State governors again on Thursday requested that the repayment of their loans, especially the budget support, which ought to start this month be deferred. But the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, emphasised the importance of the timely repayment of loans, especially those owed to commercial banks.
This was one of the highlights of the National Economic Council meeting presided over by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo.
The Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, disclosed this in a statement.
The statement was titled, ‘NEC receives Sovereign Investment reports showing significant income, net asset growth.’
The statement read, “On the Budget Support Facility, state governors restated their request to defer the repayment of the loans, which was to have started this month. Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, who is also Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum, reported interactions with the Finance Minister and the CBN Governor regarding the matter.
“The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, also emphasised 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. He said the repayment of the commercial loans should resume this month.
“In addition, the vice president stated that he will be holding a meeting with representatives of the state governors, the Finance Minister and the CBN Governor to resolve the issue raised.”
According to the statement, the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority also reported that Nigeria’s net assets rose from N579.54bn to N772.75bn.
The statement quoted the Managing Director of the NSIA, Uche Orji, as disclosing this at the meeting.
Also at the meeting, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, made a presentation on the Digital Switch Over.
He stated that the International Telecommunications Union had urged member states to switch off analogue television transmission to “go digital,”
According to the minister, the DSO will be taking off first in Lagos, Kano and Rivers States.
The Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Chikwe Ihekweazu, also briefed the council on the new variant of the coronavirus from India.
According to him, there has been a reduction in the number of cases globally in the last two months, including in India whose infection rates have declined the last five days.
The NCDC boss maintained that although the “transmission rate in the country is low,” more attention will go into tracking the new B1.617.2 variant from India. So far, he confirmed only three such cases in Nigeria. He urged Nigerians not to give in to what he called “pandemic fatigue” and stick to the COVID-19 safety protocols