Tinubu Govt okays $3.45bn W’Bank loan application for power, others

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The Federal Executive Council on Monday approved the application for a $3.45bn loan to finance five items.

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They include projects in the power sector, renewable energy, states’ resource mobilisation programme, adolescent girls’ initiative for learning and empowerment and a women’s empowerment project.

The Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun, told State House Correspondents that the FG would proceed to receive the $3.5bn “zero-interest” loan payable within 40 years with a 10-year moratorium, meaning payments would begin from 2033.

Edun explained, “Today at the Federal Executive Council, I presented five memos which were gracefully approved by the Council. They had to do with concessional and, in many cases, zero-interest financing by the World Bank and the International Development Association, which is the very concessional financing arm.

“The projects that were approved for funding were in the power sector and then the renewable energy sector. There was funding for states for resource mobilisation programmes to help them with the internally-generated revenue efforts.

“There was a project for adolescent girls’ initiative for learning and empowerment. And then finally the fifth financing that was approved was for Women project.”

The Finance Minister explained that the girls’ programme worth $700m would support young girls within secondary school age to equip them with marketable skills in addition to their academic achievements.

Putting a figure to the project, Edun said, “$700m is the size of the current project.

“So those were five loans totalling $3.45bn. And as you know, the tenure is all around 40 years, with a moratorium period of around 10 years and interest very low, or in the cases of either loans, zero interest. However, some fees would be incurred.”

Explaining further, the Minister of Education, Dr Tahir Mamman, said the girls’ programme, which initially began in seven states, was expanded across 11.

Mamman said, “Initially, from seven participating states, we will now have about 11 additional states participating in this project, which will lead to the empowerment of girls between 10 to 20 right across the participating states.

“This is a very major escalation of this programme that is meant to empower our girls, our teachers and the provision for additional schools in the country.”

He added that the programmes were in line with the Tinubu administration’s agenda to reduce, “if not eliminated altogether,” the number of out-of-school girls and children generally.

The Federal Executive Council also approved the setting up of the Humanitarian and Poverty Alleviation Fund with the hope of raising the sum of $5bn annually for emergency responses to humanitarian crises.

The minister of humanitarian affairs and poverty alleviation, Dr. Betta Edu, disclosed this. Edu said the money would be raised from the government, contributions from development partners, private sectors, and individuals, among others.

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