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FG approves $4.5bn loan for power, girls’ empowerment, other projects

The Federal Government at its Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved a $USD3.45 billion loan for power sector projects, a resource mobilisation programme for states and an adolescent girls’ initiative for learning and empowerment.

FEC Meeting. Credit: The Presidency
FEC Meeting. Credit: The Presidency

Abuja, Nigeria

The Federal Government at its Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved a $USD3.45 billion loan for power sector projects, a resource mobilisation programme for states and an adolescent girls’ initiative for learning and empowerment.

Wale Edun, minister of finance and coordinating minister of the economy announced this on Monday while briefing reporters at the state house after the FEC meeting presided over by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu at the the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

DailyTrust reports that the minister said the tenure of the five loans was around 40 years with a moratorium period of around 10 years and meagre interest, adding that “in the cases of either loan, zero interest, some fees would be incurred.”

Also speaking minister of education, Professor Tahir Mamman, on the training and empowerment of adolescent girls in Nigeria, said girls between the ages of 10 and 20 from 18 participating states would benefit from the project to reduce the number of out-of-school children.

According to him, the council had reviewed its policy direction and permitted the Public Procurement Council to exercise its powers on the award of contracts in line with the provisions of the Public Procurement Act, thereby allowing FEC to concentrate on issues of national importance.

Another minister, Betta Edu of the humanitarian affairs and poverty alleviation, said the FEC also approved the Humanitarian and Poverty Alleviation Trust Fund under a governing board with the target of raising $5bn annually from various sources.

“The implementation would be carefully worked out by members of the committee which included the minister of finance and other relevant ministers,” she said.

Edu added that the council also ratified the protocol on protecting the rights of older persons in Nigeria.

During his own briefing, minister of solid mineral development, Dele Alake, said the council approved a draft policy on the entire solid mineral sector, covering the gamut of oil activities, operations, guidelines, regulatory framework, handling, sourcing, mining, and all the dynamics in the sector.

The minister, who said both high and low were involved in illegal mining, disclosed the plan to rejig the security architecture with the approval of this policy which involved an inter-security agency structure to combat the menace.

“In essence, it gives the solid mineral ministry to act on all issues pertaining to deregulation, …, management, operation of all the solid minerals sector, sanitising the environment and making it investor friendly and ensuring the security and stability of investment and of course, giving us also a lot of attractions to both local and foreign investors,” he added.

According to Alake, Nigeria would find itself in economic dire straits in a couple of years if it failed to make conscious efforts to diversify with the current happening in the global oil market.

“And if we have an abundance of solid mineral resources, why shouldn’t we diversify, concentrate, exploit judiciously, proficiently and efficiently, these God-given abundance resources?” he asked.

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