Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Mr. Boss Mustapha, has called for the promotion of local content throughout the entire strata of businesses in the country.
Speaking when he received a N70 million donation from the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Simbi Wabote, in Abuja, who handed over a letter communicating the donation, the SGF hinted that the pandemic had provided the perfect opportunity for Nigerians to promote local content in all facets of the economy.
He thanked the NCDMB for the donation and assured that it would be used judiciously in furtherance of the national response, adding that medical equipment and relief materials were required in all states of the country.
He regretted that COVID-19 had become the biggest health challenge of this generation, noting that every available resources will be required to contain it.
Mustapha, charged Nigerians to take personal responsibility and obey all the guidelines issued for the easing of the lockdown.
He stressed that countries that had overcome the virus achieved the feat through the active cooperation of their citizens, maintaining that all countries of the world were scrambling for ventilators, test kits and other medical consumables, thereby spiking the cost of the items.
This development, he said, underscored the urgency to focus on the local production of all critical items Nigeria needs as a nation.
He added that focusing on local content in key sectors of the economy would also help to stop capital flight and create the much needed jobs locally.
The SGF confirmed that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had begun to introduce a number of funding packages designed to promote medical, pharmaceutical and hospitality businesses that would depend on what Nigeria produces, manufactures and consumes locally.
In his comments, Wabote explained that the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, who is also the chairman of the NCDMB Governing Council was passionate about the oil and gas industry’s support to the fight against covid-19.
He noted that despite the board’s recent donation of ambulances and medical supplies to its host states in Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers, to support its response against the pandemic, the council still considered it necessary to approve additional support to the national effort.