The Minister of Finance, Budget & National Planning, Zainab Ahmed has stated that the Federal Government has spent N502.3 billion to stabilize the economy after being hit by the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic.
Mrs. Zainah Ahmed made this known while speaking at the national dialogue on COVID-19 economic impact & assessment of national and states’ recovery plans and policy options in Abuja on Tuesday, August 10, 2021.
The Minister stated that Nigeria was deeply affected by the pandemic because it was recovering from recession before COVID-19 which led to an all-time fall of crude oil prices being the economic pillar of the country.
According to her, the key interventions the N502 billion was used for include: the establishment of a N500 billion COVID-19 crisis intervention fund to finance the upgrade and improvement of healthcare facilities; the creation of a Special Public Works Programme to employ 774,000 people, among others.
In her words; “You know that in the 2020 budget, N500 billion was appropriated and it was fully funded. But apart from that, we also have the economic sustainability plan totalling N2.3 billion in the form of intervention funds from the CBN, which means loans are given to private sector and they pay back later”.
Mrs Ahmed, however, disclosed that lessons were learned from the pandemic, especially the urgent need to fix the challenges of the health sector.