The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has attributed the gale of insecurity and economic woes bedevilling Nigeria to the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic.
The minister disclosed that a total of 57 civilians, 37 policemen, and six soldiers according to official estimates, were killed all over the country during the lockdown, being fallout of the frustration triggered by joblessness caused by the disease.
Aregbesola added that the situation could have been worse but for the prompt economic actions taken by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, which injected over N1.1 trillion into the economy, to reinvigorate the system.
The former Osun state governor spoke at the Ekiti State University (EKSU) Tuesday, while delivering a lecture entitled: Covid-19: The Economy and Security, to mark the Third Annual Lecture of the Faculty of Arts of the institution.
He added that Buhari’s efforts also got a boost with over N42.3 billion expended by coalition of private bodies to palliate the effects of the pandemic and to reignite the economy back to its normal productive stature.
Dissecting the pernicious effects of Covid-19 pandemic on the nation, Aregbesola added that the partial dismantling of economic activities caused geometric increase in joblessness and offered veritable opportunities for criminals to recruit the youth into their gangs.
The minister said: “The effect of Covid-19 on the economy is humongous. It is not surprising therefore that the GDP fell by 23 per cent while household incomes fell by 60 per cent. The fall in GDP is largely due to the fact that the four states put under lockdown account for two thirds of the economy.
“This development was a nightmare for the Nigerian economy, considering that oil accounts for 80 per cent of government revenues. We should have the managers of the economy and especially President Muhammadu Buhari to thank for safely steering the economy during this perilous period.”
The minister revealed that the World Bank gave a pathetic account that private remittances of Nigerians in the diaspora, declined by between 80 and 90 per cent in the first quarter and 25 per cent in the whole of 2020.
“By official estimates from the Federal Ministry of Information, 57 civilians, 37 policemen, and six soldiers were killed all over the country. Also, 196 policemen were injured; 164 police vehicles destroyed and 134 police stations were burnt down.