Nigeria’s Federal Executive Council (FEC) otherwise known as the nation’s highest decision-making body is set to meet virtually on Wednesday, May 13, 2020, after weeks of indefinite adjournment in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking on why the last FEC meeting was held on March 18, 2020, Femi Adesina, special adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, asserted that the council’s meeting was suspended in accordance with the partial lockdown protocol to contain the spread of COVID-19. Adesina stated that the meetings were postponed “because of the size, and that is not advisable at a time like this.”
While most of the FEC members will be attending the meeting from their offices, only a few aides will join President Muhammadu Buhari who is expected to preside over the delegation either from the Council Chambers or his office.
Ahead of Wednesday’s virtual meeting, the Minister of Communications, Isa Pantami, led some members of his Ministry officials on Sunday, May 10 to test run the equipment in order to ensure a hitch-free meeting. Similarly, agencies under the supervision of the Ministry such as Galaxybackbone, NITDANigeria and NigComSat1R will be providing a digital platform and technical support for the meeting.
The economic effects of the global coronavirus pandemic which has ridiculed almost all the nations of the world is speculated to be a key discussion point during FEC’s virtual meeting. As of May 11, 2020, there were 4,641 cases of coronavirus and 150 deaths in Nigeria- Africa’s most populous nation. Prior to now, President Buhari ordered approximately a 2-month lockdown directive to control the virus spread in high-risked states such as Lagos, Ogun and Abuja.
However, with lockdown measures easing off in the above-mentioned states coupled with new confinement regulations established in Kano, Port Harcourt and other recently infected states in the federation, it is paramount that the FEC profer strategies to mitigate the economic effects of COVID-19 during its first virtual committee meeting.