Posted by News Express | 27 July 2020 | 346 times
By KEHINDE ABDULSALAM
Nigeria is witnessing its worst economic challenges in history as a result of COVID-19 pandemic, Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo has said.
The Vice President in his message at the 11th Synod of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), said, the nation is now earning 40 per cent less than it should because oil prices have fallen and few today can afford to pay taxes.
According to him, “There was a day in April when oil, our precious oil was selling for less than the cost of production. No one was even willing to buy.
“Suddenly all we took for granted, from air travel to hugs and even handshakes have become neither safe nor advisable.
“The sum and substance of what I am saying is that these past few months have shown us that human ingenuity and planning cannot even assure us that we will live to see the next day.
“Any hopes built on the foundation of human understanding and effort is a shaky and unsure foundation and is bound to fail when the storms and the turbulence come.”
Osinbajo, however, expressed optimism that Nigerians and all people around the world will survive the despair, pain and other consequences associated with the pandemic.
“Everything around us has been shaken and is being shaken by the greatest global threat to mankind in a century.
“We’re in the midst of the greatest economic slump in history; every region of the world is experiencing an unprecedented slowdown in growth.
“It’s my firm belief that by the grace of God, very soon, this pandemic will be defeated,” he said.
Some economic experts believe that the imposition of the lockdown was rather unnecessary in view of the peculiar nature of the Nigerian informal sector with a large population of people who rely on daily activities for sustenance.
The Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed disclosed recently that prior to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the Nigerian economy was already fragile and vulnerable, saying the pandemic has resulted in unprecedented consequences on households’ livelihoods and business activities.
She said that Nigerian government has since revised its 2020 budget, slashing its revenue projection by about 40% and seeking emergency support from the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the African Development Bank to be able to execute the 2020 budget. (Daily Trust)
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