Economy

Increasing public debt profile: 36 states to share N656b new FG support at N18b each

*FG to ramp up COVID-19 vaccine roll-out to reach 50% of targeted population

*NEC urges strict compliance to COVID-19 protocols ahead of festive season

*CBN processing Bridge Financing to spread over 6 months

An image of the screen of the Nigerian Vice President Yemi Osinbajo during the virtual meeting of the National Economic Council on Thursday November 18, 2021.

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved a fresh N656billion Bridge Financing Facility to the 36 States. Each State would receive N18.2B, thereby increasing the nation’s already humongous public debt profile.

This was disclosed today at NEC’s 121st meeting (10th in 2021), which was held virtually and was presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, with State Governors, Federal Ministers, the Central Bank Governor, and other senior government officials in attendance.

The Honourable Minister of Finance Budget and National Planning, Dr Zainab Ahmed, informed the Council that the Bridge Facility is now being processed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The approved Bridge facility of N656.112billion will be disbursed in six tranches over a period of six months to the States.

Expectedly, each of the 36 States will have a total loan amount of N18.225billion; with a 30-year tenor, and a 2-year moratorium at an interest rate of 9%.

The Facility is to help the States afford the repayment of previous bailout facilities guaranteed for them by the Federal Government.

It would be recalled that on 15th of July, 2021, the Council had 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.

Also at today’s NEC, the Executive Director/CEO of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib, informed the Council on the Status of the country’s COVID-19 Vaccine roll-out.

Dr Shuaib noted that Nigeria has received over 100 million doses of COVID–19 vaccines (from COVAX, African Union, 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 of vaccines, we have started rolling out a plan to vaccinate 50 percent of Nigerians, 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, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), 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 encourage adherence to public health and social measures, encourage vaccination and address vaccine hesitancy.”

The DG, NCDC added that the Delta variant of the COVID-19 is still the dominant strain of concern in the country.

Other highlights
A. FINANCIAL UPDATES

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning gave the Council an update on the under listed accounts as follows:

  1. EXCESS CRUDE ACCOUNT (ECA)

Balance as at 15th November, 2021 stands at: $60, 860,309.33

  1. STABILIZATION ACCOUNT

Balance as at 15th November, 2021 stands at: N27,103,662,581.25

  1. DEVELOPMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES ACCOUNT

Balance as of 15th November, 2021 stands at: N60, 884,460,981.23

STATE PERFORMANCE REPORT ON COVID -19 BY THE DIRECTOR-GENERAL, NATIONAL CENTER FOR DISEASE CONTROL

No of Cases = 213,321

No of Cases tested = 3,440,172

Active Cases = 4,142

Discharged Cases =206,206

Number of Deaths = 2,173

Council was informed on the global situation of Covid-19: over 251 million cases and over 5 million deaths due to Covid–19

· Over 7.1billion vaccine doses administered

· In Africa, over 6.1 million confirmed cases and over 151, 000 deaths due to Covid–19

· National EPI – Curve (last 3 months (14 Sept – Nov 2021)

· Test positivity is at 1.2%

· 62 deaths reported in the past week due to backlogs from Edo State

· Increase in case fatality ratio (CFR) from 1.4% in week 44 to 14.3% in week 45

· Lagos’ contribution to caseload declined (10%)

· Plateau’s proportionate contribution on the increase

  • Over the last 4 weeks, weekly cases have been declining in 11 States, increasing across 2 States,

· Monthly detection of variants of concern in Nigeria: Delta strain is still dominant

Current Cholera situation in the country:

• Suspected No of Cases =100,157

• No. of States = 32+ FCT

• Number of Deaths = 3,449

· Multi-sectoral emergency operation centres activated at level 2 continues to coordinate the national response.

· 6 States reported 78 suspected cases in week 44 – Borno (32) and Kebbi (20) accounts for 67% of 78 suspected cases.

· Rapid response teams to be deployed to Adamawa, Borno, Cross-River, Ogun, and Zamfara State.

Resolutions

· Covid-19: States should encourage testing and vaccination

· Citizens advised to adhere to public health and social safety measures

· On cholera, there should be more investment in sanitation and water hygiene

UPDATE ON THE VACCINATION PROGRAMME BY EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NPHCDA

· Nigeria has received over 100million doses of Covid-19 vaccines to cover close to 50% of the targeted population.

· Between now and the 1st quarter of 2022, Nigeria needs to reach 50% of the targeted population by January 2022, in order to ramp up its vaccination.

· The scaling up of over 3,000 health facilities nationwide

· About 5% of Nigerians have received the 1st dose while 3% have received the 1st and second doses

· The agency is rolling out mass vaccination campaigns in densely populated areas like banks, markets and shopping malls and hard-to-reach population

· Lagos has a target of vaccinating 4million, while Ogun has a target of 2million before Christmas.

Challenges

· People are getting cards without vaccination; hence the agency is rolling out a means to validate all vaccination cards.

Resolutions

· States urged to vaccinate at least 50% of its population between now and January 2022.
· Encourage State Governors to launch mass vaccination campaigns.

PROGRESS REPORT ON THE NEC AD-HOC COMMITTEE ON NASENI – BY GOVERNOR OF EKITI STATE

· The Council was called to note that the committee reviewed how States could benefit from the work of NASENI.

· The committee recommended as follows:

· That Council should adopt the proposal as submitted to Council by the Chairman of NASENI.

· The committee frowned at different States coming up with their own initiatives but advised that all initiatives should be submitted to NASENI in order to achieve alignment.

· That States should render periodic briefing on a quarterly basis to monitor how NASENI is impacting industrialization, and entrepreneurship in Nigeria,

· That Council should set up a framework for NASENI operations.

Resolutions

· NASENI should focus on providing reversed engineering on certain key components of machinery useful to Nigeria;

· Its operation should be guided by its mandates to avoid duplication of efforts;

· Nigeria needs to see inventions on specific issues as such, regular updates are needed in order to keep track of NASENI’S operations;

· NASENI should have a limited mandate as such, its mandate is undergoing review

· The Vice President asked the committee to come up with a framework for NASENI’s operations, monitoring, and quarterly updates to NEC.

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