The Economic Sustainability Plan of the Buhari Administration will leave a lasting legacy on Nigerians, Laolu Akande, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice President, said on Monday.
Speaking at a virtual interactive programme hosted by the Publisher of Ovation International, Bashorun Dele Momodu, Akande explained that the Sustainability Plan, which is in its implementation phase, will bring electricity to millions of homes, create new local jobs and empower the MSMEs.
He said: “In the area of touching lives of the average Nigerian, the President has done very well, especially with the inception of the NSIP’s, which include TraderMoni, N-Power, Conditional Cash Transfer, Anchor Borrowers Programme, etc, but the COVID-19 pandemic led the President to mandate Prof. (Yemi) Osinbajo and the other members of the Economic Sustainability Committee to come up with a plan to ensure that Nigeria bounces back strongly.
“This led to the formulation of the Economic Sustainability Plan that has been approved by the FEC (Federal Executive Council) and the members of the committee upgraded to the Implementation Committee.
“One key sector that will be receiving immediate attention is agriculture. Working in tandem with the 36 State Governments as well as the Federal Capital Territory, the economic sustainability plan seeks to inculcate at least 20 new hectares of farmland in every state to help push the agricultural revolution. This in turn will drastically reduce the rate of unemployment across the country and boost our economy as we would need to import less while exporting more commodities.
“The housing sector would also see 300,000 houses across the nation within one year span. These houses will be constructed within each State by the occupants of the State. The aim is to employ the indigenes and use materials and products found and located within those States.
“The Nigerian people will be informed regularly about this plan. They would also be participants. And furthermore, they would help keep an eye on the level of implementation in their various locals. This stimulus packages has been approved and Nigerians need to simply wait for the information from the government on how they can become part of the process.”
Akande added that half a million MSME jobs will be the immediate target under the MSME survival fund.
He said: “We are looking at helping MSMEs with a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 50 employees to survive by paying part of their salaries via the 50 billion MSME payroll support for MSME survival fund.
“Another N200 billion interest-free loan will go to artisans to enable them stay in business. N15 billion off take fund is also earmarked to help 100,000 MSMEs that the government would be the primary consumers of their products.
“This is to enable the Nigerian people to become more productive. We employ the people to be the watchdogs and accountability managers in their respective locations to ensure that all these are properly implemented.
“The various schemes will be handled by the various Ministries and Agencies that they fall under. For example, the solar power electrification scheme will be handled by the Rural Electrification Agency and Niger Delta Power Holding Company as well as the Ministry of Power, who will all come together to form an implementation committee.
“As the implementation committees reach certain milestones, funds will then be released to them. So to answer your question, the monies will not be released wholesome. The survival fund will be disbursed via the Bank of Industry as well as the Ministry of Commerce. The rest will be released through the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Ministry of Finance.”