THE Economic Sustainability Committee chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has recommended that the Federal Government should embark on mass job creation in order to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 against the Nigerian economy.
This recommendation was contained in the report of the Committee submitted on Thursday by Osinbajo to President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
President Buhari on March 30 set up the Economic Sustainability Committee as part of response to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 pandemic on the Nigeria’s economy.
The President had asked the committee to develop a clear economic sustainability plan in response to challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, to propose monetary policy measures in support of the plan and to provide a fiscal/monetary stimulus package, including support to private businesses and vulnerable segments of the population among others.
The Vice President said the Committee has also recommended that the Federal Government should put in place mass programmes that would create jobs and utilise local materials.
“We have therefore recommended that we must carry out mass programmes that create jobs and utilise local materials,” Osinbajo said.
He explained that such programmes would “include a mass agricultural programme, which is expected to bring between 20,000 and 100,000 hectares of new farmland under cultivation in every state of the federation and create millions of direct and indirect job opportunities.”
The Committee said the Federal Government must also focus on extensive works and construction of urban and rural roads with the use of local materials.
Part of the recommendations is that there must be a mass housing programme that would deliver up to 300,000 homes annually, engaging young professionals and artisans who form themselves into small and medium scale businesses within the construction industry, using indigenous labour and materials.
The ICIR had reported that 42 percent of Nigerians suffered job loss due to COVID-19.
A survey by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said 42 percent Nigerians lost their jobs as a result of the outbreak of COVID-19.