Though the Federal Government had begun implementation of the N2.3 trillion stimulus package, the economic distortions and hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic require relevant ministers and stakeholders to expedite action on the plan adopted to mitigate the effect of the crisis on the economy, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo stated on Monday.
Stressing the quick execution of the incentive in a statement by his spokesman, Laolu Akande, the nation’s number two citizen noted that “everything that we are doing has to be done immediately.”
He said: “We are already in ‘Day 67’ since the plan (began). Nothing is going to happen by magic, we have to simply do this stuff. We got to ensure that we have the money and ensure that day-by-day, we are measuring our achievements. And we simply are not favoured by time. Every single day, the poverty situation and the economic distortions deepen.”
Osinbajo made the appeal in his presentation entitled, “The Urgency of Now”, delivered to review the Economic Sustainability Plan at the first year ministerial performance review retreat for ministers, permanent secretaries and top government functionaries in Abuja.
He spoke after delivering the President’s opening speech at the two-day event that ended yesterday.
According to him, “everybody recognises that the only way out of this particular problem is to ensure that we fund production, enable consumer spending so that people can go and buy things, and we have to put money in people’s hands.”
Osinbajo observed that “the mass agriculture programme is one where we envisage that we will be engaging many farmers. So far, we have enumerated at least four million farmers. So, these are farmers who are tied to their lands, and we have the geostatistics that shows where their lands are. And we expect that with each state contributing acreage for farming, we will be able to do significant numbers. The plan is designed in such a way that in each of the projects, we are engaging as many Nigerians as possible.”
On the mass housing initiative, he pointed out: “The programme is one where we are looking at building 300,000 homes across the country. We are looking at ensuring that the price of those homes do not exceed N2 million. We already have models which have been put up in Borno State by the Family Homes Fund where the figure is at about N2 million. This is a social housing scheme.”