Buhari Felicitates With State Chief Of Protocol, Ambassador Lawal Kazaure At 60

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has warmly congratulated State Chief of Protocol, Ambassador Lawal Abdullahi Kazaure on his 60th birthday, April 5, 2020, felicitating with him for meritorious service to the country as a career diplomat.

The President joined family, friends and all professional colleagues of the diplomat in celebrating the milestone, which has been heralded with many years of working in Nigerian foreign missions, which includes Namibia, Islamic Republic of Iran, Turkey, Syria and Cote D’Ivoire, where he worked diligently to safeguard Nigerian citizens during the political crisis in 2010.

READ ALSO: SERAP Asks FG, CBN To Provide Spending Details On COVID-19 Relief Funds

As Ambassador Kazaure turns 60, President Buhari believes his vast experience and wisdom in diplomacy will always remain relevant, especially as issues steadily take global dimensions, urging him to stay steadfast, dedicated and committed to nation-building.

The President prayed for a longer life for the State Chief of Protocol, and more wisdom and strength to serve his fatherland.

PDP Charges NASS To Ensure Transparency In N500bn Intervention Proposal

 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) charges the National Assembly to comprehensively scrutinize the overall profile of the N500 billion proposed by the Federal Government as an intervention fund against the COVID-19 pandemic so as to ensure that the fund reached the desired target.

The party in a communique on Sunday urged the legislature to examine the expenditure layout and put adequate clauses to eliminate diversion, ensure prudence as well as guarantee broad-based transparency in target-specific disbursements across all need areas in the fight against the pandemic.

The PDP says its call is predicated on apprehensions in the public space over allegations of fraudulent diversion of funds in the recent disbursement of N20,000 social palliatives, with some persons rejecting the figures put out.

READ ALSO: Nigeria Records Ten New Cases Of COVID-19, One New Death Recorded

The party therefore urged the National Assembly to demand the Federal government to furnish it with details of how the N500bn would be spent; what amount would be spent on interventions on individuals and families as well as a template that guarantees that the fund gets to the targeted vulnerable Nigerians.

The PDP insisted that such information should also include details of what each state of the federation gets; the parameters for allocations, the monitoring system as well as foolproof measures to plug all loopholes and check fraud.

“The Federal Government needs to place these details before the National Assembly. This money, which is to be mopped up from various special government accounts, belongs to Nigerians. As such, the National Assembly must ensure that it is fully utilised for their wellbeing.

“The PDP, therefore, urged the National Assembly to instill checks and balances by providing that the implementation must involve trusted and transparent eminent Nigerians from the private sector to further guarantee accountability and overall confidence of Nigerians in the scheme.

“Furthermore, the PDP called on the National Assembly to direct a quick investigation into allegations of fraudulent diversion of palliative money in the cash disbursement of N20,000 to some Nigerians, by the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disasters Management and Social Development, Sadiya Farouk.

“This investigation has become imperative given allegations that the resort to cash disbursement directly by a minister instead of using cash disbursement facilities by the Central Bank Nigeria (CBN), is part of the design to manipulate the system, stifle accountability and pave way for the alleged siphoning of a huge chunk of the funds,” the communique partly read.

The PDP urged the National Assembly to ensure that Nigerians are the true beneficiaries of monies channeled towards providing relief for the people.

PDP Rejects N123.5 Fuel Price, Insist On N90 Per Litre

File photo

 

 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has rejected the April 1 tweaking of fuel price from N125 to N123.5, insisting instead that the price be reduced to N90 per liter.

In a statement by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, the opposition party argued that the reduction of pump price by N1.50k is offensive, fraudulent; a further display of cruelty and insensitivity of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the plight of Nigerians, particularly as the nation battles the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The PDP insisted that the correct pump price of fuel is between N80 to N90 per liter, given the slump in the price of fuel and crude oil in the international market.

The PDP held that any price beyond that is completely unacceptable, as it amount to fleecing Nigerians.

READ ALSO: Customs Intercept Items Worth Over N200m In Katsina

The party berated the APC administration for “attempting to delude Nigerians by tweaking the cost decimals to create a misleading impression of price reduction while fleecing the unsuspecting public”.

The PDP challenged the APC and its administration to explain how they arrived at the pump price of N123.5 instead of N90 per liter despite the fall in international price.

The PDP asked the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to disprove its claim by immediately publishing the full prevailing landing cost, the prevailing 3% depot cost, the 3% trucking cost as well as the retail outlet admin cost and show why the pump price should be above N90 per liter.

According to the PDP, Nigerians earlier had to bear the brunt of high cost of fuel in the face of high oil prices in the international market, thus it is only fair that they also enjoy the benefits of the cut in international prices.

The PDP charged the government to immediately reduce the pump price to N90 as well as refund the accrual, so far, from the N35 per liter difference and channel same to provision of palliatives to Nigerians.

Furthermore, the PDP reiterates its demand for the establishment of Eminent Nigerians Group to manage donations towards mitigating the impact of COVID-19 and ensure that the palliatives get to venerable Nigerians without any political and bureaucratic bottlenecks

COVID-19 Lockdown: Buhari Orders Finance Ministry To Pay Salaries

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning to pay March salaries following his movement restriction in Lagos, Ogun and Abuja.

The President gave the directive while meeting the COVID-19 Impact Assessment Committee on Thursday to review the effect of the outbreak on the economy.

He urged the ministry to ensure that critical infrastructures are protected and as much as possible.

READ ALSO: Bauchi Govt Reverses COVID-19 Lockdown Order Over Lack Of Palliatives

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, briefing journalists on the outcome of the meeting in Abuja said the President further directed that measures be put in place to protect the poor during this lockdown.

The President had in March set up a special committee to immediately look into the effects of COVID 19 on the price of oil, with a view to reviewing the crude oil benchmark of the 2020 budget.

Members of the committee include the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, the Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele and the Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari.

See Photos Below: 

Osinbajo Defends Buhari, Says Lockdown Order Is Backed By Law

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo addresses Nigerians in New York on June 23, 2019.

 

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has defended President Muhammadu Buhari over the lockdown on the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Lagos and Ogun States.

In a statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, Osinbajo said the order restricting movements is quite unnecessary as the action taken is not only important but very well backed by the Nigerian laws.

“Regarding the legality of the shutdowns announced by the President (on Sunday), I think it is entirely legal. These steps are proactive, very relevant, important and backed by law,” he stated.

The Vice President believes that questioning the legality of the President’s order is unnecessary because it is backed by an act of the National Assembly.

He said under the Quarantine Act, the President Buhari has powers to make regulations of any kind that would curb infectious diseases.

“I am not so sure some of the people who have commented on the issue have come across the Quarantine Act.

“There is a Quarantine Act of 1926, it’s been published in all of the Laws of Nigeria, every edition of the Laws of Nigeria, it is there,” he stressed.

COVID-19: President Buhari Hails ‘Public-Spirited’ Donors

President Muhammadu Buhari at his office in the Presidential Villa in Abuja on March 26, 2020. Photo: Twitter @NGRPresident

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has commended “public-spirited” donations from Nigerians as the country battles COVID-19. 

In a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, President Buhari hailed captains of industries, corporate entities, missionaries, musical artists and other persons who have made donations to the country to help in the fight against the pandemic.

The statement also thanked oil companies who liaised with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to donate $30 million; Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Dr Mike Adenuga, Modupeola and Folorunsho Alakija of Famfa Oil, and Dr Emeka Offor for their kind gestures.

READ ALSO: Gov Seyi Makinde Tests Positive For COVID-19

“The President welcomed generous donations as announced by Zenith Bank PLC, which the statement said, was committed to the public health care system, Keystone bank, First Bank Plc and Senior Pastor of Dunamis International Gospel Centre, Dr Paul Enenche, and his wife, Dr Becky Enenche, who also took to the streets to sensitize citizens on the dreaded virus,” the statement added.

“President Buhari similarly appreciated the efforts of Stallion Empowerment Initiative of the Stallion Group, and the entertainment industry, particularly renowned musician, Innocent Idibia, Tuface, for contributions.”

Furthermore, President Buhari assured that the donations will be effectively utilized by the Federal Government in taming the pandemic, urging intending donors to do so via the Presidential Task Force for the Control of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Also, the statement counselled Nigerians to heed to the instructions of the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the Federal Ministry of Health to tame the virus.

COVID-19: Seaports In Lagos To Remain Operational As City Goes On Lock Down

 

All seaports in Lagos are to remain operational even as the metropolis is set to undergo a total lock down following the orders of President Muhammadu Buhari.

As part of the Federal Government’s drive to curb the spread of COVID-19, President Buhari had on Sunday instructed that Lagos, Ogun and Abuja be locked down totally for an initial period of fourteen days.

The President, however, noted  in his national broadcast that all seaports in Lagos shall remain operational in accordance with stipulated guidelines.

He added that vehicles and drivers conveying essential cargoes from the ports to other parts of the country will be screened thoroughly before departure by the Ports Health Authority.

READ ALSO: Nominate Doctors, Nurses To Fight COVID-19, Buhari Urges Governors

The President ordered that all vehicles conveying food and other essential humanitarian items into the cities on lock down, will also be screened thoroughly before they are allowed to enter the restricted areas.

In accordance with the directive, President Buhari directed the Hon. Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, to redeploy all Port Health Authority employees previously stationed in the Lagos and Abuja Airports to key roads that serve as entry and exit points to restricted zones.

Movements of all passenger aircraft, both commercial and private jets, were also suspended, with special permits to be issued on a needs basis.

According to President Buhari, his government is fully aware that the new measures will cause much hardship and inconvenience to many citizens.

He, however, stressed that this is a matter of life and death, keeping in view, the dreadful daily toll of deaths in Italy, France and Spain.

President Buhari urged Nigerians to see this move as a collective national and patriotic duty to control and contain the spread of the coronavirus.

“I will therefore ask all of us affected by this order to put aside our personal comfort to safeguard ourselves and fellow human beings. This common enemy can only be controlled if we all come together and obey scientific and medical advice.

“As we remain ready to enforce these measures, we should see this as our individual contribution in the war against COVID-19.

“Many other countries have taken far stricter measures in a bid to control the spread of the virus with positive results,” President Buhari said.

He promised that residents of satellite and commuter towns and communities around Lagos and Abuja whose livelihoods will surely be affected by some of these restrictive measures, shall get relief materials to ease their pains in the coming weeks.

Nominate Doctors, Nurses To Fight COVID-19, Buhari Urges Governors

 

As part of efforts to help stem the tides of the Coronavirus, President Muhammadu Buhari has asked all Nigerian governors to nominate doctors and nurses in their states who will join in the Federal Government’s drive to combat the deadly COVID-19.

President Buhari who disclosed this in a live broadcast on Sunday, March 29, 2020, also said that his government has created a Presidential Task Force (PTF) to develop a workable National Response Strategy that is being reviewed on a daily basis as the requirements change.

READ ALSO: Coronavirus War: I Am Proud Of Dr Ihekweazu – Buhari

“So far, in Lagos and Abuja, we have recruited hundreds of adhoc staff to man our call centers and support our tracing and testing efforts.

“I also requested, through the Nigeria Governors Forum, for all State Governments to nominate Doctors and Nurses who will be trained by the NCDC and Lagos State Government on tactical and operational response to the virus in case it spreads to other states,” President Buhari disclosed.

He noted that this strategy takes international best practices but adopts them to suit the nation’s unique local circumstances.

The President further stated that the goal is to ensure all States have the right support and manpower to respond immediately there is an emergency.

According to President Buhari, this training will also include medical representatives from the armed forces, paramilitary and security and intelligence agencies.

The President stressed that the nation’s response to the virus must be guided, systematic and professional, adding that there is a need for consistency across the nation.

He assured Nigerians that all inconsistencies in policy guidelines between Federal and State agencies will be eliminated.

Coronavirus War: I Am Proud Of Dr Ihekweazu, Says Buhari

 

President Muhammadu Buhari says he is very proud of the way the Director General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu has handled the war against COVID-19 so far.

The President expressed his gratitude in a broadcast over the Coronavirus pandemic in Abuja on Sunday, March 29.

“Indeed, the Director General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) was one of ten global health leaders invited by the World Health Organisation to visit China and understudy their response approach.

“I am personally very proud of Dr Ihekweazu for doing this on behalf of all Nigerians.

READ ALSO: Hospitals, Medical Establishments And Nine Others Exempted From Total Lock Down

“Since his return, the NCDC has been implementing numerous strategies and programs in Nigeria to ensure that the adverse impact of this virus on our country is minimized. We ask all Nigerians to support the work the Federal Ministry of Health and NCDC are doing, led by the Presidential Task Force,” the President said.

President Buhari noted that although the nation has adopted strategies used globally, still, the country’s implementation programs have been tailored to reflect local realities.

The urged all Nigerians to support the work of the Federal Ministry of Health and NCDC and abide by the health tips provided to checkmate the spread of the deadly virus.

 

Coronavirus: President Buhari Suspends Operations Of Private Jets, Passenger Planes

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has suspended the movements of all private jets and passenger flights in Nigeria.

The President announced the suspension during a nationwide broadcast on Sunday, March 29, 2020.

He said, “Movements of all passenger aircraft, both commercial and private jets, are hereby suspended,” adding that special permits will be issued on a needs basis.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: Hospitals, Medical Establishments And Nine Others Exempted From Total Lock Down

Also, as part of the government’s move to curb the spread of COVID-19 across Nigeria, the President ordered a total lock down of Lagos and Ogun states.

The order was also extended to the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

Addressing Nigerians the President said, “Based on the advice of the Federal Ministry of Health and the NCDC, I am directing the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days with effect from 11pm on Monday, 30th March 2020.

“This restriction will also apply to Ogun State due to its close proximity to Lagos and the high traffic between the two States”.

He urged all citizens in these areas to stay in their homes, adding that travel to or from other states should be postponed.

All businesses and offices within these locations should also be fully closed during this period, President Buhari added.

COVID-19: Hospitals, Medical Establishments And Nine Others Exempted From Total Lock Down

President Muhammadu Buhari addresses Nigerians on the Federal Government’s preparedness in tackling the COVID-19 outbreak in the country on March 29, 2020.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday, March 29, imposed a total lock down of Lagos and Ogun states, the order also extended to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

In his address to the nation, the President stated that based on the advice of the Federal Ministry of Health and the NCDC, it became imperative that an initial lock down period of 14 days be imposed.

According to the President, the curfew begins from 11pm on Monday, 30th March 2020.

He noted that Lagos and Abuja have the majority of confirmed cases in Nigeria, hence the lock down is in line with the government’s focus to urgently and drastically contain these cases, and to support other states and regions in the best way possible.

Though the lock down order has been given the President however, noted that there were some who are exempted from the clause.

READ ALSO: Full Text Of Buhari’s Address To The Nation On COVID-19

Below are some of those who are exempted from the order according to President Muhammadu Buhari.

1. Hospitals

2. Medical establishments

3. Health care manufacturing and distribution companies

4. Food processing, distribution and retail companies

5. Petroleum distribution and retail entities

6. Power generation, transmission and distribution companies

7. private security companies

8. Telecommunications Workers

9. Broadcasters

10. Print media staff

11. Electronic media personnel.

The President noted that although these establishments are exempted, access will be restricted and monitored.

Full Text Of Buhari’s Address To The Nation On COVID-19

 

President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday, addressed the nation with regards to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In his national broadcast on the 29th of March, 2020, the President revealed that the Federal Government is tacking certain measures to ensure that the nation gets to win the war against the virus.

One of such measures is a 14-day curfew imposed on Lagos, Ogun and Abuja, starting from 11pm on Monday, March 30.

READ ALSO: Buhari Imposes Curfew In Lagos, Ogun And Abuja

Below is a full text of the President’s speech.

1. Fellow Nigerians,

2. From the first signs that Coronavirus, or COVID-19 was turning into an epidemic and was officially declared a world-wide emergency, the Federal Government started planning preventive, containment and curative measures in the event the disease hits Nigeria.

3. The whole instruments of government are now mobilized to confront what has now become both a health emergency and an economic crisis.

4. Nigeria, unfortunately, confirmed its first case on 27th February 2020. Since then, we have seen the number of confirmed cases rise slowly.

5. By the morning of March 29th, 2020, the total confirmed cases within Nigeria had risen to ninety-seven.

6. Regrettably, we also had our first fatality, a former employee of PPMC, who died on 23rd March 2020. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family in this very difficult time. We also pray for quick recovery for those infected and undergoing treatment.

7. As of today, COVID-19 has no cure. Scientists around the world are working very hard to develop a vaccine.

8. We are in touch with these institutions as they work towards a solution that will be certified by international and local medical authorities within the shortest possible time.

9. For now, the best and most efficient way to avoid getting infected is through regular hygienic and sanitary practices as well as social distancing.

10. As individuals, we remain the greatest weapon to fight this pandemic. By washing our hands regularly with clean water and soap, disinfecting frequently used surfaces and areas, coughing into a tissue or elbow and strictly adhering to infection prevention control measures in health facilities, we can contain this virus.

11. Since the outbreak was reported in China, our Government has been monitoring the situation closely and studying the various responses adopted by other countries.

12. Indeed, the Director General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) was one of ten global health leaders invited by the World Health Organisation to visit China and understudy their response approach. I am personally very proud of Dr Ihekweazu for doing this on behalf of all Nigerians.

13. Since his return, the NCDC has been implementing numerous strategies and programs in Nigeria to ensure that the adverse impact of this virus on our country is minimized. We ask all Nigerians to support the work the Federal Ministry of Health and NCDC are doing, led by the Presidential Task Force.

14. Although we have adopted strategies used globally, our implementation programs have been tailored to reflect our local realities.

15. In Nigeria, we are taking a two step approach.

16. First, to protect the lives of our fellow Nigerians and residents living here and second, to preserve the livelihoods of workers and business owners to ensure their families get through this very difficult time in dignity and with hope and peace of mind.

17. To date, we have introduced healthcare measures, border security, fiscal and monetary policies in our response. We shall continue to do so as the situation unfolds.

18. Some of these measures will surely cause major inconveniences to many citizens. But these are sacrifices we should all be willing and ready to make for the greater good of our country.

19. In Nigeria’s fight against COVID-19, there is no such thing as an overreaction or an under reaction. It is all about the right reaction by the right agencies and trained experts.

20. Accordingly, as a Government, we will continue to rely on guidance of our medical professionals and experts at the Ministry of Health, NCDC and other relevant agencies through this difficult time.

21. I therefore urge all citizens to adhere to their guidelines as they are released from time to time.

22. As we are all aware, Lagos and Abuja have the majority of confirmed cases in Nigeria. Our focus therefore remains to urgently and drastically contain these cases, and to support other states and regions in the best way we can.

23. This is why we provided an initial intervention of fifteen billion Naira (N15b) to support the national response as we fight to contain and control the spread.

24. We also created a Presidential Task Force (PTF) to develop a workable National Response Strategy that is being reviewed on a daily basis as the requirements change. This strategy takes international best practices but adopts them to suit our unique local circumstances.

25. Our goal is to ensure all States have the right support and manpower to respond immediately.

26. So far, in Lagos and Abuja, we have recruited hundreds of adhoc staff to man our call centers and support our tracing and testing efforts.

27. I also requested, through the Nigeria Governors Forum, for all State Governments to nominate Doctors and Nurses who will be trained by the NCDC and Lagos State Government on tactical and operational response to the virus in case it spreads to other states.

28. This training will also include medical representatives from our armed forces, paramilitary and security and intelligence agencies.

29. As a nation, our response must be guided, systematic and professional. There is a need for consistency across the nation. All inconsistencies in policy guidelines between Federal and State agencies will be eliminated.

30. As I mentioned earlier, as at this morning we had ninety-seven confirmed cases. Majority of these are in Lagos and Abuja. All the confirmed cases are getting the necessary medical care.

31. Our agencies are currently working hard to identify cases and people these patients have been in contact with.

32. The few confirmed cases outside Lagos and Abuja are linked to persons who have travelled from these centres.

33. We are therefore working to ensure such inter state and intercity movements are restricted to prevent further spread.

34. Based on the advice of the Federal Ministry of Health and the NCDC, I am directing the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days with effect from 11pm on Monday, 30th March 2020. This restriction will also apply to Ogun State due to its close proximity to Lagos and the high traffic between the two States.

35. All citizens in these areas are to stay in their homes. Travel to or from other states should be postponed. All businesses and offices within these locations should be fully closed during this period.

36. The Governors of Lagos and Ogun States as well as the Minister of the FCT have been notified. Furthermore, heads of security and intelligence agencies have also been briefed.

37. We will use this containment period to identify, trace and isolate all individuals that have come into contact with confirmed cases. We will ensure the treatment of confirmed cases while restricting further spread to other States.

38. This order does not apply to hospitals and all related medical establishments as well as organizations in health care related manufacturing and distribution.

39. Furthermore, commercial establishments such as;

a. food processing, distribution and retail companies;

b. petroleum distribution and retail entities,

c. power generation, transmission and distribution companies; and

d. private security companies are also exempted.

40. Although these establishments are exempted, access will be restricted and monitored.

41. Workers in telecommunication companies, broadcasters, print and electronic media staff who can prove they are unable to work from home are also exempted.

42. All seaports in Lagos shall remain operational in accordance with the guidelines I issued earlier. Vehicles and drivers conveying essential cargoes from these Ports to other parts of the country will be screened thoroughly before departure by the Ports Health Authority.

43. Furthermore, all vehicles conveying food and other essential humanitarian items into these locations from other parts of the country will also be screened thoroughly before they are allowed to enter these restricted areas.

44. Accordingly, the Hon. Minister of Health is hereby directed to redeploy all Port Health Authority employees previously stationed in the Lagos and Abuja Airports to key roads that serve as entry and exit points to these restricted zones.

45. Movements of all passenger aircraft, both commercial and private jets, are hereby suspended. Special permits will be issued on a needs basis.

46. We are fully aware that such measures will cause much hardship and inconvenience to many citizens. But this is a matter of life and death, if we look at the dreadful daily toll of deaths in Italy, France and Spain.

47. However, we must all see this as our national and patriotic duty to control and contain the spread of this virus. I will therefore ask all of us affected by this order to put aside our personal comfort to safeguard ourselves and fellow human beings. This common enemy can only be controlled if we all come together and obey scientific and medical advice.

48. As we remain ready to enforce these measures, we should see this as our individual contribution in the war against COVID-19. Many other countries have taken far stricter measures in a bid to control the spread of the virus with positive results.

49. For residents of satellite and commuter towns and communities around Lagos and Abuja whose livelihoods will surely be affected by some of these restrictive measures, we shall deploy relief materials to ease their pains in the coming weeks.

50. Furthermore, although schools are closed, I have instructed the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development to work with State Governments in developing a strategy on how to sustain the school feeding program during this period without compromising our social distancing policies. The Minister will be contacting the affected States and agree on detailed next steps.

51. Furthermore, I have directed that a three month repayment moratorium for all TraderMoni, MarketMoni and FarmerMoni loans be implemented with immediate effect.

52. I have also directed that a similar moratorium be given to all Federal Government funded loans issued by the Bank of Industry, Bank of Agriculture and the Nigeria Export Import Bank.

53. For on-lending facilities using capital from international and multilateral development partners, I have directed our development financial institutions to engage these development partners and negotiate concessions to ease the pains of the borrowers.

54. For the most vulnerable in our society, I have directed that the conditional cash transfers for the next two months be paid immediately. Our Internally displaced persons will also receive two months of food rations in the coming weeks.

55. We also call on all Nigerians to take personal responsibility to support those who are vulnerable within their communities, helping them with whatever they may need.

56. As we all pray for the best possible outcome, we shall continue planning for all eventualities.

57. This is why I directed that all Federal Government Stadia, Pilgrims camps and other facilities be converted to isolation centers and makeshift hospitals.

58. My fellow Nigerians, as a Government, we will avail all necessary resources to support the response and recovery. We remain committed to do whatever it takes to confront COVID-19 in our country.

59. We are very grateful to see the emerging support of the private sector and individuals to the response as well as our development partners.

60. At this point, I will ask that all contributions and donations be coordinated and centralized to ensure efficient and impactful spending. The Presidential Task Force remains the central coordinating body on the COVID-19 response.

61. I want to assure you all that Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies with a role to play in the outbreak response are working hard to bring this virus under control.

62. Every nation in the world is challenged at this time. But we have seen countries where citizens have come together to reduce the spread of the virus.

63. I will therefore implore you again to strictly comply with the guidelines issued and also do your bit to support Government and the most vulnerable in your communities.

64. I will take this opportunity to thank all our public health workforce, health care workers, port health authorities and other essential staff on the frontlines of the response for their dedication and commitment. You are true heroes.

65. I thank you all for listening. May God continue to bless and protect us all.

President Muhammadu Buhari.