The Presidential Advisory Council on Tuesday warned about dire economic consequences for Nigeria if the raging coronavirus infection was not contained as quickly as possible.
The council, chaired by Prof Doyin Salami, met with the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), at the State House, Abuja.
The council said the crash in crude oil prices will lead to slower economic growth which will consequently erode the confidence in the economy.
The council also adviced that President Buhari should consider immediate cuts in the budget or the country risked receding into another recession.
Femi Adesina, Buhari’s aide, in a statement after the closed-door meeting said:
“Noting that many countries around the world may go into economic recession, the PEAC advocated hard work for Nigeria to keep its head above the waters.
“Recommending, among others, a possible revision of the 2020 budget, with priority spending on healthcare, re-prioritisation of expenditure on infrastructure to focus on projects nearing completion with pro-poor effects, curtailing recurrent expenditure, mobilising the private sector to strengthen health sector infrastructure, and boosting of government revenue, the PEAC stressed that the projections may seem dire, but the worst may be avoided with hard work and scrupulous implementation of policies.”
Buhari said he was aware of the latest fall in the prices of crude oil, which is currently below the $57 used as the benchmark for the 2020 budget. TCrude oil currently sells between $29 and $30 per barrel
“We will see how to survive fallen prices, as we already envisaged the problem,” the President said.