President Muhammadu Buhari has warned leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) against laxity in the fight against the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Lamenting that the pandemic is yet to reach its peak in the sub-region, Buhari called on member-states to continually sensitise their citizens on preventive measures. He urged them to work closely in order to overcome the pandemic in the sub-region.
The President also charged the ECOWAS Commission to come up with an economic recovery plan to help member-states to recover from the economic devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking Thursday at a virtual meeting with the President of the Commission, Jean Kassi-Brou, Buhari, in his capacity as the ECOWAS COVID-19 Champion, agreed to provide logistic support to enable the sub-region receive and distribute procured and donated medical equipment using Abuja as the hub for the distribution.
The President expressed appreciation on behalf of ECOWAS member-states for the “swift interventions made to the West African Health Organisation (WAHO) and the Africa Centre for Disease Control by the Jack Ma Foundation,” while also commending the support so far received from “development partners such as the European Union, African Development Bank, France and Germany for their financial contributions in the procurement of medical supplies.”
In his report to Buhari, the President of ECOWAS Commission advocated additional strategies to assist the sub-region in fighting the health and economic impact of COVID-19.
These measures, Kassi-Brou said, include the need for advocacy at continental and global levels particularly with the G20, World Bank, United Nations and the African Development Bank among others, for support to negate the health and economic damage to the ECOWAS sub-region; and mass awareness campaign to achieve behavioural change among the citizens of the community with effective customs, security and health protocols put in place throughout the sub-region.
The President of the ECOWAS Commission used the occasion to condole with the government and people of Nigeria on the latest Boko Haram attack on Gubio Local Government Area of Borno State during which scores of innocent Nigerians were killed.
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