President Muhammadu Buhari has asked international financial institutions to help member states to cushion the negative impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the president, the assistance, which should be done in the spirit of solidarity, includes extending concessional loans, technical support, lowering of tariff on medical equipment and consumables, sharing of expertise in case management, adopting open trade policies, as well as outright debt cancellation.
“Within the spirit of South-South cooperation, we must also assist one another, particularly the less developed and less endowed member states with technical, medical, and financial assistance.
“It is by so doing that we can rightly claim to uphold the Bandung Principles of equality, mutual interests, and cooperation,” President Buhari said this on Monday in Abuja while participating in a virtual Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).
Buhari also stressed that only a collective international approach would mitigate the devastating effect of COVID-19.
According to him, “It is now clearly evident that no nation can independently and singlehandedly tackle a pandemic of this nature which is no respecter of borders, regions or status.
“Invariably, enhancing multilateral cooperation through exchange and sharing of best practices is imperative to overcome the disease. We must, therefore, form a united front against this common enemy by being coordinated and timely in our responses.
“Furthermore, we must all encourage and empower our scientists and medical experts to join the quest for a vaccine and cure to this universal plague.’’
Buhari told Heads of State and Government of the Non-Aligned Movement that the central role of the United Nations and the World Health Organization (WHO) in fighting the pandemic must be acknowledged and leveraged for the benefit of all member nations.