Nigeria’s prompt exit from recession is a key indicator of the success of the ongoing Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP) approved by the Federal Government, the Presidency has said in a statement on Sunday in Abuja.
The statement issued by Mr Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant to the President, Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice President, said Nigerians should expect more as the implementation of the ESP gathered momentum.
Akande provided update on ESP progress and the latest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) figures for the last quarter of 2020.
He said that the president and the Federal Executive Council had approved the ESP in June 2020, while the vice president was asked to lead the implementation of the Plan.
“The plan is aimed, among others, at preventing a deep recession and putting cash in the hands of Nigerians after the economic fallouts of the pandemic.
“Right from the 2020 third quarter, the economy was already on a rebound, adding that the latest fourth-quarter figures show that indeed, the recovery of the Nigerian economy is a steady one.
“Like we explained late last year after the release of the third-quarter figures, the ESP, which was a calculated intervention by the Federal Government, is driving the Nigerian economy in the right direction – upwards.
“Nigerians can expect more because the administration is unrelenting in its determination to pursue the steady recovery and growth of our economy,” the statement read in part.
The presidential spokesperson said the ESP was entering into an even more potent phase with the revving up of plans to install five million solar installations across the country.
He said that the social mass housing plan would result in hundreds of thousands of affordable houses for ordinary Nigerians.
According to him, both aspects will yield several hundreds of jobs besides giving the national economy a significant spur like never before.
He explained that, so far, the Survival Fund was making waves with MSMEs, artisans, transport workers, hundreds of thousands receiving cash stimulus, and the payroll support where an equal number of people running into hundreds of thousands employed by businesses were collecting N50,000 monthly.
Akande said that the payroll support covered three months’ salaries for beneficiaries.
“Already about 311,000 employees have received the payroll support coming from 64,000 businesses nationwide and over 165,000 artisans have also benefited from the Survival Fund. In all, the Survival Fund is on course to safeguard at least 1.3 million jobs.
“Underway also is the Government Off-take Scheme, GOS, where the Federal Government will pump an additional N15 billion to support Nigerian-owned businesses by off-taking a number of products in a bid to keep businesses alive and create jobs.
“The GOS will cover products such as facemasks, liquid soaps, disinfectants, hand sanitisers, and other processed foods and spices.
“Altogether, the GOS will benefit 100,000 MSMEs, while an additional 100,000 Nigerians will also be benefiting from a one-off N50,000 MSME grant different from those already paid to artisans, transport workers and separate from the payroll support.”
Akande said that the quarter four GDP figures grew by 0.11 per cent in Q4 2020 following two consecutive quarters of negative growth showing an exit from the pandemic induced recession.
“This positive quarterly growth in Q4 2020 contributed to overall GDP, which contracted by -1.92 per cent and for the full year in 2020.”