World Bank, Nigeria To Support States’ Implementation Of Stimulus Programme

The Federal Government of Nigeria has reiterated its commitment to support states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) implement the Nigeria COVID-19 Action, Recovery and Economic Stimulus (NG-CARES) programme.

The government said the move is in order to urgently cushion the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on poor and vulnerable households in Nigeria.

NG-CARES is a state operation with support from the World Bank to the tune of $750 million credit to support the 36 states and FCT mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the livelihoods of poor and vulnerable households and micro-enterprises in the country.

Chairman of the Federal CARES Technical Committee of the NG-CARES and Director, Economic Growth in the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Aso Vakporaye, made the commitment in Abuja, at a one-day meeting with states and the FCT on the packaging of documentation for eligibility under the NG CARES programme.

He urged states and the FCT to present their concerns, seek clarifications on any issue regarding the implementation of the programme, assuring of Federal Government’s commitment to supporting them always.

It will be recalled that recently, Contrary to the federal government’s plan to remove subsidy on petrol in the second half of next year, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has advised the Nigerian government to fully remove fuel subsidy and move to a market-based pricing mechanism in early 2022 as stipulated in the 2021 Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).

The IMF, in its 2021 Article IV Mission statement released also projected that despite high oil prices, Nigeria’s fiscal deficit would widen in 2021 to 6.3 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Fiscal deficit is projected at 3.93 per cent and 3.39 per cent of GDP in Nigeria’s 2021 and 2022 budgets respectively.

The IMF, in the report said: “The complete removal of regressive fuel and electricity subsidies is a near-term priority, combined with adequate compensatory measures for the poor.

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