The Federal Government is currently processing a $750 million loan from the World Bank for state governments to address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic among the populace.

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed made the disclosure in Abuja, Friday while inaugurating the Federal Steering Committee and Federal Technical Committee of the Nigeria Covid-19 Action Recovery for Economic Stimulus (N-CARES).

She said the facility would boost the local economy in the various states, adding that the Federal Government was also considering the cause and consequences of civil unrest and COVID-19 across the country.

The Minister said, “The Federal Government is in the process of accessing a World Bank loan of $750m on behalf of the states to stimulate the local economy and support vulnerable households’ consumption.

“The diverse and severe impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to be felt across the world with significant consequences on informal businesses, and households that survive on daily income and the peasant farmers who depend on their farm produce to survive.

“This key population make up over 60% of our entire population in Nigeria therefore, the need to cushion the effects of the pandemic on the vulnerable sectors through the provision of palliatives and stimulus package.

On the committee that was inaugurated, she explained that to ensure that the implementation of the N-CARES was in line with the Federal Government priorities, the team had to be put in place.

The committee, according to Ahmed, is made up of ministers and permanent secretaries as well as a technical committee that consists of directors of key ministries, department and agencies.

She said, “The inauguration of the committees is expedient given the nature of this emergency intervention. Nigeria as the biggest economy in Africa cannot afford to remain in recession.

“The survival of over 200 million population is germane to all we do and we must address the concerns of the majority of our populace.”

The minister said members of the committee would provide an overall policy direction for the implementation of the programme.

According to her, the Federal Technical Committee would be responsible for the programme oversight, overall guidance, support, coordination, strategic direction, review and approval of the annual work programme as well as budget for the Federal CARES Support Unit.

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