Buhari orders ministers to develop economic policy, extends restriction order

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President Muhammadu Buhari has directed that an inter-ministerial committee should develop a new economic policy that would reflect the realities of the impact of covid-19 in the country.

The president directed that the ministers of Industries, Trade and Investment; Aviation; Communication and Digital Economy; Science and Technology; Transportation; Interior; Health; Works and Housing; Labour and Employment; and Education, to develop the policy.

He directed that the inter-ministerial committee should be supported by the Presidential Economic Advisory Council, and the Economic Sustainability Committee in coming up with the economic policy.

President Buhari also directed that the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, National Security Adviser (NSA), the Vice Chairman of the National Food Security Council, and the Chairman of the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative to work with the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 to ensure the impact of the pandemic on 2020 planting season is minimised.

The President gave these directives on Monday in a national broadcast monitored by IMPACT NEWS.

Buhari who expressed concern over the increase numbers of confirmed cases in the country, extended the 14 days lockdown imposed on Lagos, Ogun and the FCT by two weeks.

“It has become necessary to extend the current restriction of movement in Lagos and Ogun states as well as the FCT effective from 11:59pm on Monday, 13th of April 2020.”

He advised that Nigerians should continue to take responsibility for the recommended measured to prevent the spread of the virus.

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“I will remind all Nigerians to continue to take responsibility for the recommended measures to prevent transmission including maintaining physical distancing, good personal hygiene and staying at home,” he said.

He also commended the efforts of healthcare providers in the country who are in the frontline in the fight against the virus. He assured that his administration would introduce more measures to motivate the healthcare workers.

Describing the healthcare workers as ‘heroes’, Buhari said, “You are our heroes, and as a nation we would ever remain grateful for your sacrifice during this very difficult times.”

As at late hours of Monday, Nigeria has 343 confirmed cases with 10 fatalities. The cases spread across 20 states with Lagos remaining the epicenter of the disease with 189 cases.

Breakdown of confirmed cases in other states includes FCT – 56, Osun – 20, Edo – 14, Oyo – 11, Ogun – 9, Bauchi and Kaduna – 6, Akwa Ibom and Katsina – 5, Kwara – 4, Delta, Kano and Ondo – 3 cases. Enugu, Ekiti and Rivers have two cases each, while Niger, Benue, Kano and Anambra have recorded one each.

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