Coming as part of the economic plan of the Federal Government of Nigeria under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, the Federal Government in its poise to reducing the effect of the novel virus, Covid-19 on the people and the economy of the nation even as it prepares for a Post Covid-19 realities has stated that it will be dedicating a sum of N2.3tn to restructure the nation’s economy.
This is coming in the wake of the few but hard hitting recent economic relapses being experienced in the nation Nigeria in recent weeks. The World Bank recently predicted that if the Nigerian Government fails to take drastic and Proactive measures in light of the economic hit which it’s took as a result of the onslaught of Covid-19, it may witness its biggest economy recession in Forty years. Adding to this the nation’s economy took a major hit when it was received by the Nigerian Statistics Bureau that the Nigerian economy shrank by 6.1% year on year in the 2nd quarter of the year 2020. The 6.1% contraction was recorded to be Nigeria’s steepest in the last ten years, the reduction follows 13 quarters of positive but reduced growth rates.
The plan to inject the sum of N2.3tn into the nation’s economy as part of the Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan to reduce the impact of Covid-19 by the Federal Government of Nigeria was made known by the Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari, Mr Demo Adesina on Sunday, 6th of September 2020 while addressing the participants at the Annual Conference and General Meeting of the International Islamic University Malaysia Alumni Association, Nigeria chapter.
According to the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, he explained that the National Economic Sustainability Plan is made up of N500 billion naira Crisis Invention Fun which is planned to be used to upgrade the Health Facilities and Equipment’s in the various Nigerian hospitals and also finance a national Special Public Works Programme; he also stated that N1.1tn structured lending from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN); N334bn to be gotten from external bilateral and multilateral sources and also the sum of N302.9bn from other unrevealed sources.
He also added that the twelve months’ plan under the National Economic Sustainability Plan was put in place as a successor to the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan. Explaining furthermore Adesina stated that the nation Nigeria and its economic plan when compared to the economies of other nations of the world had done reasonable well as it was not badly got by the Covid-19 global pandemic against the doomsday predictions that many has made regarding the Nigerian nation and its economy. Doing an honest review and evaluation of the previous, ongoing and future economic plan of the Federal government has led by President Muhammadu Buhari, it can be objectively stated that the federal government has injected a decent effort at stabilizing the staggering and unstable Nigerian economy. However, there is a need for the Nigerian economic team to step on its brakes and ensure a well-coordinated and effective economic resuscitation plan in Nigeria.
The previous the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan has done so little as intended by the federal government of Nigeria to cushion the effect of covid-19 on the economic wits of the nation. It must be realized that the gap between the rich and the gap in the nation is a wide one which must be bridged to ensure a balance. The inability of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan in Nigeria to fully see to this is a major problem which must be addressed in the next economic plan which is being planned in the nation. In the light of this there is only one way which this can be fully addressed.
The federal government of Nigeria as a matter of urgency must recognize the fact that the small and medium scale enterprise must take prominence in its national economic plan strategy. In every human society, the small and medium scale enterprise plays a major role in the economic growth, as they mirror the grassroots progress of the government. The various small and medium scale enterprise in Nigeria which numbers above a thousand is largely dominated by poor and average citizen of the nation on the nation’s economic scale. When the activities and plan of the government are tailored towards their growth, it not only has a meaningful and positive Impact on the social welfare of the respective communities where they dwell, it also has a ripples effect on the national outlook of the country. This is because they are the closest and nearest to the people and also because when they are properly favored by the government economic policies, it gives room for expansion which in the long run gives much room for the creation of more labor. The implication of this is that while there is a demand for more labor as a result of the growth and expansion of small scale business outfit in Nigeria, there will be a big demand of more products and goods from the industries which in a long way will boost massive industrialization in the nation as well as curbing to a large extent the high rate of unemployment in the nation. The nation is highly plagued with the case of many of its youths and graduates without jobs. However, the federal government stands to reduce the burden on it by putting in place an economic plan that will see to it that the youths are motivated to try out small and medium scale enterprise.
Also the intended N2.3tn to restructure the nation’s economy which by all standard is a welcome development, the federal government of Nigeria must ensure that there is accountability on the path of its major stakeholders and it economic team in handling this national fund, in recent times many of the various intended funds which are marked by the federal government for national growth are usually hijacked by various individuals who believe that the funds are their own share of the national cake. A recent example is the mismanagement of funds as experienced and revealed in the on-going NDDC saga.
The success of this economic plan as intended will be determined at how well the federal government tailors this towards the growth of small scale business enterprise in Nigeria and also on how accountable it is in executing this plan
By Marcus Amudipe