President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the ‘engagement’ of 774,000 Nigerians for the Special public works programme to help cushion the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed disclosed this at a press conference on fiscal stimulus measures in response to COVID-19 outbreak and the shock from drop in Oil prices, on Monday April 6.
According to Mrs Ahmed N60b has been earmarked for the initiative and each of the 774 local governments in Nigeria will provide 1000 youths for the initiative and wikll help to financially empower individuals who lose their jobs due to the economic crisis.
“The Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning is also evaluating how best to extend the Special Public Works Programme, to provide modest stipends for itinerant workers to undertake Roads Rehabilitation and Social Housing Construction.” Mrs Ahmed said.
“And also Urban and Rural Sanitation, Health Extension and other critical services. This intervention will be undertaken in conjunction with the key federal ministries responsible for Agriculture, Environment, Health and Infrastructure, as well as the states, to financially empower individuals who lose their jobs due to the economic crisis.
“Mr. President has approved the establishment of a-N500 billion COVID-19 Crisis Intervention Fund. The establishment of the Fund will involve drawing much-needed cash resources from various Special Funds and Accounts, in consultation with and with the approval of the National Assembly.
“The N500 billion is proposed to be utilized to upgrade healthcare facilities as earlier identified by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and approved by Mr. President.
“This will help to finance the Federal Government’s Interventions to support states in improving healthcare facilities, finance the creation of a Special Public Works programme and Fund any additional interventions that may be approved by Mr. President”.