The Federal council (FEC) has approved the N2.3 trillion stimulus plan for Nigeria.

The Federal council (FEC) has approved the Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan (NESP) as recommended by the economic sustainability committee led by vice president Yemi Osinbajo.

President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo

The Federal council (FEC) has approved the N2.3 trillion stimulus plan for the Nigeria Economy meeting on Wednesday. The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, announced the approval at the end of the FEC meeting.

“The total package that we presented today is in the sum of N2.3 trillion. N500 billion of this is a stimulus package that’s already provided for within the amended 2020 Appropriations Act. These are funds that we’ve sourced from special accounts.

We even have N1.2 trillion of these funds to be sourced as structured low-cost loans which are interventional from the financial institution of Nigeria also as other development partners and institutions.

“We have N344 billion which will be sourced from bilateral and external sources and also additional funds that we will source locally,” she said.

Aims

The NESP aims to make jobs, pump money into the economy and hopefully stop it slipping into recession, support small businesses, and prioritize local content (Made-in-Nigeria).

The NESP is a 12-month ‘Transit’ Plan between the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) and therefore the ERGP-successor-plan currently being worked upon.

“There may be a strategy that has been adopted and this whole plan is to enable us to respond to the triple problem of the low exchange rate, youth unemployment also as negative growth which is facing us now,” Mrs. Ahmed said.

“The plan has to also support small businesses that have suffered the severe impact of COVID-19 as a result of lockdowns, especially, the hotel industry, private schools, restaurants as well as the transport sector have been very well impacted by this.

“We have also seen a big impact on the poor and the vulnerable and even folks that were okay as small traders, are hard hit …,” she said.

Revamping economy, businesses

The minister also said the council noted interventions within the plan that might prevent businesses from collapsing and also infuse liquidity into the Nigerian economy.

“These will create jobs using labor-intensive methods like agriculture, facility management, housing, construction, direct labor interventions which will create tons of jobs very quickly. We had also proposed in the plan to undertake growth-enhancing jobs, creating infrastructure investments in roads, bridges, solar energy, communications technology, and several others.

President Muhammadu Buhari

“We have promoted within the plan, manufacturing, and native production at all levels. We are advocating for the utilization of made in Nigeria in all of these public works that we’ll be doing as a way of creating job opportunities to reinforce job sufficiency.

“So we expect – for construction, as an example – we expect the minister of works not to buy bitumen but to think about the utilization of gemstones and cement or other materials which will be used here. That way we conserve our resources and can even be ready to ignite other sectors within the economy,” she explained.

Housing

The official also spoke on specific interventions within the construction and housing sector.

The same thing for housing also. the planning is to possess 300,000 houses built using standard designs which will be done by the ministry of works and housing but using strictly low-cost materials.

“On the building sites, the plan is to possess carpenters and others which will have a multiplier effect on the economy,” she said.

She said, “the third pillar for us is to make sure rigorous implementation and this is important because this is a 12-month plan that’s meant to pull our economy from sliding into a deep recession.”

“It will also be a plan that will anchor to the successor period that we’ve already started working on,” she said. “It is a 12-month plan, a transit plan meant to be implemented quickly.”

“To that effect, the federal council has agreed that the procurement processes become relaxed during a manner that we are adopting a faster mood as against using the longer procurement process.

“With the National Assembly passing the budget, we’ve funding ready to go but we need procurement to be done quickly so that this money can be put to immediate use,” she added.

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