Home BUSINESS COVID-19: FG PROJECTS 39.4M JOBS MAY GO BY THE END OF 2020

COVID-19: FG PROJECTS 39.4M JOBS MAY GO BY THE END OF 2020

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The Federal Government has warned that about 39.4 million Nigerians may lose their jobs at the end of the year due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It also expressed fear that millions more Nigerians may slide into extreme poverty before the end of the pandemic.
Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo disclosed these while presenting the Economic Sustainability Report to President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Economic Sustainability Committee was set by the President on March 30, 2020 as a response to the economic crisis caused by the pandemic.

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The Committee was set up to develop a clear economic sustainability plan in response to challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and to propose monetary policy measures in support of the plan.

It was also set up to provide a fiscal/monetary stimulus package, including support to private businesses and vulnerable segments of the population, among others.

While presenting the report to Buhari, Osinbajo stated that the lockdown and social distancing measures put in place to contain the spread of the virus has had severe negative impacts on farms, factories, trade, transport as well as tourism.

He added that the country might experience a shortfall of about N185 billion monthly in the allocation available to the three levels of government.

“Several projections, including those done by the NBS on behalf of the Economic Sustainability Committee, showed a severe downturn in our oil earnings, as a result of which, even with oil price at $30 a barrel, we would still have a shortfall of about N185bn every month in the amount available for allocation to the three tiers of government.

“They showed that unemployment may rise to 33.6 per cent or about 39.4 million people by the end of 2020, if we fail to take prompt preemptive measures.

“They showed that millions more will fall into extreme poverty before the pandemic ends; and that GDP may fall to between -4.40 per cent and -8.91 per cent, depending on the length of the lockdown period and strength of our economic response,” he explained.

The report titled “Bouncing back: The Nigerian Economic Sustainability plan”, the committee recommended mass job creation to help cushion the effects of COVID-19 on the economy.

The committee also recommended the expansion of the Social Investment Programme by way of increasing the number of cash transfer beneficiaries, N-power volunteers and traders enjoying small and micro loans through TraderMoni and MarketMoni schemes.

On the implementation of the report, Osinbajo said that it was critical to the success of the plan while noting that the committee recommended that each minister should be responsible for supervising the implementation of plans related to their ministries.

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