COVID-19: Buhari approves employment for 774,000 Nigerians

In a bid to cushion the effect of COVID-19 pandemic in the country, President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the engagement of 774,000 Nigerians on a special public works programme.

Zainab Ahmed, the minister of finance, budget, and national planning made the disclosure on Monday, April 6, in Abuja at a conference.

COVID-19: Buhari approves employment for 774,000 Nigerians

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the engagement of 774,000 Nigerians on a special public works programme

The minister explained that 1, 000 people were expected to be recruited from each of the 774 local government areas in the country.

She said the sum of N60 billion for allowances and operational cost has been earmarked from the COVID-19 crisis intervention fund for the initiative.

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Meanwhile, President Buhari has reportedly directed that $150 million be withdrawn from the National Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA).

The Cable reports that Zainab Ahmed, the minister of finance, budget and national planning, made this known to newsmen in Abuja.

The minister explained that the withdrawal would be made from the NSIA stabilisation fund to augment disbursements by the federation accounts allocation committee to the three tiers of government.

Zainab Ahmed, the minister of finance, budget and national planning, has disclosed that the decline in oil revenue due to the hard-hitting effect of coronavirus has posed a great threat to the economy.

Addressing journalists in Abuja on Monday, April 6, the finance minister said the impact of the tumble in oil price globally has really brought a damning effect on Nigeria’s economy.

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The finance minister, who lamented the impact of Covid-19 on each sector of the economy, said the pandemic will have an impact on economy-related sectors of the country.

In another news, the federal government has offered clarifications regarding the distribution of the N20,000 palliative to the vulnerable households to cushion the impact of the lockdown necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Guardian reports that the National Cash Transfer Office (NCTO) explained that only one million vulnerable Nigerian households on the National Social Register (NSR) would get the N20,000.

The newspaper adds that the national coordinator of National Social Safety-Nets Coordinating Office (NASSCO), Lonwa Apera, said the cash transfer office had earlier worked with various state governors to develop the national register of poor and vulnerable people in 35 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) besides Ogun state.

The N20,000 cash transfer was part of President Buhari’s plan to help vulnerable Nigerians to cope with the lockdown order over coronavirus. Source: Twitter Apera explained that the cash transfer that was kicked off by the minister of humanitarian affairs was for existing beneficiaries of the programme, and not every Nigerian.

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He stated that the cash transfer is currently paying one million poor and vulnerable households but noted that the number will increase to two million in the next payment round in May.

Still on health, President Buhari has met with the minister of health, Osagie Ehanire, and director-general of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Chikwe Ihekweazu, at his residence in the State House, Abuja.

This was revealed in a series of tweets by the personal assistant to President Buhari on new media, Bashir Ahmad.

The meeting was used by Ehanire and Ihekweazu to give Buhari a report on the COVID-19 situation in the country amid the introduction of new measures to prevent the spread of the virus.

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