Although Nigeria and other African countries appear to be less hit by the coronavirus pandemic, unlike the Western countries, and it appears the Federal Government is not doing enough.
This is according to the Former Vice President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar, who expects more from the President Muhammadu Buhari led-administration.
To mitigate the damaging effects of coronavirus, Atiku expects the government to look inward and stop seeking foreign loans and avoid visiting developed nations with cap in hands.
Why it matters: The business mogul explained that Africa cannot think of falling back on China, or the West. According to him, when a country like the US is struggling to supply its own healthcare workers with personal protective equipment, Africa will not be in her priority list.
He said, “Where China is wondering how to explain itself to the world when this dies down, our challenges will be far from their minds. We must fall back on ourselves, or we will fall headlong. We must take responsibility for navigating our way out of a challenge that was forced on us from outside the continent.
“This is the time for every money made in Africa to stay in Africa. We have hospitals to build. We have economies to reboot. We have citizens to care for and return to work. We certainly should not be sending money out of Africa and into Asia and the West. Not now and not for the foreseeable future.”
Nigeria’s Presidency is unqualified: While stressing that Nigeria government lacks qualified hands, the former Vice President made known that Nigeria’s attempt to borrow $6.9 billion at this time shows it delusory state as “no one has that type of money to throw out”.
Atiku went on to advise that Nigeria and other African countries need to do better in order to combat the pandemic as he emphasized that foreign help is out of reach. He, therefore, advised that we avoid panic, cut cost and manage our resources efficiently.
He also added that we use everything in our disposal such as the Abacha loots held back by various Western governments. He said it should be immediately and unconditionally returned to Nigeria.
“China and America, previously our two largest creditors, have taken hits to their economies to the tune of trillions of dollars. If they could, they would consider taking from us at this stage.
“Why is it that the Nigerian government is always quick to want to borrow at every instance? It shows a lazy mindset and an inability to take those sacrifices necessary to get the economy into shape. Worse still it proves that we do not, as of yet, have the ability to think outside the box for genuine solutions.
“We cannot be looking to borrow huge sums at the same time our officials are taking delivery of foreign-made luxury cars. We cannot be considered a serious country when we refuse to cut down on profligacy and instead seek outside help to fund our inefficiencies.”
Atiku stated that Nigeria and other African countries should not take solace in the false sense of securities.
He added that part of the false notion is that we are immune to the virus or the weather here isn’t conducive for it.
According to him, the only reason Western countries are reporting more significant numbers than developing nations is primarily due to the availability of testing and real-time information.