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Government Allocates N160 Billion for Consumer Credit and Student Loan Scheme in 2024 Budget

Government Allocates N160 Billion for Consumer Credit and Student Loan Scheme in 2024 Budget

The Nigerian government has earmarked a total of N160 billion in the 2024 national budget for consumer credit and the implementation of a student loan scheme. Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Atiku Bagudu, revealed this significant allocation during a press briefing held in Abuja yesterday.

Out of the allocated funds, N100 billion has been designated for consumer credit aimed at reviving the manufacturing sector and facilitating the provision of goods and services to Nigerians. Minister Bagudu described consumer credit as a catalytic fund expected to stimulate growth, emphasizing its role in supporting the capacity of consumers and fostering economic activity.

Additionally, N50 billion has been allocated in the signed budget, with an additional N10 billion set aside in the supplementary budget, for the implementation of the student loan scheme. Minister Bagudu highlighted the government’s commitment to providing alternative financing options for students, acknowledging the importance of expanding access to higher education.

However, Minister Bagudu acknowledged that the disbursement of these funds has been delayed due to bureaucratic hurdles, particularly the nation’s sluggish procurement system, which typically takes a minimum of three months to complete. Despite this setback, he expressed confidence that the implementation of these budgetary provisions would contribute to the nation’s economic recovery and growth.

Addressing concerns about the integrity of the national budget, Minister Bagudu refuted allegations of manipulation, clarifying that the adjustments made by lawmakers during the budgetary process were within their constitutional mandate. He emphasized the pivotal role of the National Assembly in the appropriation process, asserting that additions, subtractions, or modifications to the budget are inherent aspects of democratic governance.

Furthermore, Minister Bagudu highlighted the government’s efforts to de-risk the agricultural sector by creating a N100 billion agricultural development fund. This initiative aims to attract private sector financing to the agricultural industry, thereby promoting investment, innovation, and sustainable growth in the sector.

During the briefing, Minister Bagudu underscored the importance of consumer credit in stimulating economic activity and expanding access to essential goods and services for Nigerians. He emphasized the government’s commitment to leveraging financial tools to enhance economic inclusivity and empower citizens.

In response to questions from journalists, Minister Bagudu reiterated the government’s strategic priorities and commitment to fostering economic resilience and social development. He emphasized the multifaceted approach adopted by the government to address key challenges and unlock the nation’s economic potential.

As Nigeria navigates the complexities of economic recovery and transformation, the allocation of funds for consumer credit and the student loan scheme reflects the government’s proactive stance towards promoting sustainable growth, fostering human capital development, and advancing economic inclusivity. With careful planning and effective implementation, these initiatives have the potential to catalyze positive change and drive Nigeria towards a more prosperous future.

This Article is Fact-Checked. See Policy.
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