Home News Umar urges FG to review fight against COVID-19 to avoid job losses

Umar urges FG to review fight against COVID-19 to avoid job losses

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A former military administrator of Kaduna state, Col. Dangiwa Umar (rtd), has asked the federal government to review the fight against COVID-19 for people to secure their means of livelihood. 
In a statement on Sunday in Kaduna, Umar noted that although total lockdown is an effective measure that can ensure social distancing, he however said  it is not sustainable in most Third world societies like Nigeria. 
He noted that as  the second segment of the two weeks lockdown of some states and the FCT expires,  it is not evident what other measures the federal government and some of those states will adopt to control and stop the spread of the deadly coronavirus. 
“Total lockdown is an effective measure that can ensure social distancing, but it is also not sustainable in most Third world societies like Nigeria, where
the workforce is made up of daily wage earners. 
“We are referring to societies in which over 70 per cent of the workforce is made up of daily wage earners” Umar said. 
He urged the  government to deploy measures which will protect lives and guarantee livelihoods as well as stop the spread of the virus, while making it possible for the people to secure their means of livelihood. 
According to him, “the  first task is to control and reduce the spread of the virus. One of the most effèctive ways is to enforce social and physical distancing.
“Things like total lockdown, stop any form of congregation and crowding. Sanitary measures like handwashing, use of face masks, gloves etc. 
“Since most third World governments lack resources to adequately provide means of livelihood to a large segment of society, ie  the most vulnerable members,  they must improvise strategies which will target such vulnerable citizens.” 
He said further that “one of the best ways is to embark on massive upgrade of medical facilities to provide easy testing, quarantine and treatment free of charge.” 
Umar said “if the federal government  finds  the need to give cash handout to the poor, it should do so through a more efficient channel ie states and local governments”. 
He maintained further that “another avenue is the huge reduction in food prices”, noting that ” the  coronavirus pandemic has had huge inflationary impact on food prices.”
He stressed that “with restriction of movement, all farming activities will be adversely affected. 
“This is time for the federal government  to allow for massive import of foods particularly rice. It is a fact that imported rice is much cheaper than locally produced rice” .
He said “with all the talk about a rice revolution, less than 30 per cent of the rice consumed in Nigeria is locally produced. 
“A 50kg of rice sold at about N7,000 in 2015, the price is, currently N26,000″. 
He called in all tiers of government to suspend all other infrastructural projects and deploy all resources to the fight against coronavirus.

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