President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday directed the Ministry of Finance and National Planning to pay salaries.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, who heads the presidential committee to review the impact of coronavirus on the economy, disclosed this while answering questions from State House Correspondents, Abuja on Thursday.
According her, President Buhari also directed the ministry to ensure that critical infrastructure like roads, rails were protected and as much as possible, and that local inputs are used so that the country retains value within her economy.
The president also directed that measures that will protect the poor and the vulnerable be put in place.
She said the committee briefed the president on current happenings around the world due to COVID-19 and the impact on the nation’s economy.
On the directives given, Ahmed said, “Well, he has directed that we should make sure that salaries are paid, make critical infrastructures like roads, rails are protected, as much as possible use local inputs so that we retain value within our economy. And also make sure that we measures that protects the poor and the vulnerable.”
Ahmed noted that the meeting was just to brief President Buhari as the situation keeps evolving daily.
“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 is the additional slowing down the economy and the measures that we need to take to mitigate the negative consequences of the slow trade and businesses,” she added.
Another member of the committee, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, said the economy was not in the best of shape due to COVID-19 and oil prices were crashing daily, hence the need for the President to be constantly briefed.
The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, also said that the economy was not looking as simple as every thought it would be.
He stated, “The global economy naturally like we all know at this time will 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.”
Other members of the committee are
Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Clement Agba and the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mela Kyari.