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Vice President Yemi Osinabjo said President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has been helping Nigerians to cope with the economic shock caused by COVID-19
He spoke at a virtual Chatham House interactive session on Tuesday themed: “Priorities for Nigeria’s Post-COVID Recovery”.
Osinbajo highlighted the impact of the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP) as a crucial pivot in helping the country respond to the fallouts of the pandemic.
He said the government’s first priority was to protect people and their livelihoods in response to the fallout of the pandemic.
Osinbajo noted that the ESP’s Survival Fund is protecting jobs and ensuring that informal workers were able to earn some wages.
The VP said through the Survival Fund scheme, over 300,000 beneficiaries, as well as businesses have been supported during the pandemic.
He listed provision of salaries for three months for beneficiaries, including private school teachers, artisans, road transporters, taxi cab operators, and commercial tricycle operators in the urban areas.
“We also sought to protect the most vulnerable. What we did was to provide direct cash transfers to the urban poor, many of them who are captured in a social register.
“In the first phase of that, we are able to benefit about 1 million beneficiaries. We are now in a position using the same social register to scale up the programme to about 20 million beneficiaries”, he added.