By Ndubuisi Michaels
The new fiscal stimulus measures by the Federal Government show that Nigeria under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari has a two-fold plan to withstand the economic headwind that Covid-19 is likely to bring in its wake.
According to the Buhari Media Organisation (BMO), the fiscal policies do not only target stabilization of the economy, but will also facilitate comfort for Nigeria’s poor and most vulnerable population.
In a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke, BMO said the measures are pointers to the sure and steady steps that are the hallmark of the Buhari administration.
“Aside from putting in place measures to ensure that the pandemic does not overwhelm Nigeria’s health system, the federal government has also been keeping its eyes on its economic impact on the people.
“We want to draw attention to the decision to engage 774,000 Nigerians on a special nationwide public works programme implemented by the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) at a time low-income workers are losing their livelihood due to the global coronavirus crisis.
“This will involve 1,000 people in each of the nation’s 774 local government areas for a project for which the government is setting aside N60 billion in allowances and operational costs from the COVID-19 crisis intervention fund.
“There is also the release of 70,000 metric tonnes of grain from the National Strategic Grain Reserve which the President wants distributed to the poor as well as 46,000 metric tonnes or about 158 trailers of seized imported rice, 36,495 kegs of vegetable oil, 30 trucks and 3,428 kegs of palm oil which the Customs has released for sharing alongside 136,705 cartons of tomatoes paste, 2,951 cartons of spaghetti, 1,253 packets of noodles, 828 bales of wrappers and 2,300 rolls of lace fabric.
“All these are in addition to the ongoing upfront disbursement of N20,000 Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) to people already captured in the National Social Register of vulnerable people, the statement added.
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