How we saved one million jobs, prevented shutdown of 150,000 SMEs — Osinbajo

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has said that the interventions of the Economic Sustainability Plan saved over one million jobs and forestalled the closure of over 150,000 small businesses hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

He observed that social protection schemes can break the cycle of poverty, give real access to jobs, economic opportunities, and improve human capacity.

Osinbajo said this on Tuesday in Abuja while speaking virtually during a United Nations High-Level Forum on Jobs and Social Protection.

Senior Special Assistant to the Vice-President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, disclosed this in a statement titled, ‘Why social protection schemes are crucial, by Osinbajo at UN high-level forum on jobs’.

According to him, Nigeria’s response to the fallouts of COVID-19 was guided by the conviction that “social protection schemes are crucial, and can break the cycle of poverty, give real access to jobs and economic opportunities, and improve human capacity and productivity.”

He added that the Economic Sustainability Plan which was the government’s response is aimed at restoring growth by mitigating the macro-economic shocks, tackling the health challenge, averting business closures, protecting and creating jobs, protecting the poor and vulnerable while repositioning the economy for future resilience.

The Vice-President further explained that “in addition to scaling up health interventions, the Plan contained labour-intensive interventions in agriculture, housing, and public works programmes and the provision of solar energy to 5 million homes.

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