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Senate approves Tinubu’s $800m request for social safety net

THE Senate has today granted President Bola Tinubu’s request for an additional $800 million loan to help pay for the National Social Safety Net Program established by the National Assembly.

The Supplementary Budget for 2022 was also changed by the Senate.

This came when Tinubu asked for the consent. The request was made in a letter that the President sent to the upper chamber via the senate president, Godswill Akpabio. The letter was read aloud on the Assembly floor during plenary.

According to Tinubu, the Federal Executive Council, which was presided over by former President Muhammadu Buhari, had authorized securing an additional loan facility from the World Bank in the amount of $800 million to fund the Social Safety Net Program.

Tinubu also stated that the facility’s goal was to increase the scope of shock-responsive safety net supports for all vulnerable Nigerians in order to pay the cost of their basic needs.

“Request for approval of additional financing of the National Social Safety Net Programme set up by the National Assembly. It is with pleasure that I refer the above matter to you,” the statement partly read.

“Please note that the Federal Executive Council led by President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR had approved an additional loan facility to the tune if USD800 million to be secured from the World Bank to finance the Social Safety Net Programme, copy of the Federal Executive Council is extract is attached here.

“You may also wish to know that the purpose of the facility is to expand coverage of shock responsive safety net supports for all and vulnerable Nigerians and the cost of meeting 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 a month to 12 million poor and low income households for a period of six months with a multiply 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 and education outcomes for beneficial households.

“Giving the above, I wish to invite the Senate to kindly grant approvals for additional loan facilities USD800milliom to be secured from World Bank for the National Social Safety Net Programme.

“While hoping that this submission will receive an expeditious consideration by the Senate. Distinguished Senate President and distinguished members, please accept the assurances of my highest regards.”

After reading the letter, the President of the Senate referred the letter to Committee of a Whole for further legislative action.

The Committee, upon deliberation, amended the 2022 Supplementary Budget and approved Tinubu’s request.

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