UN, Microsoft Helping To Scale Up The ESP

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When Covid-19 hit last year and the government realized that without a financial impetus into the economy, the freefall that was witnessed would only accelerate deeper and faster, the Economic Sustainability Plan was birthed but the question on some citizens’ lips is “where would the funds come from to finance it?” The various schemes have been recording resounding success; Covid-19 relief, Survival Fund, Payroll Support, Solar Power Naija, NSHP but the main stick that has been held against the plan is the limited number of persons benefitting especially if one is speaking in proportion to the total population of the entire country which is estimated at 200m Nigerians. To fund the first phase that is already being implemented, the Federal Government stated that it would utilize funds from; Special Accounts, Structured Lending from the CBN as well as bilateral and multilateral sources. Probably as a result of the proper utilization of these funds or the success as emphasized by the various testimonies that abound across social media, Nigeria has begun to receive support from the international community in support of what is clearly a laudable plan. First came the United Nations with a pledge of $250m that was promised in the month of November 2020 and this has been followed by Microsoft’s pledge a couple of days into the New Year to partner with the Federal Government for the benefit of the Nigerian people, especially the youth as disclosed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo. All these partnerships and foreign aid can only help to realize the scaling up of the schemes of the ESP in order that more Nigerians might be beneficiaries which has been a recurrent theme in the Vice President’s speech in recent times as he believes that more Nigerians can and should be beneficiaries of the empowerment opportunities being provided by the government which in turn would be performing the duties for which it was elected. Full and continuous implementation of these schemes of the ESP could only help to bolster our economy as it is seeming like the Covid-19 environment and its impact is going to be with us for a while. Nicholas Adesina writes in from Ibadan

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