THUR, MAY 14 2020-theG&BJournal- As the deadly coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic became an obvious impediment to economic growth around the globe, countries including Nigeria scrambled to provide responses. Like most African economies, the major challenge the country faced is the rising debt, dwindling oil demand and price as well as rising unemployment rate.
President Muhammadu Buhari today highlighted some of the steps his administration has so far taken in response to the unfolding difficulties.
He had inaugurated an economic team headed by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed to examine the impact of COVID-19 on the economy and set up an Economic Sustainability Committee headed by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo to define a post-COVID-19 economy for Nigeria.
The 2020-2022 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and the Budget 2020 assumptions and targets have already been revised.
The President noted that the extant financial controls are to be strengthened to detect, eliminate and sanction instances of waste, funds misappropriation and corruption.
The expansion of the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) is also in the pipeline as well as a Fiscal Sustainability Plan to complement the suite of monetary and banking interventions recently announced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The President said a massive Special Public works program is being put together, ‘’that will hire 774,000 young, unemployed Nigerians (1,000 per LGA) for short-term labour in rural infrastructure, extension services and environmental sanitation.