The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday approved N2.3 trillion stimulus package to support the Nigerian economy in the face of the disruptions and challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, who disclosed this to State House correspondents at the end of the FEC meeting in Abuja, said the package was part of the Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan (NESP) recommended by the Economic Sustainability Committee led by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
According to the minister, the goals of the NESP was to create jobs, put money into the economy, stop the economy from slipping into recession, support small businesses and prioritize local content (Made-in-Nigeria).
Ahmed revealed that the NESP was a 12-month “Transit” Plan between the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) and the ERGP-successor-plan currently being worked upon by the Federal Government.
She said: “The total package that we presented today is in the sum of N2.3 trillion, N500 billion of this is a stimulus package that is already provided for in the amended 2020 Appropriations Act. These are funds that we have sourced from special accounts.
“We also have N1.2 trillion of these funds to be sourced as structured low-cost loans which are interventionary from the Central Bank of Nigeria as well as other development partners and institutions.
“We have N344 billion that will be sourced from bilateral and external sources and also additional funds that we can sourced locally.
“There is a strategy that has been adopted and this whole plan is to enable us respond to the triple problem of low exchange rate, youth unemployment as well as negative growth which is facing us now.
“The plan has to also support small businesses that have suffered severe impact of COVID-19 as a result of lock down. Specially, the hotel (hospitality) industry, private schools, restaurants as well as the transport sector had been very well impacted by this pandemic.
“We have also seen a significant impact on the poor and the vulnerable and even people that were okay as small traders, have been hard hit by standstill that we witnessed as a result of lockdowns.”