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.
”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 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), ” he said.
Furthermore, President Buhari said Nigeria had revised its 2020 budget downwards and shifted emphasis to response activities towards bridging the critical gaps in the health infrastructures to strengthen national response to COVID-19 and other diseases.
On demographics and health, the President told the meeting that with an estimated population of 200 million and a large segment of economically vulnerable population, Nigeria had a high burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases.
”This level of disease burden, coupled with poverty level and Nigeria’s weak system; the COVID-19 pandemic is certainly jeopardizing and reversing the gains already made by the Government and its partners including in such other areas as outbreaks of Lassa and yellow fevers and measles,’’ he said.
Nigeria recorded its first confirmed case of COVID-19 on 27th February 2020. Since then, the country has seen a steady increase in the number of cases, with 8,733 confirmed cases, out of which 2,501 have been discharged and 254 deaths reported across 35 states as at 27 May 2020.
More than 50 Heads of State and Government as well as heads of international organisations participated in the High-Level Event on Financing for Development in the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond.