- Workers' salaries and pensions will be protected during this coronavirus pandemic
-The directive to protect salaries and pensions was given by President Buhari
- This was disclosed by minister of finance, Zainab Ahmed
President Muhammadu Buhari has given directive for the protection of staff salaries, pensions of retirees and statutory transfer in spite the challenge posed by COVID-19 that has affected the economy.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, disclosed this when she appeared as a guest on Channels Television “Politics Today” programme monitored by News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Friday.
Ahmed said the president also directed that key infrastructure projects such as major roads, railway line and power that were critical to growth and development were also protected.
She admitted that the revenue had been threatened by the pandemic, adding that the country’s ability to implement the 2020 budget at the state and federal level would be significantly hampered.
According to her, with all the impact of COVID-19, it is clear that global growth is going to decline significantly and in worse case, the global economy may go into recession and Nigeria is not isolated from this.
“We made a review of the situation and we decided we need to scale back on our plans so as to bring it into the current reality.
“For instance, the crude oil benchmarks of 57 dollars per barrel in 2020 budget, we had to scale it back to 30 dollars.
“We have been reviewing the budget to look at where we can defer expenditures to another period when things pick up and we have done assessment to reduce the size of the budget by as much as N1.5 trillion.
“We are also looking at our debt service obligation by talking to our lenders to renegotiate repayment term or even seek stay of debt service to preserve them because of this current emergency,” she explained.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had reported that former president Olusegun Obasanjo has released his former residence, the Presidential Hilltop in Abeokuta, Ogun, to be used as isolation centre for victims of COVID-19.
A statement issued by Kehinde Akinyemi, the special assistant (Media) to Obasanjo, said the 32-room facility had been handed over to the Ogun government for immediate take over.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Obasanjo, who moved out of the building in November 2017, presently resides in the Penthouse at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) in Abeokuta.
“The facility located off the Presidential Boulevard, Oke-Sari in the state capital, has each of the 32 rooms en suite, with a standby generator,” he said.
Akinyemi said that the former president expressed concern over the pandemic and called on people in positions to help to offer assistance in containing the spread of the deadly virus.
NAIJ.com (naija.ng) -> Legit.ng Same great journalism, upgraded for better service!
Coronavirus: 5 ways Nigeria is handling COVID-19 | - on Legit TV