September 16, 2020
The national coordinator of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Dr Sani Aliyu, on Tuesday listed poverty as one of the reasons behind the success story of the fight against the pandemic in Nigeria.
He spoke at an interactive session between the Joint Senate Committee on Health and Aviation, members of the PTF and other stakeholders in the Aviation and Health sectors.
At the event, the lawmakers submitted that the method used in fighting the dreaded virus in Europe, which the PTF adopted was killing Nigeria’s economy.
The chairman of the Senate Committee on Aviation, Senator Smart Adeyemi, had argued at the event that COVID-19 was real but was not potent in Nigeria and many African countries.
He said it was wrong for stakeholders in Nigeria to have “swallowed hook line and sinker” the measures adopted to fight COVID-19 in Europe, America, China and other foreign countries.
“There is something in us as Africans that is not in them in Europe and America, which made COVID-19 not to be disastrous here as it was there.
“In the light of this, measures that are detrimental to the livelihood and well-being of Nigerians should be avoided, so as not to kill the nation’s economy,” Senator Adeyemi said.
Insisting that the measure was devastating to an average Nigerian who had to pay N75,000 for such tests, the senator added:
“The amount is too high, it should be brought down and public health Institutions laboratories should be equipped to carry out the tests.”
Another senator, Biodun Olujimi, speaking demanded that the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire and the PTF national coordinator, Aliyu to explain the relevance of face masks in Nigeria looking at realities on the ground.
She further demanded that Aliyu should tell why the fight against the dreaded virus had remained a success story in Nigeria.
In his response, Aliyu said that three reasons had already been identified as the reasons for that.
He then said that the reasons “are poverty, demography and the aggressive nature of African countries against the pandemic.”