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Osibanjo’s panel suggests low importation, local production for post-COVID-19 economic recovery

By Idowu Abdullahi,

The Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo-led Economic Sustainability Committee has suggested low importation and encouragement of local production in Nigeria as part of measures to ensure the nation’s economy bounces back from the effect of coronavirus after control is gained against the virus.

They explained that the suggestions, particularly that of encouraging local production in the country were among the necessary steps needed to be taken in ensuring the creation of millions of direct and indirect job opportunities.

The Guild reports that following the outbreak of coronavirus in the country, President Muhammadu Buhari had constituted the committee led by Osibanjo and mandated them to come up with a masterplan as a measure to mitigate coronavirus effect on the nation’s economy by the global economic slowdown, which also resulted in a drastic fall in crude oil production and prices, with serious implications for government revenues and foreign exchange earnings.

But, Osinbajo, who led the Economic Sustainability Committee to submit the report entitled, “Bouncing Back: The Nigerian Economic Sustainability Plan”, expressed optimism that the country can turn the coronavirus pandemic into an economic victory by implementing the report and adopt the local production strategy.

The Vice-President who disclosed this at the State House in Abuja after presenting the post-COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan to President Muhammadu Buhari, by producing what we consume locally, the country will save billions spent annually on importation and such funds can remain locally which will, in turn, stimulate the nation’s economy.

While thanking the President for the confidence reposed in members of the ESC by entrusting them with the critical national assignment, Osinbanjo urged the administration to commence mass programmes that create jobs and utilise local materials for a quick post-COVID-19 economic recovery.

“In other words, to create millions of new jobs, we need to focus on encouraging local production, local services, local innovation, and emphasize the use of local materials. Nigeria and Nigerians can produce our food, build our houses, and construct our roads, using local materials in all cases. If we must import, it must be to support local production.

“We are confident that if the proposals are taken as a whole and implemented conscientiously, Nigeria will avert the worst of the impending economic headwinds, and covert this crisis to a victory for the Nigerian economy,” he said. 

 

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