Covid-19: Nigeria plans changes in critical sectors, says Osinbajo
Nigerian Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday said the country will take advantage of the necessitated by the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic to effect significant changes in the critical sectors of the economy.
Osinbajo spoke at a virtual meeting with representatives of the international community from the United States (US), the European Union (EU), the United Kingdom (UK), agencies of the United Nations, World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
“I thank you for your generous comments about the Economic Sustainability Plan. We intend to implement that as closely as possible. We hope that when we get to some of the more technical aspects and full implementation, we will then be able to work with you and see in what areas you will be in the position to assist.
“We also look at the pandemic and post-pandemic period as a time when we can make some useful changes. We really are working towards ensuring that we take full advantage of the crisis.
“There is no question at all as to our determination to ensure that we are able to quickly surmount the challenges,” Osinbajo told the meeting, which was also attended by the minister of Trade and investment, Niyi Adebayo.
In his remarks, the Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator of the United Nations System in Nigeria, Edward Kallon who led the delegation said Nigeria’s response to the pandemic is well planned and articulated, noting that interactions between the Federal government and stakeholders would aid a smooth implementation of the plan.
Kallon and other members of the delegation commended the development and approval of the Economic Sustainability Plan, offering to assist in its implementation.
“We want to support the vision of (Nigerian) government in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the Economic Sustainability Plan gives us the opportunity.”
He noted that members of the delegation will see how the international community can support the Nigerian government “with what you are doing.”
Kallon disclosed that the delegation wants to ensure there is an international alignment in support of the Nigerian government’s response.
Other representatives of foreign governments and international agencies at the meeting include Ambassador Mary Beth Leonard, the United States Ambassador to Nigeria; Ambassador Ketil Karlsen, Head of the European Union Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS; Ambassador Catriona Laing, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria represented by John Primrose, the Acting British High Commissioner to Nigeria; Chris Pycroft, Head of the Department for International Development (DFID) in Nigeria; and Mohamed Yahya, Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Nigeria.
Others are; Kurt Cornelis, Head of Cooperation, European Union Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS; Mr Shubham Chaudhuri, the Country Director of the World Bank in Nigeria; Jesmin Rahman, Resident Representative and Chief of Mission, International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Nigeria, among others.