Fostering New Ways of Working
As a whole, the Economic Sustainability Plan seeks to foster new ways of working, producing, learning and managing public health and safety in the years to come. This includes building resilience across critical sectors, including aviation, education, healthcare, internal security, mining, water and sanitation. Our ultimate aim is to transform adversity into advantage. Instead of the prospect of 30 million unemployed Nigerians staring us in the face, we can put up to 30 million Nigerians to work, even in the short term. This possibility requires a concerted whole-of-government and whole-of-society campaign to steer our nation through these difficult times. This document is an expression of our resolve to not only survive this emergency, but emerge from it thriving.
Preserving and Creating Jobs
The Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan (NESP), approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on June 24, 2020, was developed by the Economic Sustainability Committee (ESC), established by President Muhammadu Buhari on March 30, 2020. The NESP was developed in consultation with Cabinet Ministers, Heads of Federal Agencies, the Presidential Economic Advisory Council (PEAC), State Governors and the National Assembly.
Sourcing Local Materials
As a deliberate strategy, given foreign exchange constraints and the need to promote local value addition, all these programmes will strive to maximise the use of only local inputs. For roads, where we cannot afford to import bitumen or asphalt with our scarce resources, we will use limestone and rocks, which we have in abundance. So all roads, especially those to be built through investments from national savings including pension funds will be designed to optimise the use of local materials. Mass housing will also use local materials, and of course local labour only.
A notable exception to our ‘minimal imports’ policy may be in our collaboration to provide solar power on a massive scale for 5 million households. This will require imports of solar panels in the short-run. However, there are indications that some of the world’s leading manufacturers are prepared to set up local manufacturing plants for producing necessary solar power components and appliances. With a plan for 5 million homes to be delivered by the private sector, we have no doubt that they will be well motivated to do so within the shortest possible time.
Each Minister will be responsible for supervising the implementation of plans situated in his or her Ministry, through a Ministerial Implementation Committee chaired by the Minister. The Ministerial Committee will be responsible for ensuring synergy between stakeholders, especially the public and private sectors. The Committees shall also drive the execution of specific projects, coordinate the entire sectorial value chain and ensure resolution of any bottlenecks, which might impede implementation.
The Economic Sustainability Committee, an inter-ministerial Committee, which will work with the National Economic Council will be responsible for general oversight of implementation and will report regularly to the President. Project Monitors and the ESC Secretariat will support the ESC and Ministerial Implementation Committees. Expenditures will be monitored through the National M&E Framework and the Budget Office of the Federation.
Protecting The Most Vulnerable
Even as we focus on putting our dynamic and entrepreneurial population to work, we are mindful of the need to protect the most vulnerable segments of our society from the shocks inflicted by COVID-19 and the resultant economic upheaval. To this end, the existing Social Investment Programmes will be deepened and expanded to spread a broader umbrella of protection over our most vulnerable persons and communities. In recognition of the fact that most people at the bottom of the pyramid are engaged as daily-paid and self-employed workers – like bricklayers, vulcanisers, general petty traders, electricians, bus drivers and barrow-pushers – whose livelihoods have been disrupted by the lockdown and who require assistance, we propose a credit facility to be disbursed through micro-finance and fin-tech credit providers. To ensure that all programmes achieve inclusion across all social groups, strategies to respond specifically to needs of women and girls will be deployed. Data shall be dis-aggregated to show the distribution of beneficiaries according to gender.