members of the National Economic Council, NEC, yesterday met to discuss on more palliatives to cushion the effect of Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic
The Special NEC committee, which was held via videoconference anchored from the Presidential Villa, urged members to increase public enlightment because of the ravaging COVID-19.
The Committee received the report of its Technical Working Group, which proposed an array of policy options and recommendations on how federal, state and local governments could bring relief to the people and take other adequate measures in containing and responding to the adverse economic effects of the pandemic.
A statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, office of the Vice President, Laolu Akande, stated that the Special Committee of the National Economic Council on COVID-19 was working hard to develop additional measures to alleviate the challenges faced by Nigerians because of the implications of the global pandemic in the country.
According to him, the Committee, which is chaired by Vice President Osinbajo, held its second meeting yesterday, adding that the committee was saddled with the task of coordinating the federal and state governments’ responses to the impact of the disease.
Akande in the statement said: “The NEC Committee received the report of its Technical Working Group, which proposed an array of policy options and recommendations on how federal, state and local governments can bring relief to the people and take other adequate measures in containing and responding to the adverse economic effects of the pandemic.”
Speaking at the meeting, the Vice President emphasised the importance of the assignment and the urgency required, asking that public enlightenment and sensitisation on the seriousness of the pandemic should be further intensified at all government levels so that more Nigerians would become aware of the compelling and critical dimensions of the situation.
He assured the governors that “The Federal Government was already packaging further resources for a comprehensive economic response to alleviate the challenges of the pandemic, support the states and provide succour to Nigerians in a timely and effective manner.”
He disclosed that the newly-created Economic Sustainability Committee, ESW, constituted by the President will also be meeting this week to start its work and respond to the situation appropriately. Participants at the meeting were governors Kayode Fayemi, Ekiti; Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, Kaduna; Abdullahi Sule, Nasarawa; Mohammed Abubakar, Jigawa; Godwin Obaseki, Edo; David Umahi, Ebonyi; Dapo Abiodun, Ogun and Atiku Bagudu, Kebbi.
Others were the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed and the Director-General of the Budget Office, Mr. Ben Akabueze, among several other top officials.