Watching Nigerians on Al-Jazeera ignorantly pontificate Corona virus doesn’t exist in Nigeria was heart-rending beyond national shame. Information is lacking. Even that which comes is taken with a pot of salt: people don’t believe government sources. And it isn’t the uneducated alone, the educated rubbish the messages being dished out.
Now is time to get our once-vaunted information machinery to cascade from Abuja down the state capitals through the local government headquarters, to the wards, and into the compounds. For instance, the government of Enugu state is engaging town criers to enlighten the people. The Federal Government, with its humongous budget and numerous Information Officers, can start with:
A daily broadcast taking questions honestly (there is a huge difference between one-way information and mutual communication). ‘We don’t know’ is far more honourable than lies which only the ignorant believe
Get the medical experts to provide facts – to minimise the deep disbelief that has accrued over the decades at government information
Get its various parastatals such as National Orientation Agency in the fray
Partner the NCC, NBC, and CBN to share the facts through SMS on GSM lines, radio and television stations, and bank customer networks.
We have no excuses as we should learn from other nations’ experiences. As we have seen with the virus starting from Aso Rock, nobody is immune.
Access Bank, Enugu State – The Way To Go
Times like this – leaders stand out. Access Bank has led the way in a private sector coalition to the forefronts of this battle. Dangote, GT bank and others are also acting.
This is the way to go, and all well-meaning corporates and individuals need to join this war. NOW. The simple reason: we fall or survive together. There is no flight out. We are all in this together.
National Centre for Disease Control:
Call: 0800 9700 0010 (toll-free call centre)
Whatsapp: +234 708 711 0839
SMS Number +234 809 955 5577
Tomorrow: A Doctor shares a day-to-day body condition of person with COVID-19 infection.