The Federal Government, on Sunday, said it has finalized an agreement with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to commence the drawdown of a N200bn facility, guaranteed by the Ministry of Finance for the funding of a housing scheme.
The Housing fund a component of the administration’s Economic Sustainability Programme developed by a committee which Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, and approved by President Muhammadu Buhari on June 24, 2020. The ESP has a N2.3tr stimulus plan to tackle the socio-economic effects of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on Nigerians.
The National Social Housing Programme (NSHP) project execution would see the government supporting 1.5m Nigerians to acquire low-cost houses through mortgage and Rent-to-Own options.
The scheme, according to a statement by Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity Office of the Vice President, is expected to also generate 1.8m jobs and deliver houses to about 1.5m Nigerian families.
He explained that over one million Nigerians have so far benefitted from the Survival Fund scheme under the Buhari administration’s Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP), with about 500,000 Nigerians beneficiaries from the MSMEs Payroll support track, 44,500 beneficiaries under the one-off General MSME Grant, and another 265,425 under the artisan support track.
In addition, he said there are 202, 494 Nigerians who have registered their business names for free, just as payment to new beneficiaries of the Payroll Support track and the one-time General MSME Grant commenced at the end of April.
Giving a breakdown, Akande said over one million beneficiaries spread across the nation as benefited under the various components of the ESP, including 459,307 beneficiaries in the Payroll Support track, with beneficiaries receiving between N30,000 and N50,000 grant per month for a period of three months.
For the General MSME Grants, he said about 44,500 successful beneficiaries have received payment for the one-off grant of N50,000 each, adding that the total number of the General MSME Grant beneficiaries will increase in the coming weeks as the Steering Committee has approved payment to an additional 40,114 successful new beneficiaries.
Yet another 202,494 businesses, he continued, have so far benefitted under the under the ESP Survival Fund formalization support track, which began last October, aimed at registering 250,000 new businesses for free with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).
The MSME Survival Fund, a component under the ESP is designed to support vulnerable Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in meeting their payroll obligations and safeguard jobs in the MSMEs sector. The scheme is estimated to save not less than 1.3 million jobs across the country and specifically impact over 35,000 individuals per state.
Also, the ESP Solar Naija programme, designed to provide electricity access to 5m households, servijng about 25m Nigerians in rural areas and under-served urban communities nationwide, has recorded some progress, the statement added.
‘One of the local solar power companies implementing aspects of the ESP Solar Power Naija scheme, A-SOLAR, which will deliver 100,000 units across the country in the first phase of the project, received some boost, with the completion of the disbursement of funds from the CBN,” Akande said.
The A-SOLAR transaction, which involves a guaranty from Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC), has been completed. The disbursement from Sterling Bank to A-SOLAR is expected to be in tranches. The first tranche has been disbursed and the Letter of Credit for the importation of the first set of 30,000 systems is being finalized.
Upon completion, about 30,000 solar systems is expected to be deployed to Kano, Edo, Delta, Kwara, Katsina and Cross River states, as part of the 100,000 units under the A-SOLAR arrangement.
In the same vein, The Development Finance department of the CBN is finalising the Approval of N20B to finance the downstream component of the programme to fund mini-grid and solar home system companies. Once the approval comes through, three companies will get direct disbursement from the CBN to commence their deployment.
The statement recalled that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo flagged off the Solar Power Naija programme in Jangefe Community in Roni Local Government Area (Kazaure Emirate) of Jigawa State in April, with the launch of 1,000 Solar Home Systems connections for the community’s about 5,000 population. The commencement of the installation in Jigawa is part of a 100,000 scheme with A-SOLAR.