- President Buhari had in his request letter to the Senate, stated that the additional $800 million loan from the World Bank is for the National Social Safety Net Programme.
- He stated that the National Social Safety Programme is intended to expand coverage of shock-responsive safety net support among the poor and vulnerable Nigerians.
- Buhari said the Federal Government under the conditional cash transfer window of the programme will transfer the sum of N5,000 every month to 10.2 million poor and low-income households for a period of 6 months
President Muhammadu Buhari has written a letter to the Senate seeking its approval for the $800 million World Bank loan which is meant to help cushion the effect of petrol subsidy removal on poor and vulnerable Nigerians.
This follows the Federal Government’s earlier announcement of a World Bank’s $800 million palliatives targeted at 50 million vulnerable Nigerians or 10 million households ahead of the removal of petrol subsidy.
The request by President Buhari is contained in a letter read to the senators by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, during plenary on Wednesday, May 10, 2023.
President Buhari in the letter said that the funds are for the National Social Safety Net Programme, which is intended to expand coverage of shock-responsive safety net support among the poor and vulnerable Nigerians.
Additional $800 million loan for poor, vulnerable Nigerians
- The letter from President Buhari partly reads, “Please note that the Federal Executive Council approved an additional loan facility to the tune of USD800 million to be secured from the World Bank, for the National Social Safety Net Programme and the need to request for your consideration and approval to ensure early implementation.
- “The Senate may wish to note 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 the costs of meeting basic needs.
- “You may wish to note that, the Federal Government of Nigeria under the conditional cash transfer window of the programme 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 activities in the informal sector, improve nutrition, health, education and human capital development of beneficiary households.”
- “Given the above, I wish to invite the Senate to kindly approve an additional loan facility to the tune of USD8OO million to be secured from the World Bank for the National Social Safety Net Programme,” expressing hope that the request will “receive expeditious consideration by the Senate.”
What you should know
- The Minister for Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, had earlier in April 2023, revealed that the Federal Government had secured the sum of $800 million from the World Bank to provide post-petroleum subsidy palliatives for over 50 million Nigerians ahead of the full deregulation of the downstream sector of the oil industry in June 2023.
- Ahmed said that the $800 million fund is the first tranche of palliatives ready to be disbursed to 10 million households in the form of cash.
- The National Economic Council (NEC), which comprises of 36 state governors, the CBN Governor and other top government officials and is chaired by the vice president, had on April 27 suspended the planned removal of subsidy on petroleum products by June 2023.
- The finance minister, who announced the decision, stated that the NEC concluded in the meeting that it was not a favourable time for the action.
- Meanwhile, there had been earlier reports that Nigeria’s borrowing from the World Bank had risen to $14.34 billion as of March 31, 2023.
- This was an increase from the $13.93bn debt recorded by the Debt Management Office as of December 31, 2022.
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