July 14, (THEWILL) – The Nigerian Senate has approved the $800 million World Bank loan request by President Bola Tinubu.
This followed the consideration of the loan by the Committee of the Whole during plenary on Thursday.
Former President Muhammadu Buhari had, towards the tail end of his administration, forwarded same request to the 9th Senate in May. But the 9th Assembly could not consider the request before its tenure ended on June 11.
Tinubu had, in a letter read on Thursday, at plenary by Senate President Godswill Akpabio, asked the 10th Senate to approve the same borrowing request.
The President, in the letter, explained that the loan would be used to scale up the National Social Safety Net Programme.
The letter read: “Please note that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) led by President Muhammadu Buhari approved an additional loan facility to the tune of $800 million.
“This is to be secured from the World Bank for the National Social Safety Net programme. Copy of FEC’s extract attached.
“You may also wish to note that the purpose of the facility is 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 further wish to note that under the conditional cash transfer window of the programme, the Federal Government of Nigeria will transfer the sum of N8,000 per month to 12 million poor and low-income households.
“This is 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.”
In a related development, the Senate, on Thursday, passed for the third reading, the N819.5 billion amended supplementary budget for 2022.
In the amended N819.5 billion 2022 supplementary budget, the Senate set aside N500 billion for cushioning of effects of subsidy removal as requested by President Tinubu.
The summary of the amendment reads: “N500 billion for palliatives and other capital expenditure to cushion the effect of recent subsidy removal policy.
“N185, 236,937,815 billion to Ministry of Works and Housing to alleviate the impact of the severe flooding experienced in the country in 2022 on road infrastructure across the 6 geopolitical zones.”
The N500 billion appropriated for cushioning effects of subsidy removal was accordingly domiciled in the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning
Also, the sum of N70 billion was appropriated for the 469 federal lawmakers for improved working conditions.