In the wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic outbreak in Nigeria, the Nigeria Network of NGOs (NNNGOs) has lauded efforts of the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC), Federal Ministry of Health (MoH), Lagos State Government, Private Sector, Philanthropists and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in curbing the spread of the virus. According to a statement by the NGO, the members of the network welcomed encouraging developments coming from the handling of the outbreak including the measures being taken by governments at the sub-national level, “and recognises that this represents a significant step towards ending the pandemic.”
It stated that members also welcomed measures being considered by the federal government. It noted further that with the current status of the world and the unprecedented spread of COVID-19, it was a time for Nigeria to enforce a total lockdown.
According to the statement: “We are increasingly concerned about the impact a further delay in locking down the country could have on the spread of the disease considering our weak health system.
“Understanding that measures to address the COVID-19 pandemic must be properly weighed and taken seriously, following stakeholder-wide consultations with its members, experts, thought leaders, trends analysis and results of an opinion poll, the Nigeria Network of NGOs encourages the federal government of Nigeria to consider a total lockdown of the country for 14 days.
“We understand the impact a lockdown would have on the vulnerable and underserved communities. However, this is a decision that prioritises citizens’ welfare, safety and social responsibility.
“The resulting scenario from a lack of timely decision to implement a total lockdown could be seen from ongoing spread of the outbreak in the United States and Britain—world powers with better health systems.
“In times like this, our resilience as citizens will come to the fore as can be seen from our history. When the spread is curtailed, we must now as a nation prioritise our national identity management and banking system including a robust social protection floor to capture as many citizens as possible and address the fallout from the pandemic.”