By Egena Sunday Ode, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the Ministry of Finance and National Planning to ensure continuous prompt payment of salaries as nation battles to break the spread of coronavirus.
Buhari also directed the ministry to ensure that critical infrastructure like roads, rails are protected and as much as possible, ensure the use of local inputs so that the country retains value within her economy.
Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, who disclosed this on Thursday said President Buhari equally directed that measures that would protect the poor and the vulnerable be put in place.
Fielding questions from State House Correspondent’s in Abuja, the minister who heads the presidential committee to review the impact of coronavirus on the economy, the committee was at the Presidential Villa to brief the president on current happenings around the world due to COVID-19 and the impact on the nation’s economy.
She said: “well, he has directed that we should make sure that salaries are paid, make sure critical infrastructures like roads, rails are protected, and as much as possible use local inputs so that we retain value within our economy. And also make sure that we take measures that protect the poor and the vulnerable.
“This meeting was just to brief Mr. President as the situation we in keeps evolving on a daily basis. As the health crisis gradually expands, affecting states and also the lockdown that has been ordered to help curtail expansion of the health crisis.
“The consequences of the lockdown are the additional slowing down of the economy and the measures that we need to take to mitigate the negative consequences of the slow trade and businesses.”
Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, who is also a member of the committee said the economy is not looking as simple as everyone thought it would be.
He said: “The global economy naturally like we all know at this time will naturally suffer growth problems and may even lead to recession globally. So we are trying to see what we can do as a country to rescue our own situation so we don’t go the direction many will go.
“It is not going to be easy but we can only assure our people that we are on top of it and that we will resolve it and Nigerians will still be better for it.”