President Muhammadu Buhari has asked the Nigerian Senate to approve a new loan request of N368.7bn ($800 million) from the World Bank.
Buhari conveyed his request in a letter read by Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, at plenary on Wednesday, May 10, 2023.
The president said the funds would be used as additional financing of the National Social Safety Net programme.
Buhari said if the request is approved, N5,000 will be transferred to about 60 million poor Nigerians which would stimulate the informal sector and improve health and education.
“Please note that the federal executive council approved an additional loan facility to the tune of $800 million to be secured from the World Bank for the National Social Safety Net programme and the need to request your consideration and approval to ensure early implementation. Copy of FEC extract attached,” he said.
“The senate may wish to know that the programme is intended to expand coverage of shock responsive safety net support among the poor and vulnerable Nigerians. This will assist them in coping with basic needs.
“You may wish to note that the federal government of Nigeria, under the conditional cash transfer, will transfer the sum of N5,000 per month to 10.2 million poor and low income households for a period of six months, with a multiplier effect on about 60 million individuals.
“In order to guarantee the credibility of the process, digital transfers will be made directly to beneficiaries’ accounts and mobile wallets.
“The NASSP being a social intervention programme, will stimulate the informal sector, improve nutrition, health, education, and human capital development of beneficiaries’ households.”
This follows the Federal Government’s April announcement of an $800 million World Bank grant targeting 50 million vulnerable Nigerians or 10 million households, as part of its subsidy palliatives measures.
According to the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, the disbursement of the grant is in light of the planned subsidy removal in June 2023.
Ahmed underscored that engagements are ongoing with the newly established Presidential Transition Council (PTC) and the incoming administration, to drive the palliative program, which includes the need for buses among various considerations.
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