President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday, May 4; urged international financial institutions to assist member states in mitigating the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Buhari made this exhortation via teleconference participated in an online Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Contact Group Meeting in response to COVID-19.
He explained that the assistance includes extending concessional loans, technical support, lowering of tariff on medical equipment and consumables, sharing of expertise in case management, adopting open trade policies, as well as outright debt cancellation.
“Within the spirit of South-South cooperation, we must also assist one another; particularly the less developed and less endowed member states with technical, medical, and financial assistance.
“It is by so doing that we can rightly claim to uphold the Bandung Principles of equality, mutual interests, and cooperation,” Buhari explained.
He further stated that the pandemic can only be defeated via a collective effort from all stakeholders.
“Since the outbreak of the disease, countries have made concerted efforts to limit the spread of the pandemic within and outside their borders; as well as treating those infected by the virus.
“Two weeks ago, we in West Africa came together to work out a common sub-regional response to the crisis. The summit appointed me the Champion to lead our efforts on fighting the pandemic in our region,” he added.
Buhari said the task before the international community remains daunting; and more needs to be done to reduce the impact of COVID-19.
According to him, “It is now clearly evident that no nation can independently and singlehandedly tackle a pandemic of this nature which is no respecter of borders, regions or status.
“Invariably, enhancing multilateral cooperation through exchange and sharing of best practices is imperative to overcome the disease.
“We must, therefore, form a united front against this common enemy by being coordinated and timely in our responses.
“Furthermore, we must all encourage and empower our scientists and medical experts to join the quest for a vaccine and cure to this universal plague.’’