How we are converting COVID-19 pandemic to opportunity to reset economy — Osinbajo

IN spite of the despair that came with the COVID-19 pandemic and its attendant consequences, Nigeria decided to seize the opportunity to reset the economy amidst worldwide economic challenges, according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

The vice president stated this in Abuja on Tuesday at a webinar organised by the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council  (CWEIC), with its focus on Nigeria. Professor Yemi Osinbajo said: “It seemed the sun was beginning to shine quite right after the years of recession and its immediate aftermath. Then came COVID-19, possibly the worst economic crisis the world has seen.

“For us in Nigeria, it was a perfect storm for oil prices, Russia and Saudi Arabia choosing that very moment for a price ar. en the inevitable lockdowns resulting in the use of businesses, our huge informal economy all but crashed and government revenues fell too by over 40 per cent.

“But the silver linings were perhaps bolder in the dark clouds. The resident decided that we could seize the opportunity to reset our economy in a way that may have been impossible had there not been a worldwide economic crash.

“I was asked to chair an inter-ministerial team to develop our economic sustainability plan. A plan which we hope will, in the next 12 months or so, avoid a deep and prolonged recession by supporting businesses and households, but perhaps more importantly, addressing long-term structural vulnerabilities “Taking into account our economic size and fiscal limitations, we have put together a stimulus package of N2.3 trillion, which is just over 1.5 per cent of national income. If  er factors like the price of oil and length of the COVID-19 pandemic do not worsen further, these interventions ould meliorate the situation with a mild recession expected of -0.59 per cent.” #

Other speakers at the international webinar asides Vice President Osinbajo included Lord Marland of Odstock, the chairman of the CWEIC, Sir Lynton Crosby; Chief Executive Officer C|T Group and the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Chief Niyi Adebayo.



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