Home FINANCE & ECONOMY How Nigeria can defeat Economic Challenges Posed by COVID-19 ……. By Yemi...

How Nigeria can defeat Economic Challenges Posed by COVID-19 ……. By Yemi Osinbajo

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HIGHLIGHTS Post-COVID-19: Osinbajo’s Committee fears over 39 million Nigerians may become jobless, others could also fall into extreme poverty GDP may fall to between minus 4.40% and minus 8.91%, Suggests stronger implementation of President’s mantra to “produce what we eat and consume what we produce”. A Mass Agricultural Programme, which is expected to bring between 20,000 and 100,000 hectares of new farmland under cultivation in every State of the Federation Mr. President, in the very early days of the emergence of the COVID-19 crisis, you constituted a crisis committee headed by the Hon. Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning to look at what the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic might be on the budget and the economy. Subsequently, on the 30th of March, 2020, in response to the threat of the most severe economic downturn in our Nation’s history, largely caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Your Excellency directed me to chair the Economic Sustainability Committee (ESC), with the following members: (i) Hon. Minister of Finance, Budget & National Planning; (ii) Hon. Minister of State, Budget and National Planning; (iii) Hon. Minister of Industry, Trade & Investment; (iv) Hon. Minister of Labour and Employment; (v) Hon. Minister of State, Petroleum Resources; (vi) Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria; (vii) Group Managing Director of NNPC; and (viii) Permanent Secretary in the Cabinet Office – Secretary. In view of the envisaged scope of engagement,  we later co-opted the following Ministers: (i) Hon. Minister of Agriculture & Rural Development; (ii) Hon. Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management & Social Development; (iii) Hon. Minister of Works & Housing; (iv) Hon. Minister of Aviation; (v) Hon. Minister of Communication & Digital Economy; (vi) Hon. Minister of Education; (vii) Hon. Minister of Health; (viii) Hon. Minister of Interior; (ix) Hon. Minister of Science & Technology; and (x) Hon. Minister of Transportation. Our Terms of Reference were to: (i) Develop a clear Economic Sustainability Plan in response to challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic; (ii) Propose monetary policy measures in support of the plan; (iii) Provide a Fiscal/Monetary Stimulus Package, including support to private businesses (with emphasis on strategic sectors most affected by the pandemic) and vulnerable segments of the population; (iv) Identify fiscal measures for enhancing distributable oil and gas revenue, increasing non-oil revenues and reducing non- essential spending, towards securing sufficient resources to fund the plan; (v) Articulate specific measures to support the States…

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