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Senate approves new $800m World Bank loan amid outcry

The World Bank has agreed to lend $800 million to Nigeria for its national social safety net programme, following President Bola Tinubu’s request. The Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, announced this on Thursday at the plenary, after reading the president’s letter. The letter also revealed that the Federal Government had decided to give N8,000 monthly to 12 million poor and low-income households for six months. The president said that the loan would help to increase the number of poor and vulnerable Nigerians who receive direct cash transfers to meet their basic needs. The letter said in part: “The Federal Executive Council led by President Muhammadu Buhari approved an additional loan facility of $800 million from the World Bank for the National Social Safety Net programme, Copy of FEC’s extract attached. The aim of the facility is to provide shock responsive safety net support to the poor and vulnerable Nigerians. This will enable them to cope with basic needs.

The beneficiaries’ accounts and mobile wallets will receive digital transfers directly to ensure the process is credible. The letter said: “The National Social Safety Net programme will get an additional loan facility of $800 million from the World Bank, as approved by the Federal Executive Council led by President Muhammadu Buhari. Copy of FEC’s extract attached. The facility will help to expand the coverage of safety net support for the poor and vulnerable Nigerians, who will get direct cash transfers to cope with basic needs. The programme will also boost economic activities in the informal sector, and enhance the nutrition, health, education, and human capital development of the beneficiaries’ households. I request the Senate to kindly approve the additional loan facility of $800 million from the World Bank for the National Social Safety Net programme. I hope that the Senate will consider this submission promptly. Please accept my highest regards.”

Omolewa

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