By Chinenye Festus:-
Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari said this period is actually a trying time for Nigeria as a country as the country’s revenues and foreign exchange earnings have dropped by almost 60 percent since the Covid-19 pandemic broke out.
The president Conveyed his remarks through the Vice president of Nigeria Prof Yemi Osibanjo at the start of the first-year Ministerial performance review retreat holding in Abuja.
“For the government, it has been a particularly trying time,” Buhari said. “As a result of the poor fortunes of the oil sector, our revenues and foreign exchange earnings have fallen drastically. Our revenues have fallen by almost 60 percent.
“Yet we have had to sustain expenditures, especially on salaries and capital projects, in order to keep the economy going.”
President Buhari’s speech on Monday was delivered amid concerns raised by several groups in the country over increases in the price of fuel and electricity tariffs in the country.
According to his speech, It is not as if government is insensitive but the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in difficult times, not just for the Nigerian people, but also for the government.
“This government is not insensitive to the condition of our people and the very difficult economic situation and we will not inflict hardship on our people,” the President said.
“In this regard, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has created credit facilities (of up to N100B) for the Healthcare (N100 Billion) and Manufacturing (N1 Trillion) sectors,” Buhari said.
“From January 2020 to date, over N191.87B has already been disbursed for 76 real sector projects under the N1Trillion Real Sector Scheme; while 34 Healthcare projects have been funded to the tune of N37.159B under the Healthcare Sector Intervention Facility.
“The facilities are meant to address some of the infrastructural gaps in the healthcare and manufacturing sector as a fall out to the COVID-19 pandemic and to facilitate the attainment of the Governors’ 5-year strategic plan.”
The president, therefore, asked ministers and senior administration officials to quickly implement the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP) to cushion the suffering of Nigerians.