How to achieve timely recovery from COVID-19
THE Vice President Yemi Osinbajo yesterday declared that dealing with the disruptions caused by COVID-19 on economies and livelihoods, stronger international cooperation and collaboration among countries was crucial to expedite economic recovery.
Osinbajo stated this during the 8th German-Nigerian business forum that held virtually. The event also featured presentations by representatives of the German and Nigerian business communities.
Emphasizing the importance of building stronger collaboration and cooperation in post COVID-19 era, the vice president said: “As it turned out, the pandemic is no respecter of borders, and has forced us to ponder on the importance of collaboration and international cooperation in solving some of our most pressing problems.
“This year will probably go down as perhaps the most challenging in recent global history. No one can be blamed for the circumstances that led to it. However, history will hold us responsible as individual nations and collectively if we do not see and seize the immense opportunities that the moment presents.
“Bilateral cooperation is a major plank of that effort. We must use the German Nigeria forum to snatch growth and prosperity for our countries from the jaws of the pandemic.”
On the German-Nigerian business cooperation, Osinbajo said: “There are several reasons the economic relationship between Nigeria and Germany is important and natural.
“With its population of nearly 200 million people and as the largest economy in Africa, Nigeria is a natural partner of Germany, which is also the largest economy in the European Union and also its most populous country. Both countries have a shared experience of paving the way in their respective continents and serving as strategic entry points for investors across industries.”
Osinbajo, who noted that the cooperation between Nigeria and Germany has become more important than ever, said: “We already have an excellent example in the Presidential Power Initiative (PPI), a power infrastructure upgrade and modernisation programme, agreed to by the Nigerian government and Siemens AG of Germany, with the support of the German government.
“Under the initiative, the Nigerian government will on behalf of the other shareholders in the DisCos invest in infrastructure upgrades in the form of improved payment systems, distribution substations, transformers, protection devices, smart meters and transmission lines.”
The vice president said the focus of the Nigerian government’s interventions was aimed at addressing the fallouts of the pandemic.
“The priorities we, as a government, have set for ourselves are centered around nine inter-related and inter-connected areas, which include
stabilising the economy, achieving agriculture and food security, attaining energy sufficiency especially in power and petroleum products, improving transportation and other infrastructure and driving industrialization with a special focus on SME’s.”
Other participants at the meeting include Nigeria’s Ambassador to Germany, Yusuf Tuggar; Germany’s Ambassador to Nigeria, Birgitt Ory and the Chief Executive Officer of Afrika-Verein, Christoph Kannengiesser.
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