- The federal government announced recently that they will end subsidy on petroleum products come 2022
- The FG disclosed it would be spending about N200 billion monthly to provide social welfare packages to very poor Nigerians to cushion the effects of fuel subsidy removal
- Again, the FG says it may deduct N2.4tn from the federal account to fund the social welfare packages to over 40 million poor Nigerians
Recently, the federal government announced that it may deduct at least N2.4tn from the Federation Account to fund the N5, 000 cash palliative that will be handed over to 40 million poor Nigerians after the fuel subsidy has been removed next year.
The Punch reports that on Thursday, November 25, the list of poor Nigerians on the Federal Government’s National Social Register had surpassed 42 million and may hit 43 million by December.
This implies that the figure to be spent on the subsidy palliative may hit N2.58tn in one year.
When contacted on Thursday on how funds for the N5,000 palliative would be sourced, Yunusa Abdullahi, the media adviser to the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, referred to a statement by his principal after the Federal Executive Council meeting on Wednesday, November 24.
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The statement by Yunusa Abdullahi
In the statement, Ahmed noted that the funding would come from FAAC allocations. FAAC which is headed by the Minister of Finance, comprises Commissioners of Finance from the 36 states, representatives of revenue-generating agencies such as the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, Federal Inland Revenue Service, Department of Petroleum Resources, Central Bank of Nigeria, Nigeria Customs Service among others.
These revenue-generating agencies are expected to remit a specified amount of their revenue to the Federation Account which will be distributed among the three tiers of government.
Ahmed, however, noted that negotiation was still ongoing.
“So these are things that we are still in negotiation because it’s still money that would have to come from the Federation Account. So everybody that is a member of FAAC will have to agree on the numbers.”
The 40 million poor Nigerians
Meanwhile, reliable sources in the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, told the newspaper that the government had already identified 42 million poor people hence the sharing of the N5, 000 would not be cumbersome.
One of the sources explained that all the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory sent a list to the ministry every month which is computed into the National Social Register.
The official, who pleaded anonymity, said that the 40 million that the Federal Government is referring to has actually risen to about 42 million. These are the poor people we have identified over the years. Their names were sent to us by the ministries of planning in the various states.
“They send updates to us every month and then we add the names to our social register. As of today, the figure is about 42 million and is expected to hit 43 million by next month.”
Speaking in the same vein, the National President, Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, Dr Tommy Etim, said the planned subsidy removal was not acceptable to his association.
Nigerian Labour Congress reacts to planned Fuel increase
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had earlier reported that the Nigerian Labour Congress on Wednesday, November 24, said it has rejected the planned petroleum pump price increase by the federal government.
The president of the congress, Ayuba Wabba, in a statement released in Abuja said members of the NLC would not take the bait thrown by the federal government.
It was reported that Wabba said the announcement made by the group managing director of the Nigerians National Petroluem Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari, that fuel would cost as high as N340 by Februray 2022 is comical.