By Adesina Wahab
The Minister of Interior, Mr Rauf Aregbesola, has said the economic challenges that have followed the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, necessitate that people should be more humane and considerate of others.
He said the times foisted on the country by the pandemic also require personal sacrifices.
Aregbesola stated this in Lagos on Wednesday while delivering the keynote address at the Third Annual Conference of the Faculty of Management Sciences, Lagos State University, LASU, Ojo, Lagos.
According to the minister, it was in the light of that that the Federal Government took some steps to ameliorate the suffering of the citizens.
Aregbesola, who was represented by Hon. Babatunde Olaoluwa, said during the peak of the lockdown that followed the outbreak of the disease, Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product, GDP, fell by as much as 23 per cent.
“Household income also fell by about 50 percent during the period, while remittances from Nigerians in the Disapora, which is about 5 percent of the GDP, also declined by about 25 per cent.
“To ameliorate the suffering of the people, government increased the number of households being given N20,000 cash transfer to 3.6 million which is about 11 million people.
“Moreover, people who were given loans by banks were given three months of grace not to repay.
“The government took a number of steps to help individuals and corporate bodies in a number of ways so that the pain of the pandemic would not be too much on them. Government was also able to navigate the economy in a way that there was no collapse of the system,” he said.
The minister also said the FG came to the rescue of state governments by extending financial support to them.
The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Ibiyemi Olatunji-Bello, who was represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academics, Prof. Wahab Elias, said the theme of the conference.
“Managing pubic and private sectors for sustainable development in the new normal,” was apt.
She said the university has taken a number of steps to appropriately respond to the new things brought by the pandemic.
The Dean of the Faculty, Prof. Babatunde Yusuf, said the private sector had been facing numerous challenges before the pandemic came on board, but that it also affected the public sector which ought to regulate things.
He added that over 150 papers would be delivered at the conference and that they would help in the formulation and the implementation of policies by the authorities.