The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for the steps so far taken to curtail the spread of COVID-19 in the country.
The Director-General, Mr Timothy Olawale, made the commendation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Lagos.
He was reacting to the president’s address to the nation on COVID-19.
Olawale said that the measures were necessary in view of the progressive rise in the number of confirmed cases in Lagos and Abuja, with a consequential effect on neighbouring states.
According to him, the timely intervention can help the nation avoid Italy, Spain or the United States’ experience.
“We also commend the various health management interventions and planned support for Nigerians, aimed at reducing the impact of the announced lockdown of Lagos, Ogun and Abuja.
“Of note are the exceptions granted, as we have clamoured for food, beverages, pharmaceutical and supply chain businesses who are critical in ensuring the constant supply of essentials to the citizens in this difficult period, ” he said.
Olawale, however, urged the government to take a second look at further supporting organised businesses as they bore the major brunt of the lockdown effects.
He said there was a need to be concerned at business continuity once the COVID-19 pandemic had been dealt with.
“To this end, the government should, as a follow-up action, extend more palliative as we have suggested in our letter to the President, to organised businesses to enable them to survive this crisis period.
“We urge that the government should explore the option of insurance covers for medical professionals and all health workers in the fore-front of treating the patients.
“This will further motivate them to give their best,” Olawale said.
The Director-General also said there was an urgent need to further provide guidelines for companies in the food processing business and to allow free passage during the lockdown period.