The Federal Government has projected that except drastic measures are taken, the number of people that will be unemployed may reach 39.4 million Nigerians as a consequence of the Covid19 pandemic.
It also said that many people in Nigeria may end up in extreme poverty by the time the pandemic ends.
The Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo disclosed this on Thursday while giving the report of the Economic Sustainability Committee to President Muhammadu Buhari.
Buhari inaugurated the committee on March 30, 2020, in response to what was now becoming a threat to the most devastating economic downturn in the country’s history, which is as a result of the Covid19 pandemic.
At present, a plan is being put in place which is going to spell out a clear economic sustainability plan in response to the challenges caused by covid19 and to suggest monetary policy measures to support the plan.
Provision for a monetary stimulus package, including helping the vulnerable and private businesses, among others.
Giving the report to the President, Osinbajo explained that social distancing and lockdown measures which were put in place to prevent the spread of Covid19 have had a devastating economic impact on farms and factories as well as transport, trade, and tourism.
He explained that Nigeria may experience a deficit of N185 billion naira monthly in the amount made available to the Federal, State, and Local government.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, said that many projections, including the one done by NBS on behalf of the Economic Sustainability Committee, displayed a severe downturn in Nigeria’s oil revenue as a result of which, even with the present oil price which is $30 per barrel, there would still be a deficit of about N185 billion every month in the amount available for allocation to the three tiers of government.
It was said that the unemployment rate will rise to 33.6% or about 39.4 million people by the end of 2020, he warned that if there are no drastic steps taken to solve the present unemployment challenges, there will be a disaster in the country.
He stressed that based on the projections made, it showed that more people will fall into poverty before the pandemic is over and GDP may drop to between -4.40% and -8.91%, depending on how long the lockdown will last and how strong is the economic response.
In a report titled ‘ Bouncing back: The Nigerian Economic Sustainability plan’, Osibanjo noted that the committee gave a recommendation that the Federal Government should embark on creating massive employment opportunities to address the effects of the Covid19 pandemic.
However, he recommended that massive employment opportunities should be created and the use of local materials should be encouraged.
The committee also suggests there should be an expansion of the social investment program by increasing the number of beneficiaries that will benefit from the cash transfer, N-power volunteers, sundry, micro traders loans and small loans.
Discussing the execution which he noted was important to the success of the proposal, Osinbajo stated that the committee suggested that each minister will be made responsible for supervising the execution of the plan which will be situated in their respective ministries.