FEC okays N3.4tn promissory note to offset local debts, salaries

As FG completes 166 ecological projects

THE Federal Council (FEC) has approved the establishment of a Promissory Note Programme worth N3.4trillion for the settlement of inherited local debts and contractual obligations of the Federal Government.

Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, disclosed this while briefing State House correspondents on the outcome of the council meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday.

She named some of the creditors to include Pension Liabilities N400billion; unpaid Salaries and 3rd party deductions N24.95billion; staff claims N270billion; part of contractors claims N45.36billion; fuel supply accrued interest and Foreign Exchange differentials N514.29billion and part of State Governments Claims N487.85billion.

Others are Ministry of Health outsourced liabilities N9.04billion; major contractors N596.51billion; Export Expansion Grant (EEG) Scheme N350.12billion; Judgement debt N112.96billion; DISCOS N26.71billion and GENCOS N495.67billion.

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She said the programme will provide stimulus to the economy and unlock investment across a number of sectors currently having liquidity issues.

According to her, it will have an immediate positive impact on the non-performing loan ratios of banks which will, in turn, increase the banks capacity to lend.

She added that it will enable the Federal Government to formally recognise and account for its true liabilities in line with the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS).

Ahmed also revealed that the council approved a memo seeking the sum of $6.8 million sought as a loan from AfDB to finance inclusive basic service delivery and livelihood empowerment integrated programme for the rebuilding of the North-east.

She recalled that there was a previous facility which included coverage of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba and Yobe States, and some specific institutions were beneficiaries.

She, however, noted that the programme has suffered because of the insurgency in the area.

She said: “But because of the insurgency, it suffered severely. It could not be carried out because of the activities of insurgents.

“Now, what we are trying to do is to go back to the projects, to this particular institution to make sure we are able to rehabilitate the institution and also undertake a complete skill, training and educational project that will mitigate against the challenges that the institution has had.

“The facility is a concessionary loan. It has an interest rate of one per cent and it is payable over a 30-year period and it has five years moratorium.”

FEC also approved a new scheme that is targeted at creating employment for 60,000 Nigerians aged 18-25 years.

Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udoma, who briefed on this said the new scheme called the N-Power Knowledge Multi-Track Youth Empowerment Programme will enrol 12,000 unemployed or under-employed graduates who will be trained and given relevant devices.

According to him, each of the 12,000 trainees will be empowered to train five other persons, bringing the total beneficiaries to 60,000.

He said the training will be on mobile computing and commonly used electronic devices.

Mr Udoma said the programme, which will be run under the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP), is open to all unemployed graduates.

The minister also said the federal government will spend N259,000 per youth on the training while an additional 207,000 will be spent for work tools.

According to him, the total cost of the program is N5,595,669,250 with a completion period of nine months.

FEC also approved for commissioning 20 completed ecological projects across the country, funded from the Ecological Funds to the tune of N15.3 billion.

Femi Adesina, the presidential spokesman, stated this during the briefing, saying that the projects are part of the 166 started by the present administration.

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