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Senate approves $1.5 billion World Bank loans for states and COVID-19 recovery

The Nigerian Senate approved World Bank loans valued at $1.5 billion which would be used as loans for states’ fiscal transparency, accountability and sustainability (SFTAS) program and COVID-19 Action Recovery and economic stimulus program.

The Senate approved the loans at the plenary session on Wednesday, following consideration of the report of the Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debts presented by its Chairman, Senator Clifford Ordia.

The loans are World Bank’s $750 million for the COVID-19 Action Recovery and economic stimulus programme to support state-level efforts to protect livelihoods, ensure food security and stimulate economic activity (N-CARES) and the $750 million from the World Bank for states, fiscal transparency, accountability and sustainability (SFTAS) programme to provide fiscal support to states.

What Senator Ordia said

“No unusual or onerous conditions attached to the terms of the loans and they do not in any manner compromise the sustainbility of the Nigerian economy or impugn the integrity and independence of Nigeria as a sovereign nation.

The loan is in the immediate best interest of the Nigerian state and its citizens in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic in a way that the economy will be positioned for quick recovery and resume growth.

While Nigeria’s total public debt stock is on the increase, it is still relatively low vis-à-vis the country’s GDP and the increased borrowing requirements is needed to sustain economic recovery.

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