- N185bn to alleviate impact of severe flooding
- 12 million poor households to get N8,000 monthly
The National Assembly, on Thursday, passed an amendment to the N819.5 billion 2022 supplementary budget, approving N70 billion to support the “working condition” of new lawmakers.
The amendment, among others, seeks to provide N500 billion palliatives to Nigerians to cushion the effects of fuel subsidy removal.
The amendment was passed in both the Senate and the House of Representatives a day after President Bola Tinubu sent the request to the parliament.
The breakdown of the amended N819.5 billion supplementary budget showed that N500 billion is for palliatives to cushion the effect of recent subsidy removal policy, which will be domiciled in the Finance ministry.
The details also showed that N185 billion is for the Ministry of Works and Housing to alleviate the impact of the severe flooding experienced in the country in 2022 on road infrastructure across the six geopolitical zones.
The sum of N19.2 billion is allocated to Ministry of Agriculture to ameliorate the massive destruction to farmlands across the country during the severe flooding experienced last year; N35 billion to National Judicial Council; N10 billion to Federal Capital Territory Administration for critical projects and N70 billion to National Assembly to support the working conditions of new members.
Meanwhile, the National Assembly also approved President Tinubu’s request to borrow $800 million from the World Bank.
Former President Muhammadu Buhari had, towards the tail end of his administration, forwarded the same request to the 9th Senate in May, but the 9th Assembly could not consider the request before its tenure ended on June 11.
Tinubu, in a letter read by Senate President Godswill Akpabio during plenary on Thursday, asked the 10th Senate to approve the same borrowing request.
The President, in the letter, explained that the loan would be used to scale up the National Social Safety Net Programme.
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 the 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.”
According to a report by the News Agency of Nigeria, Julius Ihonvere, the Majority Leader of the House of Representatives had presented for second reading a Bill from the 2022 Supplementary Appropriation of N819 billion.
According to the Majority Leader, this was for the provision of palliatives to Nigerians to cushion the effect of fuel subsidy removal.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Speaker of the House, Benjamin Kalu, has lauded President Tinubu’s decision, noting that the palliative will solve the challenges of the Legislature.
Kalu lauded the President for having a listening ear, adding that the President’s boldness and courage was commendable.
According to him, there comes a time in the life of a country when leaders with boldness and courage are needed, and it would appear that Nigeria has gotten one in the person of Tinubu.
He said that it took courage and boldness for the President to remove subsidy, adding, “There comes a time in the life of a nation where a leader that is sensitive to the welfare of the people is needed.
“It appears we have gotten such a leader. This leader has a listening ear. The Executive is responding to the yearning of the people and this money is not going to be a freebee.”
He said the money was also to solve the challenges of the National Assembly, including the challenges of the House of Representatives.