COVID-19: Legal Practitioner To CBN: Relax Your Policies, Make Fund Available

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…Says Travel Ban Belated

A Benin-based legal practitioner and public affairs analyst, Prince Peters Enosoregbe Uwadiae, has called on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to work out monetary policies that would ensure funds are readily available to agencies saddled with the responsibility of managing and preventing the spread of novel Coronavirus.

Uwadiae cautioned those in-charge of managing and preventing the spread of the covid-19 to live up to expectations and resist the temptation of diverting such funds meant to fight the pandemic.

He said the outbreak of coronavirus was an emergency situation which required the apex bank to relax its economic policies in order to make sufficient funds available to address the situation.

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The legal practitioner who argued that Nigeria was not a poor nation, expressed the belief that if such measures are taken, there would be sufficient funds to take care of her citizens.

“The Central Bank should work out economic measures, monetary policies, monetary derivatives that would hip up our currency in circulation, so that money that is required by institutions would be readily available to them. This is an emergency situation, not a normal situation.

“Under normal situation, you can put restrictions and all of that in our economic policies, but the Central Bank knows that this is an emergency; and because it is an emergency situation all those policies must be relaxed to pave way for money to these agencies that are there to tackle this menace”, he said.

On the travel ban by government, the legal practitioner noted that the decision by government came late.

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According to him, countries like America, etc did not wait till the pandemic spread before placing traveling restriction.

He said his thought was that before now, one of the safety mechanism government would have used was to completely stop people from coming into the country.

While observing that covid-19 can spread through the movement of persons through land borders and waterways, Uwadiae advocated a total restriction on all forms of traveling.

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The lagal practitioner said, “You are talking of travel restrictions. I would tell you that the only travel restriction we know in Nigeria is flying out of the country and traveling in. What about the numbers of land borders that we have; these porous land borders that we have, who says the thing cannot spread through Niger Republic, who says it cannot spread through Chad. So, that is it. The travel restrictions should be total – air, land and sea”.

Coming down to Edo State, the legal practitioner called on the state government to be more proactive in handling the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus.

“I think Edo State government need to be moreproactive than we are seeing now. It is not for the Deputy Governor to be talking on air. We want to see physical things, physical equipment to deal with the situation, he stated.

On government stay at home order, he noted that it was the practice in civilized countries of the world.

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He, however, called on government to make cash available to her citizens so that they would have money to take care of themselves and families, while they isolate themselves.

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