President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Ministry of Finance and National Planning to ensure prompt salaries of workers henceforth.
This is to cushion hardship the ongoing lockdowns has had on the people, which is meant to check the spread of the dreaded coronavirus nationwide.
He also ordered the ministry to protect critical infrastructures like roads and rails as well as seek inputs locally to strengthen the nation’s economy.
This was states by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning and chairman of the presidential panel to review the impact of the coronavirus on the economy, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed, in Abuja after intimating the president on latest developments relating to the scourge.
“The consequences of the lockdown are the additional slowing down of the economy and the measures that we need to take to mitigate the negative results on trade and businesses,” she said.
Also speaking, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, who is a member of the committee admitted that the economy was not in the best of shape owing to the COVID-19 outbreak and the free fall of oil prices, hence the need for the constant briefing of the president.
On his part, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, stated that the economy was not looking as simple as everybody thought.
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“The global economy naturally like we all know at this time will naturally suffer growth problems and may even lead to recession globally. So we are trying to see what we can do as a country to rescue our own situation so that we don’t go the direction many will go.”
While noting that this won’t be easy, he said people can only be assured that the government is on top of it and that will resolve it and Nigerians will still be better for it.”
Other members of the presidential panel are the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Clement Agba; and the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari.