ENUGU, Nigeria (VOICE OF NAIJA)- The Federal Executive Council made a significant decision on Monday, granting approval for a $3.45 billion loan application to fund a diverse set of projects.
These projects encompass initiatives in the power sector, renewable energy, states’ resource mobilization programs, an adolescent girls’ learning and empowerment project, and a women’s empowerment program.
Wale Edun, the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, told State House correspondents that the Federal Government of Nigeria is set to receive a “zero-interest” loan amounting to $3.5 billion.
This loan comes with an extended repayment period of 40 years and a 10-year moratorium, implying that repayments will commence in 2033.
Edun said, “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.”
He continued, “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 mobilization programs to help them with the internally-generated revenue efforts.”
Edun further highlighted, “There was a project for an adolescent girls’ initiative for learning and empowerment. And then finally the fifth financing that was approved was for a Women’s project.”
The Minister of Finance disclosed that the adolescent girls’ initiative is valued at $700 million and aims to support young girls within secondary school age, equipping them with marketable skills alongside their academic achievements.
Edun added, “The size of the current project is $700 million. So those were five loans totaling $3.45 billion. 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.”
Dr. Tahir Mamman, the Minister of Education, extended insights into the adolescent girls’ initiative, which originally began in seven states but has now been expanded to encompass 11 states.
Mamman stated, “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.”
He emphasized that these programs align with the administration’s goal to reduce or potentially eliminate the number of out-of-school girls and children.
Furthermore, the Federal Executive Council also approved the establishment of the Humanitarian and Poverty Alleviation Fund with the aim of raising approximately $5 billion annually for rapid responses to humanitarian crises.
On her part, Dr. Betta Edu, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, said that this fund would be funded through government contributions, support from development partners, contributions from the private sector, and individual donations, among other sources.