JUST IN:COVID-19: Buhari directs prompt payment of salaries

President Muhammadu Buhari has directed prompt payment of salaries to all employees.

He also directed the ministry to ensure that critical infrastructure like roads, rails are protected and as much as possible, use local inputs so that the country retains value within her economy.

This is as governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Godwin Emefiele has said that the global economy was facing serious problems that could lead to recession and that the government was doing everything possible to rescue the nation’s economy.

President Buhari gave the directive for the prompt payment of salaries when he met with the members of the Presidential committee to review the impact of COVID-19 on the economy at the State House Abuja.

Briefing State House correspondents after the meeting, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, said the committee met with the President to brief him on the current happenings around the world due to COVID-19 and the impact on the nation’s economy.

The Minister who fielded questions from journalists said, “well, he (President) has directed that we should make sure that salaries are paid, make critical infrastructures like roads, rails are protected, as much as possible use local inputs so that we retain value within our economy. And also make sure that we measure that protect the poor and the vulnerable.”

Asked the purpose of the meeting, Mrs. Ahmed said, “This meeting was just to brief Mr. President as the situation we are in keeps evolving on a daily basis.
“As the health crisis gradually expands, affecting States and also the lockdown that has been ordered to help curtail the expansion of the health crisis.

“The consequences of the lockdown is the additional slowing down of the economy and the measures that we need to take to mitigate the negative consequences of the slow trade and businesses.”

Also speaking, the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, painted a gloomy picture on the economy, saying that it was not in the best of sharp due to COVID-19.

He also said that the global oil prices were collapsing every day, adding that the situation required regular briefing of the President.

On his part, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Chief Godwin Emefiele, said the economy was not looking as simple as every thought it would be.

He said: “The global economy naturally like we all know at this time will naturally suffer growth problems and may even lead to recession globally. So we are trying to see what we can do as a country to rescue our own situation so we don’t go the direction many will go.

“It is not going to be easy but we can only assure our people that we are on top of it and that we will resolve it and Nigerians will still be better for it.”

Other members of the committee are
Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Clement Agba and the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mela Kyari.
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