The Nigerian Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved a $3.45 billion loan application from the World Bank to finance five projects in the power, renewable energy, states’ resource mobilisation, adolescent girls’ empowerment, and women’s empowerment sectors.
The Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun, announced the approval after the FEC meeting in Abuja on Monday, October 23, 2023.
“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 the Women Project,” Edun said.
Edun noted the loan is payable within 40 years with a 10-year moratorium, meaning payments would start in 2033, noting that the loan is a “zero-interest” loan, but some fees would be incurred.
Meanwhile, during the briefing, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Betta Edu, also stated that FEC had also approved the creation of a Humanitarian and Poverty Alleviation Trust Fund.
According to the minister, the fund will help the Federal Government respond promptly to humanitarian situations in Nigeria, and the government hopes to raise at least $5 billion annually from it.
“Every other day, we hear about the crisis, the floods, and the rest of it. We need to be able to respond adequately as a country. Beyond this, the issue of poverty alleviation is one of the agendas of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu in his 8-point agenda, and we want to be able to tackle it headlong.
How much are we looking at? Every year, we hope to be able to raise at least $5 billion within this fund, and this is from the various sources that I’ve mentioned and even more. We are hopeful that with the creation of this funding, we can sit down with all the key stakeholders, including other ministries, and actually work out the full modality of implementation in Nigeria,”