- The government of President Muhammadu Buhari plans post-COVID-19 stimulus packages for 2.4 million households in Nigeria
- Andrew Kwasari, a presidential aide on agriculture, says the move is to help sustain food security in the country
- To him, the stimulus packages is very important looking at the injury that COVID-19 has caused the country's economy
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The Nigerian government says it is set to make 2.4 million households enjoy its post-COVID-19 stimulus packages.
The plan was announced by Andrew Kwasari, a presidential aide on agriculture, who thinks that the move is to help strengthen food security at this point in the country's journey.
Kwasari said this while speaking concerning the efforts of the Nigerian Economic Sustainability Committee (NESC) to secure the economy against the effects of COVID-19.
The packages are to be distributed through the Agric for Food and Jobs Plan (AFJP) under the Agricultural Sector of the Nigerian Economic Sustainability Plan (NESP) created by President Muhammadu Buhari in March 2020.
“The Economic Sustainability Committee needed to be very strategic in utilising the minimal resources, overall, not only for the agriculture sector.
“So for the Agric sector, we decided that we will use this strategy to utilise available cash to work with financial institutions, led by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
“To see how we can get stimulus packages to about a minimum of 2.4 million households or to fund 2.4 million hectares of land that will be cultivated during this 2020 wet and dry season farming,” Kwasari said.
He added that the Nigerian economy was already disrupted as a result of the COVID-19 stressing that the country lost a large share of its GDP income which comes from oil.
According to him, with this reduced GDP, even if there is stable food systems supply, Nigeria may not be able to afford the importation of food in order to feed over 200 million people.
“Imagine then where we have both global food system disruption in productivity and output and the loss of national income from oil revenue losses.
“Then we are in a more dangerous situation,” he stated, adding that Nigeria opted for large scale food production to cushion the effects of COVID-19, due to dwindling resources.
“Nigeria has a plus in terms of a large population that can be channeled into food production, so we capitalised on it to grow food during this 2020 wet season and dry season farming,” the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) quoted him as saying.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng reports that Zainab Ahmed, the minister of finance, budget and national planning, recently disclosed that the decline in oil revenue due to the hard-hitting effect of coronavirus has posed a great threat to the economy.
Addressing journalists in Abuja on Monday, April 6, the finance minister said the impact of the tumble in oil price globally has really brought a damning effect on Nigeria's economy.
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