Nigeria is using COVID-19 to restructure economy – Osinbajo

Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), has said Nigeria is taking opportunity of the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic to restructure her economic outlook.

Osinbajo made this observation on Tuesday in Abuja at a Webinar organised by the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council (CWEIC), with its focus on Nigeria.

The Vice President, in his speech at the virtual programme, discussed Nigeria’s elaborate national response plan, including the Economic Sustainability Plan, which was produced by the Economic Sustainability Committee (ESC), which he chaired.

His words, “It seemed the sun was beginning to shine quite brightly after the years of recession and its immediate aftermath. Then came COVID-19, possibly the worst economic crisis the world has seen. For us in Nigeria, it was a perfect storm for oil prices, Russia and Saudi Arabia choosing that very moment for a price war. Then, the inevitable lockdowns resulting in closure of businesses, our huge informal economy all but crashed and government revenues fell too by over 40 per cent.

“But, the silver linings were perhaps, bolder in the dark clouds. The President decided that we could seize the opportunity to reset our economy in a way that may have been impossible, had there not been a worldwide economic crash.

“I was asked to chair an inter-ministerial team to develop our Economic Sustainability Plan. A plan which we hope will, in the next 12 months or so, avoid a deep and prolonged recession by supporting businesses and households, but perhaps more importantly, addressing long-term structural vulnerabilities.

“Taking into account our economic size and fiscal limitations, we have put together a stimulus package of N2.3trillion, which is just over 1.5 per cent of national income. If other factors like the price of oil and length of the COVID-19 pandemic do not worsen further, these interventions should ameliorate the situation with a mild recession expected of minus 0.59 per cent.”

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