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FG Releases N288bn COVID-19 Stimulus Package

The Government of the Federation on Thursday said it has so far released N288billion from the N2.3trillion COVID-19 stimulus package.

Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Agba made this known on the sidelines of the National Steering Committee meeting of the Nigeria Open Government Partnership in Abuja.

Commenting on measures adopted to salvage the economy from collapsing as a result of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the minister said the N2.3trillion stimulus package was earmarked and deployed in various sectors of the economy.

His words; “And there are basically two sources of funding the N2.3trillion.

“The first N500bn had to come from special accounts, which were embedded in the revised budget.”

“And then the other N1.8tn, which has programmes that were set up to be financed through the financial institutions.

“And we had negotiated a five per cent interest rates with a one year moratorium just to ensure that we are able to grow agriculture, look after the MSMEs, support the aviation sector”, he stated.

The minister said the Federal Government also made provisions for the states, as it stopped the repayment of loans collected by the states.

According to him, “We also made some provisions for the states for their survival. Like you know the states had some bailout funds that they got from borrowings.

“We had to stop the repayment, both the principal and the interest for a year. These are measures that had to be taken to get the economy going.”

Agba said the measures eventually paid off, as the country posted a positive GDP growth in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Commenting on how much of the N2.3trillion stimulus package had so far been injected into the economy, the minister replied, “For the N500bn which came from the budget, we have released about N288bn to deal with those issues.

“Some of it revolves around infrastructure and they are not things you do in a day. It is when the work is completed that you make the balance payment.”

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