FG to begin disbursement of N655bn bridge financing

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, informed the National Economic Council on Thursday, that the Bridge Facility is now being processed by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

The approved Bridge facility ofN656.11bn will be disbursed in six tranches over six months to the states.

Each of the 36 states is expected to receive a total loan amount of N18.2bn, with a 30-year tenor, and a2-year moratorium at an interest rate of 9 per cent.

These were contained in a statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and publicity, Laolu Akande.

The statement was titled “36 states to share N656billion new FG support at N18b each’.

According to the statement, “the Facility is to help the States afford the repayment of previous bailoutfacilities guaranteed for them by the Federal Government.”

The statement was titled, “36 States to Share N656bn New FG Support at N18b Each”

The Council had on July 15, received updates on the Budget Support Facility to States, where the finance minister had informed the Council that the deductions from State Governments would commence soon as repayment for the previous bailout from the CBN.

Subsequently, the states sought further support leading to the idea of bridge financing.

Also speaking at the meeting held on Thursday, the Executive Director of the National Primary Health CareDevelopment Agency, Dr Faisal Shuaib, informed the Council on the status of the country’s COVID-19 Vaccine roll-out.

Shuaib noted that Nigeria has received over 100 million doses of COVID–19 vaccines (from COVAX, AfricanUnion, other countries) which he said was sufficient to ramp up vaccination for about 50 per cent of the targeted population.

The total eligible population of Nigerians for the vaccine is over 111 million, he added.

“Given the availability ofvaccines, we have started rolling out a plan to vaccinate 50 percent ofNigerians, 18 years and above by January 31st, 2022,” the NPHCDA DG said, adding that there would be a scaling up of over 3,000 health facilities nationwide.

In his presentation to the council on State performance report on COVID-19, the Director-General, NigeriaCentre for Disease Control, Dr Ifedayo Adetifa said Nigerians must continue to maintain and sustain the COVID-19 response, especially as it enters the holiday period where there will be anticipated travels within and outside the country, as well as mass events to herald the holiday season.

Adetifa said the country should“maintain visibility of the outbreak by testing, continuing to encourageadherence to public health and social measures, encourage vaccination andaddress vaccine hesitancy.”

The DG added that the Deltavariant of the COVID-19 is still the dominant strain of concern in the country.

It was also revealed at the meeting that the number of deaths from Cholera across the country has hit 3,449while the number of suspected cases stands at 100,157.

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