NEC TO NIGERIANS: AVOID COMPLACENCY REGARDING COVID-19 PANDEMIC MANAGEMENT

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The National Economic Council, NEC, has urged Nigerians to remain alert and maintain the precautions necessary to fight the infectious disease.

The Council at its virtual meeting chaired by Nigeria’s Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, on Thursday, resolved that as long as people are still getting infected, Nigerians should maintain the use of non-pharmaceutical measures and precautions so that the number of COVID-19 cases in the country are not heightened.

The NEC made the resolution after a presentation by the Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, who gave an update on the pandemic as of September 15, 2020.

According to the report, there are 56,478 cases in 36 states including the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, hinting that there are also 479,712 tests, 10,960 active cases, 44,430 discharged, and 1,088 deaths.

He disclosed that the increase rate of infection in Nigeria is lower than the global and African averages.

However, 28 states had declining figures in their testing rates while the positivity rate in the country has also declined to 6% from about 20% at the peak.

The Council also received monthly financial updates from the Federal Government where the Governors were reassured that the suspended deduction regarding the budget support facility to the States from the Federal Government would remain until April next year.

The deductions were suspended since April this year as a supportive measure to help States finances stabilize.

The NEC also received a presentation by the Minister of State for Education, Hon. Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, on “Education in the New Normal.”

He stated that the new normal in education will require the use of distance learning programmes and open educational applications and platforms that schools and teachers can use to reach learners remotely and limit the disruption of education.

Nwajiuba stressed that the adoption of digital and technological infrastructures will support different forms of virtual learning which is necessary at this period.

In the presentation, he pointed out the main objective of the COVID-19 education response plan to include that education system recovers from school closure and implement safe school operation as well as measures to arrest the potential growth in the number of out of school children, among others.

The Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Clem Agba, also reported to Council balances in the excess crude account, stabilization fund and natural resources account as of September 15, 2020.

The Council also received a presentation by the Governor of Kebbi State on Flooding Incidents and its effects on States and resolved that the Minister of Environment, Mohammed Mahmood Abubakar, take up issues from the presentation and make recommendations to the Council in steps.

The National Economic Council also received a presentation on the Human Capital Development Co-working Group on the Progress Report on Human Capital Development Programme.

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