The World Bank is set to approve $1.5 billion dollars to Nigerian states as part of economic stimulus to cushion the impact of coronavirus.
Finance Minister, Zainab Ahmed, said this on Thursday, NAN reports.
She briefed State House correspondents after the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting anchored from the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo presided over the first-ever virtual NEC meeting and the fourth in 2020.
Ahmed said the World Bank maintains that the impact of the COVID-19 on Nigeria will lead to severe amplified human and economic cost, which will move the country into a recession.
She disclosed that the immediate fiscal relief will also involve policy-based policy budget support for the Federal Government.
It will focus on measures to maintain macro-financial stability and create fiscal space for the stimulus.
“The World Bank package has also got a proposal of 1.5billion dollars for the states and this package will be dedicated to the states and it will be a programme for results which the states are already used to implementing.’’
The Minister said the immediate fiscal relief for the states will include the acceleration of an existing programme to enable disbursement by end of September.
“We are looking at an average of between N150billion to N200billion based on the plan to the 36 states. These are states that have already made some particular commitments and achievements.”
Tola Johnson, Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Micro Small and Medium and Medium Enterprises(MSMEs), says 100,000 small businesses will get N50,000 each.
NAN reports that the gesture is part of COVID-19 economic stimulus.
The presidential aide made the announcement at the inauguration of the Implementation of Survival Fund and Guaranteed Off-Take Stimulus Schemes for MSMEs on Thursday in Abuja.
Johnson, the Project Coordinator, said that the schemes were part of the Economic Sustainability Plan drafted by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo-led committee and approved by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“The Payroll Support targets 100,000 businesses. However, the number of individuals who will benefit from this is 500,000. What the government has done is to say that there a lot of MSMEs that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.
“Afterward, there is a CAC (Corporate Affairs Commission) free registration; it is free for the MSMEs but the government is paying the CAC for this. What the government has done is to say to the CAC, you do this regularly to the MSMEs at about N12,000 or thereabout; give it to us at half price, we will give it to the MSMEs free.’’
Johnson added that under the National MSMEs Clinic, Osinbajo and the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment went to no fewer than 26 states.
He said it was discovered that very creative businesses were not registered.
“They will tell you they don’t have N10,000 to N12,000 to register their businesses. The government had promised that at some point, we will do and I think the opportunity has come now; the opportunity cannot be better than now.’’
The official also announced that under the Survival Fund, the last strap would be the Transport and Artisans Support.
At least 333,000 beneficiaries will get a one-off N30,000 grant, Johnson said.
He added that the government will work with associations, individuals and the Ministry of Transportation to implement the scheme.