In trying to curb the spread of Covid-19, the Nigerian government has been proactive in its fight to mitigate the impacts of the virus while issuing lockdown directives across major cities and states. Equity International Initiative (EII) has, however, warned that the lockdown directive poses a great danger to the nation’s economy and education if an urgent solution to the virus is not found.

The Country Director of EII, Mr Chris Iyama, during a press conference, said, ‘To avoid further damage to the current bad education and economy of Nigeria, the federal and various state governments must think out of the box and devise other measures to contain the spread of the virus without necessarily locking down the nation’.

Iyama suggests closing interstate borders while reopening schools and businesses to avoid the complete collapse of the nation’s economy. He also said for a religious nation like Nigeria, completely shutting down worship centres does not resonate well, given that people draw faith and hope for survival from these places.

Concerning donations made so far towards the fight against Covid-19, Iyama said, ‘We are concerned that the government has not been very transparent about the money. We don’t know the amount that has been donated, we don’t know the amount that has been disbursed, we don’t know the measure used in the disbursement, and we don’t know the modalities used in determining the poorest of the poor’.

Also speaking at the press conference was the Director of Civil Liberty Organisation (CLO), Mr Steve Aluko, who said, ‘We cannot afford to lock down [the] Nigerian economy in perpetuity, or else we will be exposed to a more serious challenge than the [Covid-19]. The small scale industries and small businesses must not be allowed to collapse’.

He further stated that, ‘Government should channel [their] energy towards what they can do to ensure that we have more recovery than deaths, and part of it is to open up the economy timely and speedily. If people do not have access to food, water, good education and other vital needs, we may just be toying with another serious challenge that may go beyond [Covid-19]’.

Source: This Day

Photo source: Latvian Foreign Ministry

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