By Joseph Onyekwere
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, yesterday, restated Federal Government’s commitment to save jobs and create new ones through the nation’s economic sustainability plan.
He said the government had created a survival fund and payroll support for artisans, private school teachers, and small businesses.
Speaking on the state of the nation with regard to the COVID-19 pandemic at the ongoing annual general conference of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), he explained that the government’s major concern was how the pandemic would affect jobs.
At the session moderated by President of the Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN), Nduka Obaigbena, he disclosed that the Federal Government was currently compiling data based on set criteria.
His words: “Through the Economic Sustainability Plan, the government’s focus is to save jobs and create new ones. Also, there is a survival fund and payroll support for artisans, private school teachers, and small businesses.
“We are currently compiling the data, the criteria is already set. There are also plans for other sectors including the hospitality and aviation segments.”
On the economy, Osinbajo said Nigeria had fared better compared to other economies, although there is a severe decline.
“Economy like politics is local. In comparison with other economies of the world, we have fared better. We, however, recognise that there is a severe decline. The Economic Sustainability Plan is our response to that and we will focus on local industries, resources, and production.
“As for agriculture, we have registered farmers through the Geographical Information System (GIS), tied them to big agricultural businesses, provided some financing and the government will be final off-takers for their produce. This is to ensure that local production continues,” he stated.
With regard to housing, the Vice President noted that 11 states have provided land, adding, “These houses are to be built by young engineers, architects, and artisans. We hope to build thousands of two-bedroom apartments for about N2 million each.”
Responding to inquiries on his political future in 2023, Osinbajo said he was grateful for the opportunity to serve the country and that he was focused on doing just that, saying, “There are issues to be tackled and that has my undivided attention.”
On his part, Obaigbena charged lawyers to ensure that they promote free speech in the country and that citizens’ rights were always protected.