REMARKS BY THE SECRETARY TO THE GOVERNMENT OF THE FEDERATION/CHAIRMAN, PRESIDENTIAL TASK FORCE ON COVID-19 AT THE NATIONAL BRIEFING OF THURSDAY, 11th JUNE, 2020
I welcome you all to the National Briefing for Thursday, 11th June, 2020.
- Nigeria witnessed a spike in number of confirmed cases when the number of recorded cases jumped to 663 on Tuesday, 9th June, 2020. This number gives us cause for concern as a Task Force and as a nation.
- In the PTF briefing on Monday, 8th June, 2020, I emphasized that a great majority of Nigerians are still susceptible to COVID-19 and cautioned that if we allow it to transmit easily between us, it may be even more deadly. That admonition remains very valid and we still underscore vigilance and self-preservation.
- The PTF continues to monitor the level of activities and compliance with the guidelines nationwide. Consultations will continue and tonight, I will be holding another round of video conference with the team of Governors appointed by the National Economic Council to interface with the PTF. The PTF will re-emphasize its appeal to governments at the sub-national level as well as our security agencies to enforce the guidelines and protocols firmly. The PTF would also be meeting with the heads of these agencies to further fine-tune strategies to ensure compliance.
- This afternoon, the PTF met with the House of Representatives Ad-Hoc Committee on COVID-19. The interaction was robust and we received assurances that the legislative support required would be given to help us overcome the pandemic.
- Similarly, we are pleased to inform you that His Excellency, Mr. President received the delegation from the West African Health Organisation during which matters pertaining to the regional response to the pandemic were discussed.
- Specifically, such matters include our common risks as a sub region, the need for our collaboration in response, our inter-dependence and Nigeria’s role given our large population and the position of Mr. President as the ECOWAS Champion for the control of COVID-19.
- Tomorrow, Nigeria will be celebrating Democracy Day. The PTF urges that we should celebrate in a solemn and reflective manner. We must ensure that our goal is to stay alive and remain COVID-19 free. Let the date be a reminder of the reality of our times, the disrupting effects of COVID-19, the realization that we are faced with a new normal and the necessity for us to individually and collectively prepare ourselves to conquer this pandemic.
- The best celebration we would bequeath ourselves, is to strengthen our individual and collective resolve to abide by the guidelines to protect ourselves, our friends, our loved ones and the country at large.
- The PTF has advanced in its preparation for taking precision measures within the high burden local government areas identified in our previous briefing. The strategy will be unfolded in due course. We are also emphasizing risk communication and community engagement in a sustainable manner.
- We therefore urge State Governments to reach out to traditional, religious and community leaders for dialogue and education. The major message will be ownership, behavioral change and taking responsibility.
- I now call on the Honourable Minister of Health, DG NCDC and the National Coordinator to update you, before we take the questions.
- I thank you for listening.