ECOWAS leaders have appointed Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari as the head of the COVID-19 response, in the region.
This was made known by the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, who explained that the appointment took place at the Extraordinary ECOWAS Summit on COVID-19 which was held via teleconferencing.
The meeting was presided over by the President of the Republic of Niger and Chair of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, Mahamadou Issoufou.
During the teleconference, Buhari was said to have called on fellow ECOWAS leaders to look beyond the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and tap into various opportunities that it presents for the betterment of lives in the Member States.
He called on his colleagues to intensify collaboration in order to save the region from the pandemic by sharing their experiences and best practices.
President Buhari, therefore, outlined some measures taken by his government in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
These include the reduction of interest rates on all applicable Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) interventions from nine to five per cent and introduction of a one- year moratorium on CBN intervention facilities, as well as the inauguration of the Presidential Task Force to coordinate national efforts to combat the spread of the virus and ensure efficiency and effectiveness in line with the Nigerian Action Plan on Health Security.
Other measures, according to the President, are provision of relief materials, including medical and food supplies, as well as conditional cash transfers of N20,000 each for poor and vulnerable households; and the establishment of more isolation centres and testing facilities to contain the spread of the disease.