The National Coordinator, African Union Development Agency-New Partnership for Africa’s Development/ African Peer Review mechanism (AUDA-NEPAD/APRM) Nigeria, Princess Gloria Akobundu has suggested ways the country could mitigate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the economy.
Princess Akobundu said strategic partnership with the private sector, with focus on grassroots challenges could provide a lasting solutions to COVID-19 and other national challenges.
“If agricultural sector receives more partnership support in production, processing and packaging of farm outputs, larger ratio of unemployed population can be gainfully engaged while agricultural wastages can become income,” she was quoted as saying, in a statement by her spokesman, Abolade Ogundimu.
She spoke while featuring on a virtual conference with the theme: “Leveraging COVID-19 disruptions for economic growth in Africa,” organised by Pristine Ecologistics Cloud-based conferencing platform.
Princess Akobundu said despite current lockdown and other restrictions, the challenge of how to overcome the pandemic and cushion its effect should not be lost on the nation.
According to her, there is need for bottom-top approach in strategic partnership, focusing on grassroots challenges to get lasting solutions to COVID-19 and other national challenges.
“Self-sufficiency in food production is a success for a nation of over 200 million population, but the nation cannot afford to rest on its oars,” she said.
Princess Akobundu added that adequate partnership in primary health sub-sector would not only lead to standard healthcare system, it would also help to upgrade indigenous therapy.
She recommended a deliberate adoption of the public-private partnership (PPP) in areas of skills acquisition programmes and education.
“Creation of more technology hubs with basic amenities can also be another means of channelling our youths’ energies towards National development which leads to global prominence,,” she said.
Princess Akobundu said, given the abundance of resources, Nigeria should not be affected by the recent prediction of World Bank, to the effect that Africa would experience between -2.5% to -5.1% recession at the end of COVID-19 pandemic.
She commiserated with President Muhammadu Buhari and the Federal Executive Council over the death of Presdient’s Chief of Staff, Mallam Abba Kyari, to the President, describing him as a leader par excellence.
The conference also featured Ambassador Jerome Ringo, Goodwill Ambassador, Pan- African Parliament and founder, Zoetic Energy from the United States.
The event moderator, Dr Paul Abolo, on behalf of the organisers, praised the speakers for doing justice to the topic by proffering insightful ideas on how the continent could navigate economic threats of COVID-19 pandemic.