The Federal Government said it had put up quality policies to contain the post-Coronavirus (COVID-19), pandemic very strongly against predictions of economic doom by some international bodies.
Mr Adeniyi Adebayo, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, gave the assurance in Abuja on Wednesday while giving awards to members of the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), committee on Sustainable Production and Delivery of Essential Commodities during COVID-19.
Adebayo said the federal government had put up strategies to provide more support to the manufacturing and other key sectors of the economy to boost their productivity down as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The EOC was responsible for monitoring the live status of transportation and delivery of essential goods during the period of interstate travel ban.
Through this, government was able to cut down on the difficulties faced by manufacturers, transporters, and distributors of essential commodities.
Adebayo commended the committee for effectively discharging its mandate, adding that based on feedbacks received during the exercise, it was imperative that Nigeria had the capacity to produce some of the products it needed.
“For the first time in our nation, we all have to come together to tackle the vulnerability that the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed us to.
“As you all acknowledge, the lockdown that we have instituted to curb the spread of the virus resulted in a number of casualties across board as jobs were lost and supply was disrupted and led to shortfall in movement of goods and services.
“Our manufacturing sector continues to be our key focus as our economy continues to grow.
“From the market intelligence findings, more than ever before, we need to boost local production of key commodities required.
“Therefore, moving forward, our efforts as a response team at the ministry has been recognised.
“We have been mandated to lead the Presidential Task Force responsible to deliver increased capacity in local manufacturing,” he said.
Amb. Mariam Katagum, Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, stated that the pandemic had created a consciousness among Nigerians on the need for all stakeholders to look inward in solving the economic challenges.
“From what happened during the period, everyone was either producing facemasks or sanitisers.
“So what stops us after the pandemic to produce anything that we want to produce that we have the talent to do.
“’This period has shown us that we can achieve whatever we set out to do as a nation,” she said.
The Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Dr Nasir Sani-Gwarzo, added that the government would do all it could to ensure that the impact of the pandemic did not cripple the economy as manufacturing would be sustained.
“The ministry has set a pace because we made sure livelihood was eased during the lockdown period,” he said.
Chairman of the EOC, Tijani Inuwa, its manager, Mr Battah Ndirpaya, and the Leader, Abimbola Olufore, also commended the ministry for the support given to the team during the assignment.
“By your support and encouragement, you really supported us to perform our task during the pandemic.
“Under your leadership, we have been able to make available the essential items needed by Nigerians to survive the crisis,” they said.
During the period of the interstate travel ban, the committee received and resolved 121 cases of complaints.
Out of this 121 cases, about 76 per cent of the challenges were related to movement of manufacturing and pharmaceutical products.
Also, about 10 ventilator companies, 46 producers of hand sanitiser, among others were assisted to boost their current capacity during the period of the lockdown.
Edited By: Abiodun Esan/Donald Ugwu (NAN)
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