The national leader of the ruling All Progresssives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has warned that Nigeria’s public health system is not adequate to withstand coronavirus pressures.
“We cannot afford to put undue pressure on our system because it cannot bear the great weight of a pandemic. Thus, it is incumbent on us to thoroughly implement and obey social safety and distancing techniques so that we halt the spread of the disease and keep hospitalization to the barest possible minimum.”
Asiwaju Tinubu, who issued a statement today, March 28 to mark his 68th birthday which comes up tomorrow, March 29, noted that the public health care systems of developed nations have already been overwhelmed by coronavirus.
“They are running out of equipment and healthy doctors. Our public health care system is much smaller and less equipped than those in Europe and North America.”
He said that the only way the virus can be prevented from spreading and putting pressure on the nation’s meagre health facilities is for the people to adhere to health advised given by relevant authorities.
“Places like banks offer needed services such as cash withdrawals. But they should limit the number of customers in the bank at any given time. Supermarkets and grocers should do the same.
“We should continue to postpone sporting events, weddings, and other large gatherings. Funerals, if they must take place, should be attended only by small numbers of family members.”
He said that people should use this moment to teach their children about compassion and the traditional values of care and concern that often get diluted in our rush toward modernity and growth.
“Not only is the coronavirus a health and medical problem, it will bring heavy economic costs. “China and the West face severe economic contractions. Cities are shuttered. Multiple industries have closed. Millions have suddenly been rendered jobless. Supply chains have busted. Economic activity is a fraction of what it was just a month ago. Deep recessions are forecasted. Some experts fear depression now tracks the world down. Governments worldwide are responding by embarking on unprecedented stimulus packages to keep their economies afloat.
“The Chinese are pumping untold trillions into their financial markets and productive economy. The most austere large nation, Germany, casts aside its constitutional prohibition on deficit spending to enact a historic, unprecedented fiscal stimulus package. The free-market Tory government of Boris Johnson has abjured his conservative upbringing if but for this harsh moment. His government is launching a fiscal stimulus unseen in the UK for decades. Likewise, the Bank of England vows to pump as much money into the financial market as is needed to unfreeze it and get it working again.
“The conservative Trump government also abandons its laissez faire ideology in the face of this exigency. Trump wants to give 2 trillion in fiscal stimulus and this will likely be just the first tranche. The Federal Reserve has announced an aggressive monetary policy to bolster the financial sector. This is atop the 2 trillion the Fed already promised.
“In the end, do not be surprised if the US government injects over 5 trillion new dollars into the economy in the months to come. This would represent 25 percent of last year’s GDP for that nation. Moreover, the US economy is also enacting various forms of debt moratoria such as forbearance on rental payments for struggling families and small businesses to taxrelief of various types for companies large and small.
“This is truly an eye opening endeavour based on lessons learned from the 1929 Great Depressionwhen government failed to appropriately act and the 2009 Financial Crisis when governmentsacted in time.
“The lesson learned is that a government has the sovereign power and requisite duty to intervene in the economy in order to stave calamity. To aid in this task, a government has the unlimited ability and again public duty to issue as much of itsown currency as needed to quell shortage and bufferthe populace from hardship.
“We, fortunately, are not at the stage where we need to implement such strongeconomic measures; however, we should be preparing a response for that urgent moment mayfall swiftly upon us.In doing so, we must be guided by the same lessons other nations havefollowed. When it comes to expenditures that can only be made in dollars, we must be extra careful. Dollars now come at a steep premium. However, when it comes to expenditures that can be made in naira, government cannot afford to be bashful or reticent when the need arises.”