The Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, has lamented over the recent global outbreak of the COVID-19. He noted that it obviously poses peculiar challenges, not only for personal health but also for the economy and business.
Omo-Agege disclosed this during his speech as a guest of honour at the 50th anniversary of the Nigerian Military School, Zaria, 1970 set.
In a statement in Abuja, his spokesman, Yomi Odunuga, he said: “Although the present administration has taken bold measures to stave off the outbreak from our shores, I am sure this global threat remains in the mind of every one of us here. As we have seen already in the global oil and foreign exchange markets, these are frightening challenges that we must solve.”
The Deputy Senate President described the market slump of crude oil price due to the global outbreak of Coronavirus pandemic as a wake-up call for Nigeria to look towards a life without oil.
He said, “We need to deal with the sharp drop in global oil prices and its impact on the 2020 budget and the exchange rate, and by implication, on the short, medium and long-term health of the economy.”
However, being hopeful, he stressed that “we will get through this,” but not without bold policy changes to restructure the country economy because the country is still too dependent on crude oil.
Therefore, he added that to achieve this, despite being uneasy, there is need for some drastic changes in our ways of life.
“I am very optimistic, however, that we can do it. And my optimism about Nigeria going forward is in part because we have people like you who have the discipline associated with your alma mater,” he said.
He concluded, “We have begun work on this important national assignment. How far-reaching this will be, depends on all of us while adding that the Senate will be having public hearings, as well as receiving memoranda.”
He called for the support of the ongoing reforms of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, which he noted is aimed at achieving sustainable economic growth for Nigerians.