The Senate has approved the request of President Bola Tinubu to go ahead with the processing of a $800 million loan facility from the World Bank.
The Senate also amended the 2022 Supplementary Appropriation Act to accommodate N500 billion provision for palliatives to mitigate the effect of petroleum subsidy removal on poor Nigerians.
Mr Tinubu requested the two approvals in separate letters read by the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, at the plenary on Thursday.
$800 million World Bank loan
The loan, according to Mr Tinubu’s request, will be used to cater for the welfare of the vulnerable and poor households in the country under the National Safety Net Programme of the federal government.
The president assured that when the loan is granted, the sum of N8,000 will be transferred monthly to the bank accounts of 12 million poor and low income households for six months.
Yemi Adaramodu, the chairman of the senate committee on media and public affairs, while addressing journalists after the plenary, said the $800 million is a “World Bank Assisted project”.
“It is a Word Bank Assisted project, we are not approving a loan, the money has been there already even before the 10th assembly,” he explained.
Debate on 2022 Appropriation Act
The leader of the Senate, Opeyemi Bamidele, (APC, Ekiti Central) led the debate on amendment of the 2022 Appropriation Act to accommodate funds for the provision of palliatives to cushion the effect of the subsidy removal.
He noted that the president’s request on the palliatives is necessary.
The senate leader said the request, if granted by members of the upper legislative chamber, will help the federal government mitigate the effect of petroleum subsidy removal on Nigerians.
The Deputy Senate President, Barau Jibrin, who contributed to the debate, supported the request of the president on the palliatives.
Solomon Olamilekan (APC, Ogun West) said if the request is granted, it will help to mitigate the effect of petroleum subsidy removal and other economic reforms implemented by the Tinubu’s administration.
After the debate, the senate president announced a closed-door session which lasted for about an hour.
Upon resumption from the session, Mr Akpabio subjected the request for N500 billion subsidy palliatives to debate.
Many senators voted for the amendment of the supplementary appropriation act as requested by Mr Tinubu to accommodate funds for palliatives.
Amendment of 2022 Appropriation Act
Following the vote to grant the president’s request, the senate resolved to amend the 2022 Appropriation Act to accommodate the N500 billion proposed by President Tinubu.
Mr Akpabio thereafter announced the amendment to accommodate the N500 billion.
The Senate President noted that after the removal of N500 billion from the supplementary budget, the remaining funds will be allocated as follows:
-N185,236,937,815 to the 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;
-N19,200,000,000 to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture to ameliorate the massive destruction to farmlands across the country during the severe flooding experienced last year;
-N35 billion to the National Judicial Council;
– N10 billion to Federal Capital Territory Administration for critical projects; and
-N70 billion to the National Assembly to support the working conditions of new members.
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