The World Bank has clarified that the 800 million dollar loan from the bank was approved as of December 2021, a time when the government of Muhammadu Buhari contemplated the removal of fuel subsidy.
Its Nigerian articlesCountry Director, Dr Shubham Chaudhuri, made this known on Tuesday at an event organised by the World Bank to assess the nation’s economy in the last six months.
Chaudhuri explained that the fund is a loan and not a grant as speculated.
He said that the funds will be channelled into ameliorating the sufferings of the poor and vulnerable owing to the removal of the fuel subsidy.
The loan was delayed as Former President Muhammadu Buhari soft-pedaled on the fuel subsidy removal until his last days in office.
Few weeks to his handover, Buhari had sent a letter to the Senate seeking approval to take a loan to the tune of $800 million from the World Bank to cushion the effects of subsidy removal.
The former Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, had said that the disbursement of the fund is in light of the planned subsidy removal in June 2023.
On his inauguration on May 29, President Bola Tinubu eventually announced the removal of the petrol subsidy.
The Nigerian Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, 48 hours after Tinubu’s declaration, announced price adjustment for petrol.
The World Bank Country Director also expressed support for the Federal Government’s subsidy removal and the exchange rate unification.
According to Chaudhuri, the policy though painful remains key to rebuilding the economy of the nation.