Atiku says Nigeria and the rest of Africa must unite to deal with the economic aftereffects of the coronavirus.
Former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, has warned Nigeria and other African countries that the worst of the coronavirus (COVID-19) disease is yet to be witnessed.
In an article titled ‘What Africa Must Do To Mitigate the Damaging Effects of Coronavirus’ and published on Tuesday, April 7, 2020, Atiku lamented about the lack of capable hands in the current Nigerian government led by President Muhammadu Buhari to manage the economic effects of the pandemic.
Nigeria has recorded 254 coronavirus cases and six deaths, as of April 7, significantly lower than those recorded in more advanced countries, especially the United States of America and Italy where thousands of fatalities have been recorded.
Many other African countries have similarly recorded low numbers, but Atiku believes this is because the more developed nations have better testing capacity and real-time information.
“I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but Nigeria and other African nations are yet to see the worst of the effects of this scourge,”
The runner-up in the 2019 presidential election said even if the country avoids a high human toll from the virus, it won’t be able to escape a much higher economic toll, warning that a recession is a possibility.
In the economic road-map he outlined to deal with the economic effects of the disease, Atiku said African nations must unite and seek debt forgiveness from China and the West, not aid.
“And we have a perfect case because almost every African nation with a COVID-19 infestation had an index case that originated outside the continent.
“Nigeria’s index case was Italian, Liberia’s was Swiss. Ethiopia had a Japanese index. South Africa’s index case was South African, but he and his family got infected in Italy,” he noted.
He said African countries must take responsibility for navigating out of its challenges, and not think about calling to China or the West for help.
“As it stands today, the world is too preoccupied with its challenges to priorities Africa, and so we have to priorities ourselves,”
Source: News update