NIGERIA has been offered a €50m grant by the European Union (EU) to help her combat the global coronavirus pandemic as part of the international community’s assistance package to developing nations.
Although Nigeria only has 343cases of coronavirus and has suffered just 10 deaths, the federal government has taken firm action to contain the spread of the pandemic. Yesterday, President Muhammadu Buhari extended the lockdown in Lagos and Ogun States and the Federal Capital Territory Abuja for a further 14 days in a nationwide broadcast.
Despite the fact that the federal government’s measures have been praised as preventative, there is widespread concern about the economic impact of the lockdown. In Lagos and Ogun states, there is now widespread unrest as hardship bites because the government has not backed up the lockdown with the distribution of essential items like food, medicines and toiletries.
Ketil Karlsen, the head of the EU delegation to Nigeria, commended President Buhari for his address to the nation, describing it as powerful. He took to Twitter to praise the president for his powerful address to the nation last night and for what he described as the bold and necessary measures taken.
President Buhari first ordered a two-week lockdown on March 30, saying he took the decision to contain the spread of coronavirus in the country. Yesterday, he added that the government decided to extend the lockdown to ensure that the virus, which is now being transmitted within communities is checked.
So far, Covid-19 has spread across 19 states of Nigeria and the Federal Capital Territory. Lagos State, which is the epicentre of the crisis now has 189 cases, representing 55% of the total figure.