The Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, has said that the Federal government has spent N502.3 billion to stabilise the economy after being hit by the rampaging COVID-19 pandemic.
She made the disclosure while speaking at the national dialogue on COVID-19 economic impact and assessment of national and states’ recovery plans and policy options in Abuja on Tuesday, August 10.
According to the Minister, Nigeria was deeply affected by the pandemic because it was recovering from recession before COVID-19 led to an all-time fall of crude oil prices being the economic pillar of the country.
She added that the key interventions amounting to N502 billion was used for include: the establishment of an N500 billion COVID-19 crisis intervention fund to finance the upgrade and improvement of healthcare facilities; the creation of a Special Public Works Programme to employ 774,000 people, among others.
“You know that in the 2020 budget, N500 billion was appropriated and it was fully funded. But apart from that, we also have the economic sustainability plan totaling N2.3 billion in the form of intervention funds from the CBN, which means loans are given to the private sector and they pay back later.”she said
Mrs Ahmed, however, says that one of the lessons of the pandemic was an urgent need to fix the health sector.