Former Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Prof. Chukwuma Soludo has advised the federal government to take lessons from how Biafrans became creative under a total blockade during the Nigeria civil war that lasted for thirty months in order to effectively confront the Coronavirus pandemic.
Soludo gave the advice while speaking at a Zoom conference organised by Transform Nigeria Citizens Initiative (TNCI) and the Concerned Nigerians Forum (CNF) with over 100 participants from around the world in attendance.
Soludo said, “During civil war, Biafrans built their own refinery and refined their oil, they were able to pump their own oil, they were able to manufacture their motor equipment and war machinery, they were able to process those things within the short period and under a total blockade.
“Things came up in a matter of months, with people under a blockade, no food, no water, no medicine, but out of local ingenuity they were able to regenerate and run their place for 30 months.”
At the virtual conference promoted by Elombah Communications and Njenje Media under the Governance Index platform, the former governor of Nigeria’s Central Bank also stated:
“We need to take off the glasses and put our destiny in our hands as a nation, how many days will it take, how many months will it take?
“When I was in office that was what actually drove me, I never accepted timelines – day one this will take three months except something like pregnancy that is biological – but for you tell me a building we take three years, I will ask why not six months?
“I think that it is the mind-set that we need as a country between the pandemic, to be able to be original in our own thinking, solutions that are tailored to everyday reality of our people with an intent of running a race with the rest of the world, a race that we will hope to come at the end as a winner.”
Soludo who cited Madagascar as a case study on Coronavirus said the head of government eased the lockdown against the counsel of WHO on Coronavirus pandemic, but till now we have not heard of death in Madagascar as result of COVID-19.
When Madagascar President came up with an African herb as cure, the WHO said the herb has not been proven, but everything is back to normal in the country as result of their own home grown cure for Coronavirus.
The virtual Conference which lasted for two and a half hours had Prof. Chukwuma Soludo as Guest Speaker, Marcel Ngogbehei, Paul Ejime, Orji Udemezue and Alwal Hassan as Panelists with over 200 attending at different times agreed that there is need for policy makers in the country to strategize and produce home grown solutions to the impending economic crisis as result of COVID-19 and Oil price crash.
The former CBN governor agreed with the host, Maazi Ezeoke that the initial lockdown by the Federal government was necessary in order to create awareness on the Covid-19 pandemic, but thereafter the lockdown is unsustainable.