There are reports that the Nigeria government is deeply concerned over impending job losses by citizens after the coronavirus pandemic, hence it has started thinking of how to create new ones.
Financial Street gathered that the body charged with this responsibility, a seven-man Economic Sustainability Committee headed by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, would be meeting to fashion out strategies to be adopted to ensure jobs are not lost, while new ones are added.
Already, the committee has told the president to widen the COVID-19 palliatives net to accommodate more Nigerians who have suffered economically as a result of the lockdown to curb the disease, taking closer look at Nigerians who earn daily wage.
Also, there are revelations that the government will be acceding to the committee’s advice to come up with more measures that will support the efforts to ensure rapid economic recovery amid dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak and sharp drop in oil proceeds.
The committee, which sits weekly, includes the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Ahmed Zainab; Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva; Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo; Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Godwin Emefiele; Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mr. MeleKyari; and the Permanent Secretary of the Cabinet Secretariat.
It is suggesting strategies to the government that will help the country absorb the shock arising from the global crisis.
One of the strategies, it revealed, will be the government coming out with more palliatives that will help to cushion the effect of the extended lockdown in parts of the country. The palliative will include widening of the net through the review of the register being used for Conditional Cash Transfer to indigent Nigerians.
“Their immediate target is to devise ways to keep existing jobs and create new ones now and the post-COVID-19 era. They are also looking at what agriculture can do in the immediate future so that we can have enough food. They are considering how the agrarian drive can be further pursued to develop agro-based industries to produce processed food for export to earn foreign exchange and create jobs.
“They are recommending the expansion of the register of the poorest of the poor to accommodate more Nigerians, especially those who rely on daily earnings, and this exercise is to be carried out urgently,” a source close to the committee offered.
In addition, the economic team will be recommending a three-pronged approach of short, medium and long term measures in dealing with the fallout. It is also expected that the cooperation of the private sector will help in achieving the set goals.