Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has appointed Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa as head of a seven-man committee to explore ways Nigeria can experience economic growth, in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
His appointment was sequel to a virtual meeting by members of the National Economic Council NEC which Osinbajo presided over at the presidential villa, Abuja.
Okowa along with other governors in his team are expected to liaise with the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 chaired by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha to ensure a effective and efficient strategy to reopen the Nigerian economy after the lockdowns and shutdowns across the country.
The sub committee which includes the Governors of Lagos, Kano, Bauchi, Anambra, Plateau, and the FCT Minister are expected to introduce a substantial stimulus package running into a couple trillion Naira, ensure that Nigeria as a country gets through the COVID-19 economic challenges and in fact chart a path of growth and development for the Nigerian economy by ensuring massive productivity in several sectors including agriculture, power, infrastructure, technology and several others.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed gave an update on the Excess Crude Account (ECA) pegging the balance as at 21st May 2020 at $72,406,791.52
The Stabilization Account balance as at 21st May 2020 stood at N39, 337,123,485.30 while the Natural Resources Development Fund account as at 21st May 2020 stood at N125, 190,251,907.47
The Minister stated that Nigeria is faced with perhaps the most challenging economic challenge in its history. The global economy is also facing its sharpest reversal since the great depression and these have health and economic implications.
On Economy, she noted that COVID-19 has resulted in the collapse in oil prices, stressing that this will impact negatively on Federation revenues and Foreign exchange earnings.
The Minister also noted that the net oil and gas revenue inflows to the federation account in Q1 2020 amounted to N940.91 billion, representing a shortfall of N425.52 billion (or 31.1% of the prorated amount).
To prevent a deep recession arising from the COVID-19 economic crisis, the orthodox approach all over the world, which is also in the works in Nigeria, is to deploy a stimulus package.