Adebayo Olawale Edun, a ministerial nominee of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has suggested how the federal government will administer the $800m loan secured from the World Bank.
The Nigerian government plans to share the sum as palliative to cushion the effect of fuel subsidy removal on the citizens.
Edun was the Lagos State Commissioner of Finance during Tinubu’s tenure as governor of the state
The nominee, who may be named finance minister, was screened by the Senate on Tuesday.
The Tinubu-led government had said the $800m World Bank loan will be shared to 12 million households for 6 months, with each household to get N8,000.
During his screening, Edun hinted that the money will be shared to recipients who have unique bank identity.
He was asked by former President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawal, to explain how he would approach the cash palliative so that the money can effectively be shared to poor Nigerians.
Approximately 40 million Nigerians are unbanked and the country’s National Social Register is dominated by poor and vulnerable citizens who are the major targets of the palliative.
Edun clearly cited his examples with India using the digital identity, adding that the model will be adopted.
He explained that virtually every bank in India achieved a lot in its banking system using the digital identity.
“Distinguished senator, India, would achieve what we are trying to achieve. And what is giving us so much difficulty in achieving it is a digital identity… I am not to talk about the $800 million world bank loan.
It has proved so unpopular, has been spoken of in such a deregatory terms that I think its not something that I will like to bring up or comment on at this stage other than to say, it is probably important to find a way not to throw the baby with the bath water.
“Senator Lawal, I know, that the provision and the conditions surrounding that financing by the world bank is that every recipient should have a biometric verification, otherwise he may not be eliglible for that funding.
“So, in section 22, clearly, there is a register that those biometric validations to an extent, but I should say sir, it needs to do more to reach people outside of the poorer financial system and that I am sure is a … of this government. And I should say, N500 billion supplementary budget. I think that is an appropriate sum,” he said.