COVID-19: Nigerian Government to engage 774, 000 Nigerians ...

On Thursday, The President Muhammadu Buhari administration confessed that 40 percent of Nigerians are inadequate.

NAN gathered that Finance Minister, Zainab Ahmed, disclosed this on Thursday.

Zainab Ahmed spoke to State House correspondents after the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting connected from the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Zainab Ahmed revealed that Nigeria was in a very dangerous time and experiencing a very significant economic challenges that has not been seen in the history of Nigeria.

The minister said that world economy was also experiencing the sharpest setback since the very misery as it had both health and economic consequences.

Zainab Ahmed disclosed that the pandemic corona virus had affected the oil prices.

“The impact has already started showing on the federation’s revenues and on the foreign exchange earnings. Net oil and gas revenue and influx to the federation account in the first quarter of 2020 amounted to N940.91billion.

“This represented a shortfall of N125.52 billion or 31 per cent of the prorated amount that is supposed to have been realised by the end of that first quarter. 40 per cent of the population in Nigeria, today, is classified as poor; the crisis will only multiply this misery.

“The economic growth in Nigeria, that is the GDP, could in the worst case scenario, contract by as much as minus -8.94 per cent in 2020. But in the best case, which is the case we are working on, it could be a contraction of minus -4.4 per cent, if there is no fiscal stimulus.”

Ahmed stated that, the Federal Government was ready to back up the financial viability of the states.

This also in addition to the adjournment of payments in respect of commitments and debts that have been attached with ISPOs by the states at the federal levels.

“So, we have already implemented suspension of deductions of a number of loans that have been taken by the states from April and also in May. The Economic Sustainability Committee is responsible for providing overall strategic vision, policy direction and general oversight of the implementation.”

The minister said that some of the efforts to alleviate the pandemic corona virus effects included the N500billion stimulus package President Buhari appended.

She included that fund oblige the increase in the social register by one million households to 3.5million for cash transfer programme and other palliatives.

Critics continue to criticise the cash transfer claim of the government as many Nigerians are yet to receive bank alerts.

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