Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says President Muhammadu Buhari’s regime is doing well with its COVID-19 stimulus package under the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP), that things are not bad as Nigerians think.
According to Mr Osinbajo, over two million jobs have been created and saved with the implementation of ESP.
“Although the target of N2.3 trillion estimated to be spent under the plan has not been achieved just as yet, the federal government appropriation part of that total being N500 billion has been completely released by the end of May,” Laolu Akande in a statement on Monday quoted Mr Osinbajo as saying.
Mr Akande, a media aide, said Mr Osinbajo chaired a virtual meeting of the Economic Sustainability Committee (ESC) measuring the ESP’s implementation.
“This makes it possible to attain several objectives of the ESP directly supporting a few million Nigerians. While a total of 2,100,021 jobs have been saved and created all together, the breakdown of the figures indicates that 1.3 million jobs have been retained through interventions in the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) space, including the Payroll Support.
“The 774,000 jobs from the Public Works Programme and 26,021 Jobs from construction /rehabilitation projects across the country were among those freshly created,” explained Mr Osinbajo.
He added that the 100 per cent release of funds appropriated in the budget for the programme was commendable, urging the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to expedite action on the release of funding components of the ESP.
Mr Osinbajo further stated, “Our budget funds were released in total. I thank the Honorable Minister of Finance for ensuring that it was done promptly, which means, in effect, that as far as the budget goes, we have been able to do what we practically promised to do.
“I know that if we were able to infuse N2.3 trillion into the Nigerian economy, we will not have the employment figures that we have today, we will not have the problems that we have today, they will be significantly reduced.
“Even with what we are able to do with the budget, growth figures at least indicate that things have not degenerated as badly as many had thought.”