By Lilian Ogbonna (AGENDAWATCHDOG) – The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, has announced that the Federal Executive Council has approved N2.3trillion COVID-19 stimulus plan to prop up the country’s economy amid the disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ahmed, who disclosed this following a FEC virtual conference, said that President Muhammadu Buhari chaired the conference where the stimulus package, which was recommended by the Economic Sustainability Committee chaired by the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, was approved.
According to Ahmed, out of the N2.3 trillion presented, N500billion was a stimulus package already provided for in the amended 2020 Appropriations Act, adding that the funds had been sourced from special accounts.
The Minister also added that N1.2 trillion of the funds would be sourced as structured low-cost loans, which are intervention from the Central Bank of Nigeria as well as other development partners and institutions, adding that N344 billion would be sourced from bilateral and external sources and also additional funds that would be sourced locally.
While stating that a strategy had been adopted to enable government respond to the triple problem of the low exchange rate, youth unemployment as well as negative growth which is facing the country now, Ahmed said that the plan would also prop up Small and Medium scale Entreprises that had been ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic induced lockdowns.