Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed has raised alarm that lockdown of some states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), as a way of controlling the spread of coronavirus is slowing down economy.
“The consequences of the lockdown are the additional slowing down of the economy and the measures that we need to take to mitigate the negative consequences of the slow trade and businesses.’’
The minister, who spoke to news men today, April 2, shortly after a meeting of the Presidential Committee on the impact of the coronavirus on Nigeria’s economy with President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja, said that the committee briefed the president on the effect of coronavirus on the economy.
“This meeting was just to brief Mr President as the situation we are in keeps evolving on a daily basis, as the health crisis gradually expands, affecting states and also the lockdown that has been ordered to help curtail expansion of the health crisis.”
She said that the President directed her ministry to ensure that salaries of workers are paid, adding that the president also directed the committee to put in place measures meant to protect the poor and less privileged members of the society from unnecessary hardships as a result of the virus.
The asked the ministry to also ensure that critical infrastructure like roads, rails are protected and as much as possible, use local inputs so that the country retains value within her economy.
“Well, he has directed that we should make sure that salaries are paid, make critical infrastructures like roads, rails are protected, as much as possible use local inputs so that we retain value within our economy.
“And also make sure that we take measures that protect the poor and the vulnerable.”