COVID-19 cut off 40% of our revenue, says Osinbajo

The Federal Government’s revenue fell by 40 per cent due to the impact of COVID-19 pandemic, the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, said on Tuesday.

 The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice President, Laolu Akande, disclosed this in a statement titled “How we are converting COVID-19 pandemic to opportunity to reset the economy – Osinbajo,” on Tuesday.

 According to the statement, Osinbajo said this in Abuja at a webinar organised by the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council with focus on Nigeria.

 The Vice President said, “It seemed the sun was beginning to shine quite brightly after the years of recession and its immediate aftermath.

 “Then came COVID-19, possibly the worst economic crisis the world has seen.

 “For us in Nigeria, it was a perfect storm for oil prices, Russia and Saudi Arabia choosing that very moment for a price war.

 “Then the inevitable lockdowns resulting in closure of businesses. Our huge informal economy all but crashed and government revenues fell too by over 40 per cent.”

 Taking into account the country’s economic size and fiscal limitations, he said it had put together a stimulus package of N2.3tn, which was just over 1.5 per cent of national income.

 If other factors like the price of oil and length of the COVID-19 pandemic did not worsen further, he said, these interventions would ameliorate the situation with a mild recession expected of minus 0.59 per cent.

  “We have taken the opportunity to remove petrol subsidies and to insist that power distribution companies must engage with customers to ensure that new tariffs are based only on improved power supply,” he said.

 In addition to using fiscal and monetary measures to stimulate the economy, he said the government’s main objectives were to retain and create jobs, to assist vulnerable people, support businesses and undertake infrastructural investments.
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