Mrs Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, has denied media allegations that the Federal Government is seeking new loan of $800 million to offset the impact of the impending elimination of fuel subsidies.
In a statement, Ahmed referred to the reports as “tissues of lies,” explaining that the only existing facility meant to alleviate the subsidy removal crunch was the $800 million loan from the World Bank, which is currently awaiting parliamentary approval before the Federal Government can begin disbursement.
She said: “The government is, therefore, not seeking another loan for the pending fuel subsidy removal. It is one and the same.
“It will be recalled that the facility would be deployed to provide succour to 10 million households, who are expected to get N5,000 each for a period of six months,” she said.
Ahmed had explained that the initial duration of the palliatives meant to cushion the effects of the planned petrol subsidy removal on vulnerable Nigerians was for six months, but would be reviewed upon extensive consultation with the stakeholders.
“The $800 million has been negotiated and approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) and we now have a request before the parliament for approval.
And once the parliament approves it, the next administration can decide on the utilization.
“We’ve also been doing preparatory work side by side along the approval process. This includes expanding the committee to include members of the transition team of the President-elect. The process will include the verification of the social register, which will be used for electronic transfers of the funds,” she had earlier stated.