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FG suspends loan deductions for states, sets up committee on reopening of economy

As a fallout from the first virtual National Economic Council (NEC) meeting which was held on Thursday May 21, 2020, the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, who is also the Chairman of the committee, has set up a committee on the reopening of the Nigerian economy.

This was disclosed in a tweet post from Prof. Yemi Osinbajo’sand it was one of the highlights of the resolution of the committee.

According to the statement, ‘’A new committee led by the Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa and comprising of other members including the Go⁸vernors of Lagos, Kano, Bauchi, Anambra, Plateau, and the FCT Minister, has been set up to liaise and work with the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on the best way to re-open the Nigerian economy post-lockdown’’.

In the statement, the NEC will also work with the Economic Sustainability Committee, which is also chaired by the Vice President to coordinate an Economic Sustainability Plan for the country. The plan is going to involve a financial stimulus package that could run into trillions of naira and support sectors like agriculture, power infrastructure, technology and others.

The World Bank, which was represented at the meeting, as part of its support, is proposing a fiscal relief to ensure economic stability and stimulus package for the poor and financial support to be distributed to the state governments for expenditures and interventions during this COVID-19 period.

The federal government as part of its support to the state governments will be supporting the financial viability of states and reducing their financial burden by temporarily suspending the deductions tied to bailouts and others with effect from April 2020.

Meanwhile, the Minister for Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, while briefing the committee on the measures put in place by the federal government to tackle this crisis, noted that the president established the Presidential Task Force on covid-19, the Crisis Management Committee and the Economic Sustainability Committee as response to the coronavirus pandemic in Nigeria.

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