The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, says President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the engagement of 774, 000 Nigerians on Special Public Works programme in the country to cushion the effect of COVID-19 pandemic.
Mrs Ahmed disclosed this at a press conference on fiscal stimulus measures in response to COVID-19 pandemic and oil prices fiscal shock, on Monday in Abuja.
She explained that 1, 000 people were expected to be recruited from each of the 774 local government areas in the country.
According to her, the sum of N60 billion for allowances and operational cost has been earmarked from the COVID-19 crisis intervention fund for the initiative.
She disclosed that President Buhari had previously approved a pilot special public works programme in eight states to be implemented by the National Directorate of Employment, NDE.
She added that Buhari had now approved that this programme be extended to all 36 States and the FCT from October to December 2020 and the selected time-frame was to ensure that it was implemented after the planting season.
“The Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning is also evaluating how best to extend the Special Public Works Programme, to provide modest stipends for itinerant workers to undertake Roads Rehabilitation and Social Housing Construction.
Ahmed said: “And also Urban and Rural Sanitation, Health Extension and other critical services. This intervention will be undertaken in conjunction with the key federal ministries responsible for Agriculture, Environment, Health and Infrastructure, as well as the states, to financially empower individuals who lose their jobs due to the economic crisis.
“Mr. President has approved the establishment of a-N500 billion COVID-19 Crisis Intervention Fund. The establishment of the Fund will involve drawing much-needed cash resources from various Special Funds and Accounts, in consultation with and with the approval of the National Assembly.
“The N500 billion is proposed to be utilized to upgrade healthcare facilities as earlier identified by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and approved by Mr. President.
“This will help to finance the Federal Government’s Interventions to support states in improving healthcare facilities, finance the creation of a Special Public Works programme and Fund any additional interventions that may be approved by Mr. President”.
The minister noted that although similar challenges were experienced in 2008/2009 as well as in 2015/2016, Nigeria had considerably lower fiscal buffers now than in previous economic downturns.
According to her, the decline in international oil prices and domestic production may be magnified if a severe outbreak of COVID-19 occurs, despite ongoing efforts to curtail the spread of the pandemic through compulsory lockdown of Lagos and Ogun States, as well as the FCT.
The minister said to directly address these health and economic challenges, the president approved the Fiscal Stimulus Package among others as part of an Integrated Policy Framework to ensure that Nigeria’s healthcare system, fiscal position and economy were sufficiently supported to weather these shocks.
Ex- Super Eagles Players Praise Asiwaju Tinubu’s Contributions to Nigeria, Sports
Former Nigeria’s international football players have commended All Progressives Congress National Leader, Asíwájú Bola Tinubu, for his contributions to democracy...
Obiano’s wife was drunk – Bianca Ojukwu opens up on ‘valedictory slap’
Bianca, the wife of late Odumegwu Ojukwu, has explained why she slapped Ebele Obiano at the inauguration ceremony of Prof....
Kaduna govt directs appointees seeking political office to resign
The Kaduna State Government has directed all political appointees and public servants aspiring for political offices in the 2023 general...
Buhari approves new NBC board
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the reconstitution of the Governing Board of the National Broadcasting Commission, NBC, following the expiration...
Police arrest 2 soldiers, 3 others for robbing POS agent in Borno
The police in Borno have arrested five suspects, including two soldiers for alleged armed robbery and culpable homicide. Commissioner of...
Terrorists kill DPO, 2 other policemen, 4 vigilantes in Niger
Suspected bandit terrorists have again hit Niger State, during which a Divisional Police Officer, DPO, two of his officers and four vigilante members were killed. The...
PDP will die in 2023 if it loses election – Atiku
Atiku Abubakar, a former Vice President, has said that the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) might not survive another eight...
Presidency blames ‘Jonathan’ govt for recent national grid collapse
The Presidency has blamed the immediate past administration for the recent collapse of the nation’s power system. President Buhari’s Personal...
Mrs Dolapo in Maiduguri, marks Osinbajo’s birthday at North East Children’s Centre
Wife of the Vice President, Mrs Dolapo Osinbajo, was in Maiduguri on Monday to visit the North East Children’s Learning...
Zulum to commission 22 schools, other projects in southern Borno
Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno has begun a five-day official visit to the southern part of the state to inaugurate...