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Buhari calls for global solidarity on COVID-19 fight



President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday called for solidarity among countries in order to reverse the devastating effects of COVID-19 on the human race.

The president stated this during a virtual meeting titled: “High-Level Event on Financing for Development in the Era of COVID-19 and beyond,” in Abuja.

He also renewed the appeal for debt cancellation for African countries at the event convened by Canada, Jamaica, and the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

The president implored the developed countries and international financial institutions to cancel the debts of “needy countries” especially in Africa to enable them reverse the impacts of the pandemic.

He also urged major nations to provide free additional resources through an international consensus to assist poor countries fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

President Buhari, however, cautioned major nations against adopting a “me first” and “every man for himself” attitude, warning that “the consequences for all of us in the 21st century can only be imagined.”

He said: “The world has changed through COVID-19 and so must the global financing architecture for development financing and the response to the current pandemic.

“There is an urgent need for weak and needy countries especially those of Africa, to receive a fresh reprieve.

“This is a historic plague affecting every corner of the globe. In the circumstances, the response needed must be global, unconditional, comprehensive and rapid.

“Debts must be forgiven and cancelled. Free additional resources are needed urgently through an international consensus to enable poor countries to work to reverse the devastations of COVID-19 to the human race.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: Buhari charges governors to work closely with PTF

“Rising now and standing together in true global solidarity to my mind is the only hope for humanity, the best approach to safeguarding the 2030 SDGs and the only way we can build back for more resilient economies and societies.”

The President also used the occasion to apprise the international community on the devastating impact of the pandemic on the Nigerian economy, the health sector and efforts by his government to mitigate the crisis.

Buhari added: “For Nigeria, the shocks are multiple, including the sharp decline in international oil prices which has negatively impacted revenues and growth, worsened external and domestic positions, and further increased banking sector vulnerabilities, resulting in the enormous human and economic toll on the country.

“We have been proactive in implementing a number of strong measures, including fiscal, monetary and structural policies, and a multi-front response to the health crisis created by COVID-19 which captures all tiers of Government as well as the private sector.

“Our objective is to revert to the government’s planned medium-term fiscal consolidation path once the crisis is over. Our strategy for macroeconomic stability is anchored on our home-grown Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).”

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