All of the 36 states in the country are expected to get N18.2 billion each from the fresh N656 billion bridge financing facility that has been approved by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The fund is expected to help the state governments meet financial obligations, especially the previous budget support facility due for repayment.
This was disclosed yesterday at the National Executive Council’s (NEC) 121st meeting (10th in 2021), which was held virtually and was presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, with state governors, Federal Ministers, the Central Bank Governor, and other senior government officials in attendance.
According to a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity, Office of the Vice President, Laolu Akande, the Minister of Finance Budget and National Planning, Dr Zainab Ahmed, informed the Council that the bridge facility was being processed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The fund would be disbursed in six tranches over a period of six months to the states.
Each of the 36 states would have a total loan amount of N18.225 billion; with a 30-year tenor, and a 2-year moratorium at an interest rate of nine per cent.
“The facility is to help the States afford the repayment of previous bailout facilities guaranteed for them by the federal government,” it added.
The council had July 15th, 2021, received updates on the budget support facility to states. At that meeting, 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.
Ahmed had on Monday disclosed that the president had approved the facility, saying it was meant to cushion the effects of their resumption in the repayment of the three federal government bailout facilities namely the Salary Bailout, Excess Crude facility and Budget Support facility.
“Government will also continue to provide other financing options to states in the form of concessionary loan facilities to support the development of vital sectors of the economy such as health, agriculture and SMEs aimed to complement the states in fighting the pandemic, creating the needed job for the people and alleviating poverty.
“The combined effect of these policies would assist in addressing the current security and other socio-economic challenges confronting the nation,” she had explained.
Also at yesterday’s meeting, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning gave the Council an update on the Excess Crude Account which according to her stood at $60, 860,309.33 as of November 15th November; while the Stabilisation Account was N27,103,662,581.25 as of same date.
Similarly, Ahmed revealed that the balance of the Development of Natural Resources Account also stood at N60, 884,460,981.23 as of November 15th.