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Nigeria’s Interior Minister, Rauf Aregbesola, has disclosed that the Federal Government must have disappointed experts who predicted that Nigeria and other African countries would collapse under the damaging economic effects of COVID-19.
The Director of Press, Ministry of Interior, Mrs Blessing Lere-Adams, made this known in a statement yesterday in Abuja.
According to her, the minister made the assertion while delivering the Third Annual Lecture of the Faculty of Arts, Ekiti University, Ado Ekiti, titled, “COVID-19: The Economy and Security,” in Ado Ekiti.
Aregbesola stated that the enforcement of non-pharmaceutical policies of lockdown, isolation, stopping inter-state movements, maintaining social distance, wearing of face-masks and aggressive public enlightenment, proved to be effective in significantly halting the spread of the disease.
‘The pandemic hit us but the government was able to mitigate the consequences.
‘It also brought out the capacity of Nigerians for resilience in the face of adversity, and human kindness in the way a lot of our compatriots demonstrated generosity to the less privileged in our midst.
‘The Federal Government empanelled the Presidential Task Force which immediately swung into action, coordinating with the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control and the Ministry of Health, to respond positively to the occasion, including holding daily national televised briefing.’
The minister noted that the fatalities recorded, though much regretted, could have been worse, in the light of projections by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, as well as the World Health Organisation (WHO) that Nigeria, among some other developing countries, would suffer heavy casualties from the disease.
He said that Bill Gates was later reported to have heaved a sigh of relief that his prediction of mass casualties was falsified.
He, however, commended the scientists and others in the health sector for properly managing the pandemic and also developing a vaccine in record time to assist humanity.
Aregbesola subsequently urged Nigerians to go out en masse to be vaccinated at the various vaccination centres across the country.
AFRICA TODAY NEWS, NEW YORK