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Buhari applauds EU’s N21b donation for COVID-19 fight

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Remember private sector during sharing of palliatives, the president told

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday commended the European Union (EU) for donating 50 million Euros (N21 billion) towards containing the novel coronavirus in Nigeria.

Receiving the EU delegation, led by Ambassador Ketil Karlsen in Abuja, he noted that the gesture would immensely revitalise the nation’s healthcare systems.

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He expressed the condolences of the government and people of Nigeria to EU-member countries and families who lost their loved ones to the epidemic.

‘’Our thoughts and prayers are with the families, friends and communities impacted. We are confident from history that the resilience of Europe and our global collective will enable us to emerge stronger from this tragedy.

‘’Although the EU is facing significant challenges due to this pandemic, I am indeed touched and grateful that the European Union still had the vision and foresight to remember its friends, partners and allies across the world,’’ Buhari said.

The president also lauded the bloc on the recent launch of its “Team Europe” package to support countries in the fight against the disease.

He noted that the intervention would mitigate the negative impact of the scourge.

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Buhari told the visitors that his administration had done a lot to date in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

In his remarks, Ambassador Karlsen described the donation, channelled through the UN COVID-19 basket fund as, so far, the largest single contribution to the response in Nigeria and the largest support that the EU was providing anywhere outside Europe.

He noted: “We heard your call for assistance and the EU has reacted swiftly as a demonstration of our true partnership.”

The team leader lauded the president for “a very powerful address to the nation last night’’, stressing, ‘’indeed the current situation is no joke, and we wish to commend you for taking bold and necessary measures.”  

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He also announced that the union was mobilising other sources of funding, adding that they had paid 1.2 million Euros to UNICEF with other goods expected soon in the country.  

However, the Action Democratic Party (ADP) has implored Buhari to remember the private sector while distributing the COVID-19 palliatives on account of its large number of employees.

Reacting to the president’s extension of the lockdown in parts of the state via a statement yesterday, the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Prince Adelaja Adeoye, stressed that the critical sector of the economy must not be forgotten in the provision of palliatives.
 
Lauding Buhari for increasing the social net from 2.6 million to 3.6 million households, he, nonetheless, urged transparency and accountability in the entire exercise.

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