Action Plan For The Federal Government Of Nigeria To Leverage In The Light Of Covid-19 - Ifeanyi Onwuanyi



African leaders, Nigeria inclusive, should read deep and positive meanings into the implications of the current pandemic in relation to various positions on VACCINE production as being canvassed by the outside world - WE CAN DO IT

My submissions have always been geared towards discouraging African leaders from endlessly waiting for external help, evidenced in the current wait for the COVID-19 vaccine said to be in-the-making, but should rather look inwards for solutions long deposited to us by nature.

I believe that African leaders should see the economic implications of all the hype, resulting from the COVID-19, as a means of igniting their health, technical, economic etc independence and not as another means for the external interests to further drain them of their available limited resources.

The fatality rate as currently being witnessed in Africa with COVID-19 may not be as much as the fatalities consequent on scourge of malaria. Hence, although Africans are not completely immuned to the contagious effect of COVID-19, nevertheless, African leaders ought not to allow seeming leadership gullibility sequel to COVID-19 pandemic fear, a means for further enrichment of external business interests at the expense of local economies.

Despite the dangerous nature of malaria, acute malaria or other ailments peculiar to Africa, non has ever made African leaders to declare state-of-emergency measures or call for a coordinated response, as they are currently deepened in parroting the bellicose semantics of their external peers, with a mockery that verges on the scorn, than to be attentive to the essential health needs of their populations in respect of the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Nevertheless, and learning from the relatively poor assessed impact of COVID-19 pandemic in Africa, it has the potential, if we can be truthful to ourselves and learn from it, to bring about a welcome change of perspective as to the economic policies of Nigeria including other African nations, which they should adopt both in the short and medium term.

For containment of COVID-19, the quantum of resources voted by Nigerian government at all levels including the amount of money mobilized from private sources, resulting from  fear of the COVID-19 is quite staggering, yet our pretentious government officials are only interested in squandering the funds without hesitation and without adverting their minds to seeing the pandemic as frontier to the leeway to developing our health sector which is currently in great shambles; unfortunately, its worth noting that where our govt officials are stocked at the gate of probity, they activate actions that forcefully open the gate as experienced with the fire incident at the Nigerian Accountant General office recently, with immediate occurence 9hours after the inquisition by the National Assembly into the manner of distribution of the allocated funds.

Save for corruption, the attention as currently given to the COVID-19, if the spate of such pretentiously interests being displayed by our govt officials in our health sector to tackle this pandemic had long been translated to genuine and positive interest before the pandemic, we would have had a robust health sector with attendant effective health care system resulting to production and/or recommendation of local therapies, with authoritative certainty, than the current endless wait for external remedies and which wait would have been needless.

Africa is already vulnerable to debt distress risks resulting from low oil prices and low demands for its products including tourism sequel to border closures. If not for endemic corruption, Africa would have had introspective approach to finding lasting solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic rather than joining in the mantra espousing fear, capable of immunity depletion, in its populace.

It is no news that most fatalities in Nigeria and Africa as a whole seemingly resulted NOT from the COVID-19, but rather care-neglect and fear generated by the consistent hype on the dangerous nature of the virus by the outside world. The said hype is either deliberate for business interest or reasons hinging on the severity, peculiar to temperate clime of those external environments, and without giving due consideration to our Africa residual immunity, environmental and other factors which invariably must have contributed to Africans low fatality rate resulting from the virus.

Most deaths in Africa might have resulted from acute malaria or acute malaria + COVID-19 infection and COMPLICATED by care neglect sequel to drummed fear associated with COVID-19 pandemic. There are insinuations that some people who were infected with COVID-19 in Nigeria used local therapies successfully and experienced total cure within few days.

Unfortunately, despite the local advantages in Africa, the lesson to be learned from the pandemic is that Africans will consistently be vulnerable to external shocks as long as it refrains from finding from within a structural response to its health, technical, educational, etc development challenges peculiar to its peculiarities.

Again, the perpetuation of Africa playing primary roles in international trade tantamount to Africa limiting itself by its addiction in exporting raw materials to the rest of the world and passively waiting in return to receive the volatile financial resources that fuel rentier economies - this is absolutely toxic to African economies.

By the abundant resources in herbal remedies and which Africans have been using successfully to cure acute malaria, which is seemingly deadlier than COVID-19, as no whiteman can withstand the deadly effects of acute malaria, Africa, should be at the forefront of producing from local resources potent therapies that can successfully contain the COVID-19 successfully than await endlessly, from external sources, VACCINE ladened with enormous business interests than curative interests. The reason why African leaders wont take this bold and positive step remains obvious -  corruption with associated social, economic, technical, medical etc inferiority complex which our respective governments CORRUPTIBLY LADENED on our competent research and other professionals who have track records of achieving great results even under harsh and debilitating conditions; evidence of their competence abounds as they are being sought after by the external world.

There is an adage that says:  "sleeping in other peoples home is like sleeping outside" thus waiting for the rest of the world to come to our rescue on the remedy for COVID-19, where we can recourse to local remedies successfully, is same as African leaders sleeping outside.

It is expected that Nigerian government and Africa at large will be able to lift itself up on its own and finally understand that it cannot endlessly be dependent on the external sources and subjecting all of the attributes of its medical, technical, economic etc independence to external interests. South Africa is taking the lead by the recent appointment of an African - a Nigerian into its Economic Team.

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ADDRESS: 35 New Market Road, Onitsha
OCCUPATION: Legal Practitioner
Purpose: To contribute by way of commentaries


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