President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday received the report of the Economic Sustainability Committee (ESC) with a pledge that the Federal Government would continue to implement measures meant to safeguard the economy.
The Economic Sustainability Committee, chaired by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, was inaugurated by the president on March 30 in response to the threat of the most severe economic downturn in the nation’s history, largely caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The committee was specifically charged with the responsibility of developing a clear Economic Sustainability Plan in response to challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, and to propose monetary policy measures in support of the plan, among others.
President Buhari, who lauded Nigerians for their resilience and adapting to the realities of COVID 19, noted that the emergence of pandemic threw the entire world into serious economic crisis.
He said: “While the COVID-19 pandemic spread through our towns and cities, it continues to take a massive toll on the economy.
“I know that many of us have experienced great difficulty during this time, businesses have considerably slowed down and in certain instances, operations closed, workdays have been cut short and personnel liberties restricted, people have lost their jobs and earning a living has indeed been difficult.
“This has been a trying time for those in the informal sector, which constitutes a large part of our economy, important family celebrations were held without the presence of loved ones, schools are closed and parents have had to resort to home-schooling in addition to juggling other responsibilities.
“Despite all these, Nigerians have done their best and persevered. I must salute Nigerians for their resilience in adapting to the realities of the COVID-19 effect while also recognizing the superhuman efforts of our frontline health workers who continue to play a critical role in keeping our country and people safe.
“Non-oil incomes largely made up of taxes are also dramatically reduced on account of the lockdown.
“It is clear that businesses face the prospect of collapse so we must prepare for difficult times, while government continues to seek ways of supporting businesses and industry.”
The President thanked the committee for the good work, where it made some important recommendations that could serve as a national plan to the nation.
He noted with delight that the ESC had consulted with both the National Economic Council and the National Assembly.
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