About 150 articulated vehicles laden with rice seized by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) are to be distributed to the 36 states as part of Federal Government’s COVID-19 stimulus package for Nigerians, according to a presidential directive.
Also, President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the distribution of grains from strategic grain reserves across the country to Nigerians.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, disclosed this at a news conference in Abuja on Monday on the fiscal stimulus measures in response to COVID-19 pandemic and oil prices fiscal shock.
She said following the presidential directive, the seized trucks of rice had been handed over to the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management for distribution to Nigerians.
On government’s support to farmers, Ahmed the president had also approved reduction of the price of bag of fertilizer from N5,500 to N5,000.
According to her, more measues will be introduced to provide more benefits to the people.
The minister said: “We don’t want to rush and announce measures that will end up benefitting only a few of the segments. Our interest is to make sure that as much as possible a lot of Nigerians are productive and have liquidity in their hands.
“This will help to increase the consumption thereby assist to improve the economy.
“This is not something we will announce in a hurry without consulting with the central ministry and also without consulting with the key participants in the sector.”
On the effects of COVID-19 on the economy, Ahmed said emerging health and economic risks resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and decline in international oil prices “posed existential threats to Nigeria’s economy, healthcare system, national security, as well as the lives of the citizens.’’
“Extra-ordinary measures may be required as the situation evolves to address these challenges.’’