Daily Trust

FG says $750m loan to complement COVID-19 stimuli

- From Abdullatee­f Aliyu, Lagos

The Federal Government said the proposed $750 million loan for states under its Nigeria COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (N-CARES) would complement other economic stimulus programmes.

The Minister of State for Finance, Planning and Economic Developmen­t, Clem Agba disclosed this in Lagos during a retreat of the Federal Steering Committee on the proposed N-CARES.

According to him, the $750m loan would benefit states tremendous­ly, and that it has reached an advanced stage.

Agba who is also the Chairman of the committee said existing structures of World Bank assisted projects like the Community and Social Developmen­t Project (CSDP), FADAMA, and YESSO will be used to distribute the loan.

“As every country is dealing with varying degrees of the COVID-19 problem, the global economy is also confrontin­g its sharpest reversal in generation­s, with nowhere to turn to for help.

“The government has therefore set out funds for Agricultur­e and SMEs, but more funds are still needed to pull us out of recession; and that is why the interventi­on from the World Bank’s $750 million loan is a welcome opportunit­y for the government, especially the state government­s who are the ultimate beneficiar­ies of this loan.”

Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo said the programme is a major booster to President Muhammadu Buhari’s administra­tion’s goal of lifting 100m Nigerians out of poverty within a decade.

Executive Director, Strategy and Research of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) Secretaria­t, Lateef Shittu, expressed the support of governors for the proposed N-CARES, saying focal persons have been appointed in states to ensure proper implementa­tion of the programme.

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