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Valedictory Loot? Buhari Requests Fresh Loan of $800 Million Loan to ‘Boost Social Safety Net’

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ABUJA, Nigeria – President Muhammadu Buhari urged the Senate on Wednesday, May 10, 2023, to approve an $800 million loan to fund the National Social Safety Network Programme, NSSP.

In a letter read to the Senate by Senate President Ahmed Lawan during the plenary session, Buhari outlined that the loan would be used to provide financial assistance to 10.2 million impoverished and low-income households over the next six months.

This initiative could potentially influence the lives of 60 million people, given its projected multiplier effect.

“I urge you to expedite action on this request for proper implementation,” Buhari implored in his letter, emphasizing the urgency and potential impact of the program.

Under the proposed plan, each of the 10.2 million beneficiaries would receive a monthly sum of N5,000 ($12.20) under the conditional cash transfer window of the program.

Buhari’s request comes amid a period of deep economic challenges and growing inequality in Nigeria, and is seen as a significant step toward alleviating the immediate financial burdens faced by many Nigerians. However, the request is likely to spark a heated debate in the Senate, where concerns about the country’s rising debt profile have been a contentious issue.

While some lawmakers may argue that the proposed loan could worsen the country’s debt situation, others may support the President’s view that the funds are urgently needed to alleviate poverty and spur economic activity among the nation’s most vulnerable populations.

“This is a chance to directly address the financial struggles of millions of our citizens,” Buhari wrote in his letter. “By accelerating the processing of this loan, we can ensure the well-being of our citizens, stimulate economic activity, and ultimately strengthen our nation’s social fabric.”

The President’s request for the loan now awaits the Senate’s deliberation and decision.

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