Federal Executive Council Approves $1.5 Billion World Bank Budget Support and $80 Million AfDB Financing

Minister of Finance Unveils Concessional Financing for Nigeria’s Economic Growth

In a move signaling support for Nigeria’s economic initiatives, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) has granted approval for a substantial $1.5 billion budget support from the World Bank. The announcement was made by the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun, following the federal cabinet meeting in Abuja on Monday.

Edun highlighted the significance of the financing, noting that the World Bank’s International Development Association, known for offering virtually interest-free loans, had considered Nigeria’s macroeconomic efforts favorably. The financing is viewed as concessional, relatively cheap, and quick-disbursing, providing a crucial boost to the nation’s economic stability amidst global challenges.

In addition to the World Bank support, the FEC also approved $80 million financing from the African Development Bank (AfDB). This funding is designated for the Ekiti Knowledge Zone Project (EKZ), aiming to empower young people in the knowledge economy, technology, and communications sectors.

Explaining the rationale behind the borrowing, Edun emphasized that concessional financing was essential and economically viable for Nigeria’s growth.

Responding to questions about the government’s stance on the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) advice to increase taxes and interest rates, the minister indicated a focus on revenue growth, stating, “We are looking to take advice that said ‘grow your revenue.'”

In a separate development, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu inaugurated three recently cleared ministers before the second FEC meeting. The newly sworn-in ministers include Balarabe Abbas Lawal (Minister of Environment), Dr Jamila Bio-Ibrahim (Minister of Youth), and Ayodele Olawande (Minister of State for Youth). The ceremony was attended by dignitaries such as the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas, and Governors Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq and Uba Sani. The council also observed a moment of silence in memory of Chief Mobolaji Ajose-Adeogun, Nigeria’s first Minister of Federal Capital Territory, who passed away on July 1st at the age of 96.

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