World Bank clears 35 states for $1.5billion COVID-19 stimulus package

The World Bank has cleared 35 states in Nigeria for the US$1.5billion stimulus package to cushion the economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The plan is part of the World Bank’s package for immediate fiscal relief for Nigeria, following discussion between the bank’s Country Director and the Economic Sustainability Committee, chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

This is contained in the report of the Ad-Hoc Committee of the National Economic Council, NEC, interfacing with Presidential Taskforce on Covid-19 to ease the lockdown on the economy.

The report was presented on Thursday at the virtual meeting of the NEC presided over by Nigeria’s Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.

The Governor of Nassarawa State, Abdullahi Sule, who briefed State House correspondents on the outcome of the meeting, said that 22 states signed the Grant Agreement, GA, while 13 were yet to return signed GAs.

According to him, the 22 states that signed the GA were Ekiti, Gombe, Zamfara, Sokoto, Niger, Taraba, Oyo, Abia, Enugu, Plateau, Delta, Bauchi, Ebonyi, Kaduna, Kwara, Cross-River, Imo, Yobe, Ondo, Osun, Nasarawa and Benue.

16 states get N1.6billion for COVID-19

He said of the 22 states, 16 states had received N100,000,000 grants each, totaling N1.6billion.

The states were Ekiti, Gombe, Niger, Sokoto, Taraba, Oyo, Abia, Enugu, Zamfara, Bauchi, Ebonyi, Kaduna, Kwara, Cross-River, Imo and Delta.

The five states next on the list for the grant are Plateau, Yobe, Ondo, Benue and Osun, while Nassarawa State is yet to communicate account details.

Governor Sule said the ad-hoc committee’s report also had the key highlights of the ongoing four weeks guidelines of the extended second 2nd Phase of the eased lockdown.

He said the task force revealed that the extension was necessitated due to observed lack of compliance with the prescribed measure, dangers associated with community transmission and the need to strengthen critical areas of the response strategy for effectiveness.

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