COVID-19: NIGERIA NEEDS DATA TO PLAN FOR EMERGENCIES – SANWO-OLU
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has said data is a very critical component for economic planning and good governance. Sanwo-Olu said the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus pandemic has shown that Nigerian leaders need to place a premium on gathering of data if the country truly desires to move forward socially and economically. Sanwo-Olu said the absence of data on the identities of residents slowed down planning activities as the nation grapples with several issues that emanated from the COVID-19 pandemic. He said data is critical to planning during emergencies such as COVID-19. Governor Sanwo-Olu, while answering questions as a guest on the digital edition of the platform, a Covenant Christian Centre socio-political program, said no nation can maximize her full potential without data. He said: “It is what happens to us post Covid-19 that determines who we are as a people and not what we do at the moment. We need data. We need the identity of every citizen in this country. There’s nothing like being over prepared in this kind of situation. You can make mistakes in times of crisis but you must learn from them”. “We have realised that as a State, we need data in order to plan and proffer solutions to problems”. Sanwo-Olu said communication is another key ingredient in assuring citizens whenever there is a crisis. The Governor stated that the experience garnered in the management of COVID-19 in Lagos state has shown that effective communication between government and the citizens plays a major role. He however said the government must be very transparent with whatever they are communicating to the residents. “Communication is very important and you must do it transparently. It helps with the level of confidence people repose in you”. The Lagos COVID-19 incident commander urged the citizens to be more open with their details when they go to the hospitals, saying that is one of the few ways to help the medical personnel determine many things. He lamented that the State had not made much progress as it should because a lot of the patients are not truthful about their details. Anchored by Pastor Poju Oyemade of the Covenant Christian Centre, The Platform 2020, also featured other leaders such as the Vice President of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo and the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum and Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi.