Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says unemployment may rise to 33.6% or about 39.4 million people by the end of 2020, if the country “fails to take prompt preemptive measures”.
Osinbajo said this on Thursday while presenting the post COVID-19 Economic Sustainability Plan to President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The all-inclusive plan contains actions and strategies that will help mitigate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on Nigeria’s economy.
The sustainability plan also details policy options and programmes designed to proactively stimulate the Nigerian economy, retain and create jobs, turning COVID-19 to opportunity.
The Vice President also said that, with a severe downturn in our oil earnings, the country would still have a shortfall of about N185 billion every month, in the amount available for allocation to the three tiers of government.
He said: “In addition, the inevitable mandatory lockdowns and social distancing measures put in place to curb the spread of COVID-19 have had a severe negative impact on farms and factories, as well as on trade, transport and tourism.
“Several projections, including those done by the NBS on behalf of the Economic Sustainability Committee, showed: a severe downturn in our oil earnings, as a result of which, even with oil price at 30 dollars a barrel, we would still have a shortfall of about N185 billion every month, in the amount available for allocation to the three tiers of Government.
“Unemployment may rise to 33.6% or about 39.4 million people by the end of 2020, if we fail to take prompt preemptive measures.
“Millions more will fall into extreme poverty, before the pandemic ends.
“GDP may fall to between minus 4.40% and minus 8.91%, depending on the length of the lockdown period and strength of our economic response.”