By Emmanuel Adigwe
The Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, has stated that unemployment may rise to 33.6% or about 39.4 million people may end up losing their jobs by the end of 2020.
Osinbajo, who stated this on Thursday while presenting the post COVID-19 Economic Sustainability Plan to President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, said that such huge job loss may occur if the country “fails to take prompt preemptive measures”.
According to him, with a severe downturn in 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.”