The Federal Executive Council has given its approval for a $3.45 billion loan application from the World Bank to fund five distinct projects. These projects encompass areas such as the power sector, renewable energy, state resource mobilization programs, an initiative aimed at empowering adolescent girls through education, and a women’s empowerment project.
Wale Edun, who serves as the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, announced the government’s intent to secure this “zero-interest” loan. The loan comes with a 40-year repayment period and a 10-year moratorium, signifying that the payments will commence in 2033.
Edun provided more insights into the projects, stating, “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.”
Among the projects is one focused on the power sector and another dedicated to renewable energy. Additionally, there are funds allocated for state-level resource mobilization programs, a program targeting adolescent girls’ education and empowerment, and a women’s empowerment initiative.
The adolescent girls’ initiative, valued at $700 million, aims to equip young girls of secondary school age with practical skills alongside their academic pursuits, with the overarching goal of improving their marketability.
To sum it up, these projects collectively account for a total of $3.45 billion in loans. The extended repayment period of 40 years and the low to zero interest rates make these loans favorable for their long-term implementation.
Furthermore, the Minister of Education, Tahir Mamman, mentioned that the adolescent girls’ initiative is expanding from seven initial states to encompass 11, with the intention of empowering girls aged 10 to 20 across these participating states. This expansion aligns with the government’s objective of reducing the number of out-of-school girls and children, as outlined in the Tinubu administration’s agenda.
The Federal Executive Council also sanctioned the establishment of the Humanitarian and Poverty Alleviation Fund, with the aim of raising $5 billion annually to address emergency humanitarian crises. Contributions to this fund will come from various sources, including the government, development partners, private sectors, and individuals, to ensure a flexible and comprehensive response to humanitarian challenges in Nigeria.
The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Betta Edu, stated that this fund’s creation reflects the government’s commitment to addressing poverty and humanitarian crises in the country as part of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s 8-point agenda.
In a separate development, the Federal Government approved a policy draft for the Nigerian Solid Mineral sector, encompassing operational guidelines, regulatory framework, sourcing, and other dynamics of the sector. The Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dele Alake, emphasized the government’s readiness to invest in technology to secure the mining sector, particularly to combat illegal mining activities by foreign miners.
Illegal foreign miners have been identified as significant contributors to unlawful mining activities, often linked to banditry in rural areas. Technology is being deployed to monitor and counter these activities, with collaboration between relevant government agencies, including the National Security Adviser and the Inspector General of Police.