From Timothy Olanrewaju, Maiduguri

Minister of Finance, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, has raised the alarm that Nigeria was in difficult economic time as a result of COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing security challenges.

Ahmed disclosed this in her address at the closing of the 20th National Economic Planning summit in Maiduguri, the Borno capital, yesterday.

“We are in a difficult time because of the COVID-19 pandemic, insecurity and other challenges, and we need to interact more,” she disclosed via zoom.

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Ahmed said the national economic planning meeting was organised to create opportunities to deliberate on the economic challenges facing the country. She urged states to domesticate economic policies of the Federal Government, especially those having direct impact on citizens.

Borno Governor, Babagana Zulum, commanded participants for coming to the state despite fears of insecurity. He said the major challenge with the country was not planning, but execution of policies. 

United Nations (UN) representative and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr. Edward Kallon asked the summit to look into causes of conflicts in the North East and humanitarian challenges. He said humanitarian support and military counter-insurgency operation alone cannot address the over a decade violence in the region, urging stakeholders to  address the root cause of the crisis.    

The summit was attended by finance commissioners from the 36 states, civil society groups, humanitarian workers, among others.