BusinessDay

Nigeria approves N656b for states to repay bailout funds

To help state governments meet financial obligations, especially the previous budget support facility due for repayment, President Muhammadu Buhari has approved a fresh N656billion Bridge Financing Facility to the 36 States. Each State would receive N18.2 billion.

The facility, according to the minister of Finance Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, who stated that the Bridge Facility is now being processed by the Central Bank of Nigeria CBN, is to help the States afford the repayment of previous bailout facilities guaranteed for them by the Federal Government.

Each of the 36 States will have a total loan amount of N18.225 billion; with a 30-year tenor, and a 2-year moratorium at an interest rate of 9 percent.

The minister disclosed this at its 121st meeting (10th in 2021), which was held virtually and was presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, with State Governors, Federal Ministers, the Central Bank Governor, and other senior government officials in attendance.

The approved Bridge facility of N656.112billion will be disbursed in six tranches over a period of six months to the States.

Read also: History may repeat itself as Nigeria risks another debt trap

It would be recalled that on the 15th of July, 2021, the Council had received updates on the Budget Support Facility to States. At that meeting, the Finance Minister had informed the Council that the deductions from State Governments would commence soon as repayment for the previous bailout from the CBN. Subsequently, the States sought further support leading to the idea of bridge financing.

Faisal Shuaib, the executive director/CEO of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), informed the Council on the Status of the country’s COVID-19 Vaccine roll-out.

Shuaib noted that Nigeria has received over 100 million doses of COVID–19 vaccines (from COVAX, African Union, other countries) which he said was sufficient to ramp up vaccination for about 50 per cent of the targeted population.

The total eligible population of Nigerians for the vaccine is over 111 million, he added.

“Given the availability of vaccines, we have started rolling out a plan to vaccinate 50 percent of Nigerians, 18 years and above by January 31st, 2022,” the NPHCDA DG said, adding that there would be a scaling up of over 3,000 health facilities nationwide.

In his presentation to the Council on State performance report on COVID-19, the Director-General, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Ifedayo Adetifa said Nigerians must continue to maintain and sustain the COVID-19 response, especially as it enters the holiday period where there will be anticipated travels within and outside the country, as well as mass events to herald the holiday season.

Adetifa said the country should “maintain visibility of the outbreak by testing, continuing to encourage adherence to public health and social measures, encourage vaccination and address vaccine hesitancy.”

The DG, NCDC added that the Delta variant of the COVID-19 is still the dominant strain of concern in the country.

Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning who gave the Council an update gave the Excess Crude Account balance as of 15th November 2021, at $60, 860,309.33, while stabilization Account, stands at N27,103,662,581.25, even as Development of Natural Resources Account stands at N60, 884,460,981.23.

Council was informed on the global situation of Covid-19: over 251 million cases and over 5 million deaths due to Covid–19

According to the reports, over 7.1 billion vaccine doses has so far been administered

In Africa, over 6.1 million confirmed cases and over 151, 000 deaths due to Covid–19, while Nigeria has received over 100million doses of Covid-19 vaccines to cover close to 50% of the targeted population.

“Between now and the 1st quarter of 2022, Nigeria needs to reach 50% of the targeted population by January 2022, in order to ramp up its vaccination.

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.