A repositioning of the economy, starting with a review of 2020 budget in a bid to reflect realities in the oil sector, and prioritize health sector infrastructure to respond to the threats posed by Coronavirus, has been directed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The directive was given during the 2nd Regular Meeting of the Presidential Economic Advisory Council (PEAC).
The meeting was held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja and was contained in a statement signed and sent to newsmen by his spokesperson, Garba Shehu.
Buhari recommended that government debt should be securitized, design and institutionalization of a revenue stabilization program and the imperative of cutting the cost of governance at all levels.
Buhari said there is need to prepare the country for tough economic decisions, which includes to includes embarking on a national agenda of stakeholder mobilization – bringing the National Assembly, government organs, private sector and civil society together around a programme to respond to the major challenges confronting the nation.
During the meeting, immediate and short-term measures to consider and implement in order to mitigate any adverse economic effects, the meeting reviewed the COVID-19 pandemic and its potential economic spill-over effects on the global and Nigerian economy.
The meeting with the Advisory Council reviewed the state of the Nigerian economy and noted its continued fragility and vulnerability to external shocks in spite of recent gains in output growth.
It also noted, with concern, the changing economic fundamentals – as manifested in a renewed cycle of rising prices and weaknesses in the external sector.
The meeting also considered the indirect effect that would come through the impact of the pandemic on Nigeria’s other trading partners and the global economy, with implications of a global recession that could slow down Nigeria’s fragile growth and trigger exchange rate re-alignment.
Nigerian had placed a travel restriction on some countries, following the outbreak of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Several cases of the disease had been recorded since its first outbreak in Nigeria.
However, an activist who wished not to be named in a chat with DAILY POST faulted Buhari’s silence since the outbreak of the disease.
“It’s uncalled-for that Buhari has not addressed Nigerians properly on these issues. The president of a country like US has addressed his citizens.
“Anyways, what do you expect from a man like Buhari, not serious. Give him an opportunity, he may just mess up.”