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Bowen University, Iwo, has called on Nigerians to start preparing for post COVID-19 challenges with a view to working out strategies capable of guaranteeing survival of the diverse hardships that had been triggered by the pandemic lockdown.

The lockdown, which has already crippled the economy across the globe, including Nigeria, has increased poverty index among the masses, and requires the populace to prepare ahead to be able to cope with more poor living conditions after the pandemic.

The Vice Chancellor of the university, Professor Joshua Ogunwole, made the call when the management distributed some relief materials to less privileged residents in Iwo and Olupona communities to cushion the effects of the lockdown hardship.

Ogunwole lamented that the pandemic had brought a lot of negative impacts on Nigerians, indicating that the county cannot remain the same when the virus is over.

He stressed that the world would depend more on visual interactions and adopt new methods of doing business to be able to survive the impacts when it exited the pandemic.

Against this background, he urged Nigerians, particularly government and economic experts to put on their thinking caps and come up with survival strategies and innovations.

He cited as examples some religious organizations and academic institutions that had deployed digital technology to conduct their services and undertake their academic programmes to survive the current wave of the coronavirus malady.

The relief materials were presented to the beneficiaries through the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), leaderships of Islamic groups, representatives of development unions of the towns as well as other classified groups for onward distribution to their members.

The vice chancellor said that the donation was the university’s own way of supporting government in identifying with the residents of the host communities to ameliorate the lockdown hardship.

Ogunwole, however, enjoined the people to exercise patience and adhere to the government sit-at-home order as well as other precautionary measures to prevent spread of the virus.

He said: “As a Christian university, we are our brothers’ keepers. This is why we are giving out this welfare package to the people, not minding their religious inclinations. We have invited the leaders of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and the leaders of the Islamic Society of Nigeria, the representatives of the development union of the towns and other classified groups for the welfare package which is meant for the vulnerable under their umbrellas.”

The vice chancellor also pleaded with the government at all levels to ensure prevention of community transmission of the virus.

He added that the university was not witnessing total closure of the institution due to COVID-19 because it had been leveraging on technology that had been put in place before the pandemic to run its programmes.

He said: “We have been teaching our students with our smart school hub, video teaching, animation especially with our colleagues in Australia, Italy and others,” he said.

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