By Our Correspondent
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on Thursday asked the Senate to approve a borrowing request of $800 million.
This newspaper reports that former President Muhammadu Buhari had, towards the tail end of his administration, forwarded same request to the 9th Senate in May.
But the 9th Assembly could not consider the request before its tenure ended in June 11.
Tinubu, in a letter read by Senate President Godswill Akpabio during plenary Thursday, asked the 10th Senate to approve the borrowing request.
The president, in the letter, explained that the loan would be used to scale up the National Social Safety Net Programme.
He said the new borrowing would be sourced from the World Bank.
Tinubu’s letter reads: “Please note that the federal executive council led by President Muhammadu Buhari approved an additional loan facility to the tune of $800 million to be secured from the World Bank for the National Social Safety Net programme. Copy of FEC’s extract attached.
“You may also wish to note that the purpose of the facility is to expand coverage of shock responsive safety net support among the poor and vulnerable Nigerians. This will assist them in coping with basic needs.
“You may further wish to note that under the conditional cash transfer window of the programme, the federal government of Nigeria will transfer the sum of N8,000 per month to 12 million poor and low income households for a period of six months, with a multiplier effect on about 60 million individuals.
“In order to guarantee the credibility of the process, digital transfers will be made directly to beneficiaries’ accounts and mobile wallets.
“It is expected that the programme, will stimulate economic activities in the informal sector, and improve nutrition, health, education, and human capital development of beneficiaries’ households.
“Given the above, I wish to invite the Senate to kindly grant approval for the additional loan facility of $800 million to be secured from World Bank for the National Social Safety Net Programme.
“While hoping that this submission will receive expeditious consideration by the Senate, please accept the assurances of my highest regards.”