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Loan repayment: Yemi Osinbajo reconciles Governors and CBN

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo’s mediation in the disagreement between the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and states over the repayment of the budget support facilities obtained has resulted in reconciliation.

Recalled that governors had requested that the loan repayment, due in May, be deferred.

The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, had however, emphasized the importance of the timely repayment of loans, especially those owed to commercial banks, indicating the challenges inherent in a further delay in payment, including audit concerns.

Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, in a statement, said the Council was informed that the issue of the repayment of the Budget Support Facility has now been resolved after a meeting presided over earlier this week by the Vice President, Governor Kayode Fayemi, representing the States, the Finance Minister, and the CBN Governor, Emefiele.

Under the new arrangement, the CBN has offered a fresh bridging financing to States as they resume the repayment of the FG-backed Facility.

Osinbajo at the meeting also urged governors of states where State Judicial Panels set up across the country after last year’s EndSARS protests to submit interim reports so as to measure progress.

He said this at the emergency National Economic Council (NEC) where he presided at the State House, Abuja, where remained the governors that the reports are now being received ahead of a Council meeting where presentations would be made on them, both for States where the panels have concluded their work and those that are still sitting.

It will be recalled that the Council recommended the establishment of judicial panels nationwide to address complaints of police brutality after l President Muhammadu Buhari dissolved the Police SARS unit. Almost all States in the Federation set up the panels, including the Federal Capital Territory.

The Council comprises the 36 State Governors, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), as well as other senior Federal Government officials.

The NEC has endorsed the 2022-2024 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF/FSP) which was presented at the Council.

The meeting which has several State Governors, FCT Minister, Finance Minister, Central Bank Governor, and other government officials in attendance.

During the presentation of the MTEF to the Council, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Dr. Zainab Ahmed, stated that the draft of the 2022-2024 MTEF/FSP was prepared against the backdrop of global economic recovery, amidst improved vaccination outlook and lower incidence of (COVID-19) infection.

She also said the Nigerian economy sustained a tepid recovery in first quarter of 2021 posting a Year-on-Year (YoY) GDP growth of 0.51%, consolidating the exit from recession in Q4 2020, reflecting the easing of COVID-19 induced restrictions.

She recalled that the economy, which lapsed into recession in Q3 2020, after two successive quarters of negative GDP growth, promptly emerged from the recession with a positive 0.11% GDP growth in Q4 2020. She added that the Medium Term Fiscal Framework showed that there are continuing global challenges in the aftermath of the COVID-19.

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