The Federal Government on Thursday said N288bn out of the N500bn appropriated for COVID-19 intervention programmes under the Economic Sustainability Plan had been released.
As a result, it said at least 2.1 million jobs had been saved, including new ones created, while over 4000km of federal and rural roads were at least 30% completed since the commencement of the programme.
The Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, disclosed this in a statement titled “Over two million jobs saved, created, as FG releases N288bn for ESP/COVID-19 implementation.”
Akande said the figures emerged from a meeting of the Economic Sustainability Committee presided over by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa on Thursday.
The statement read, “Ministers and heads of agencies executing the Buhari administration’s Economic Sustainability Plan reported significant improvement in the implementation of the plan, as the Federal Government ramps up funding for projects across sectors to impact more Nigerians.
“Already more than 50% of the appropriated sum for the ESP has been released.
“Under the Survival Fund scheme specifically, 1.3 million jobs have been saved, and another 774,000 jobs created from the Public Works Programme. This is apart from the total 26,021 jobs created from construction and rehabilitation works.
“Other highlights include the release of 100% (i.e. N5bn) appropriation for the COVID-19 Aviation intervention; 50% funding (N26bn) for the Public Works scheme hiring 774,000 persons across the country, among others.”
Akande quoted the Vice-President as commending the ministers for doing a good job.
According to him, Osinbajo urged ministers and heads of agencies implementing key programmes of government not to rest on their oars.
“It is important for us to continually bear in mind that we really have a duty to ensure that the vast majority of our people are not allowed to suffer.
“So, I feel we should be thinking more about the next thing that we need to do,” he quoted the Vice President as saying.
In digital skills support for youth and women, anchored by the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Akande quoted the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Mr. Clem Agba, as reporting that N1.5bn which was 50% of the amount appropriated for the scheme primarily targeted for job creation had been released to the ministry.
He added that priority programme for the intervention was the training of 600 youths (100 from each of the 6 geo-political zones) on VSAT technologies who would also be supported with laptops and stipends.
The minister noted that the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs had received N625m (representing 50% of appropriated funds) to implement an empowerment scheme for women through capacity building in innovation and vocational training.
For the Ministry of Youths and Sports, the minister was quoted as saying that N2.6bn representing 50% appropriation was released for implementation of youth employability improvement scheme.
Another key highlight of the progress report, according to the statement, is the release of N1.25bn (50%) to the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons for implementation of programmes for vulnerable and displaced persons.
The statement added, “The minister also reported that the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development received N2.45bn b representing 7.5% of N32.45bn for cash transfer to the poor and vulnerable, while the balance of N30bn is being processed.
“In strengthening health system, the minister said 52 federal tertiary health institutions received N23.57 billion (N853m each) for the establishment of ICUs, molecular laboratories and isolation centres.
“The progress report presented by the minister showed that in 38 FTHs implementation is at an average of 47% completion with procurement process completed and equipment supply in progress.”Follow us on social media