• Monday, May 27, 2024
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BusinessDay

Nigerians wait to hear from President Buhari on Coronavirus, oil price fall, Lagos explosion

Buhari calls for caution on ECOWAS common currency

Nigerians are waiting to hear from President Muhammadu Buhari on either coronavirus disease, international oil price fall or the explosion in Abule Ado, Lagos.

These are both local and global issues that have kept Nigerians on their toes, and Nigerians who spoke with BusinessDay said presidential address to the nation would clear doubts about the issues and give them confidence.

Many other presidents around the world have spoken to their citizens, reassuring them on efforts to curtail the coronavirus pandemic to give them confidence on running their businesses. But Nigerians are yet to hear from their president directly on either of the coronavirus, recent oil price fall or the recent explosion in Lagos.

In his reaction, John Ehiguese said it would be good to hear President Buhari join other countries’ presidents to speak to his citizens, saying, “Such communication by the president will be a reassuring statement on these issues which have put Nigerians on alert.”

Dayo Elegbe, a Lagos-based digital expert, said Nigerians were a bit anxious that President Buhari had not spoken to them on either the coronavirus ravaging the world or on the effects of price oil fall at the international market, or even the recent explosion in Lagos.

“We expect him to address Nigerians at this stage,” Elegbe said.

Worried that Buhari has not publicly addressed Nigerians like other presidents of the world, another analyst and public relations expert, Ken Eze said he would have been surprised if the President had reacted immediately to the troubling issues which have made Nigerians unease.

According to him, Buhari has made Nigerians to believe that he is somebody who takes his time to react to issues.

However, the office of the President has suspended all public visits to prisons for the next 30 days, suspended all inter-schools gathering either for sporting purposes or otherwise for the next 30 days.

In a circular issued recently, the presidency directed suspension of all mass/public gathering or meetings of any nature for the next 30 days. It also suspended inter-agency, inter-institutions and inter-religious gatherings for the next 30 days.

This is to curtail the possible spread of the coronavirus in Nigeria.

The falling international crude oil price by over 40% to $37 dollars per barrel due to the ravaging coronavirus outbreak, exacerbated by Saudi Arabia and Russia price war is likely to hit Nigeria hard which heavily depends on oil sales to run the economy.

Buhari had signed the 2020 budget of N10.6 trillion into law based on crude price projection of $57. According to analysts, if the price stays below this projection for long, it could push Nigeria into another recession. Though, government has started moves to review the 2020 budget.

While coronavirus is taking toll on consumption in certain economies such as China and Italy, price oil fall is making other economies to adjust their expenditure while the explosion in Lagos is heightening fears of consumers on insecurity in Nigeria.

WHO says Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people.  Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, and cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.

World Health Organisation further said that standard recommendations to prevent infection spread include regular hand washing, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs. Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.