President Bola Tinubu has asked the Senate to permit his administration to go ahead with the processing of a $800m loan facility from the World Bank requested by the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari to finance the National Safety Net Programme.
The president’s request was in a letter read by the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, at the plenary on Thursday.
About two weeks before the end of his administration in May, Mr Buhari requested the approval of the Senate to obtain a loan facility of $800m from the World Bank to be distributed to poor and vulnerable households.
The then Ahmad Lawan-led Senate referred the request to the Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debt, but the committee did not report to the Senate before the administration’s tenure ended on 29 May.
In the letter, Mr Tinubu noted that the reason for obtaining the loan facility is to “expand coverage of shock responsive safety net support for all and vulnerable Nigerians” and “to meet the cost of their basic needs.”
He assured that the federal government would transfer the sum of N8,000 monthly to 12 million poor and low-income households for six months.
Mr Tinubu stated that the monies would be transferred to identified beneficiaries’ accounts.
“It is with pleasure that I refer the above matter to you. Please note that the Federal Executive Council led by President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR had approved an additional loan facility to the tune of USD 800 million to be secured from the world bank to finance the social safety net programme. Copy of the Federal Executive Council extract is attached here.
“You may also wish to know that the purpose of the facility is to expand coverage of shock responsive safety net support for all and vulnerable Nigerians and the….at the cost of meeting 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 8,000 a month to 12 million poor and low-income households for a period of six months with a multiply 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. It is expected that the programme will stimulate economic activities in the informal sector and improve nutrition, health and education outcomes for beneficial households.
“Given the above, I wish to invite the Senate to kindly grant approvals for additional loan facilities USD800milliom to be secured from World Bank for the National Social Safety Net Programme,” the letter said.
The Senate President, however, referred the request to the Committee of the Whole for consideration on the ground that the Senate has yet to constitute the committee on local and foreign debt.
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