Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo on Sunday lamented the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the nation’s economy, saying only a few Nigerians can now afford to pay taxes.
Osinbajo said this in a message he sent to the 11th Synod of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Abuja Diocese, which started on Saturday at St James’ Church, Asokoro, Abuja.
His Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, made a copy of the message available to journalists on Sunday.
The Vice President noted that with the pandemic, Nigeria’s economy faces its worst period in history.
He said, “Everything around us has been shaken and is being shaken by the greatest global threat to mankind in a century.
“We are in the midst of the greatest economic slump in history; every region of the world is experiencing an unprecedented slowdown in growth.
“There was a day in April when oil, our precious oil, was selling for less than the cost of production. No one was even willing to buy.
“Suddenly, all we took for granted, from air travel to hugs and even handshakes, have become neither safe nor advisable.
“Our own economy faces its worst period in history. We are earning 40% less than we should because oil prices have fallen and few today can afford to pay taxes.”
Osinbajo said the lesson in the past few months was that human ingenuity and planning could not assure people that they would live to see the next day.