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Fuel Subsidy Removal: World Bank Provides $800m Palliatives for Nigerians



Fuel subsidy removal

Ahead of planned fuel subsidy removal by June 2023, the World Bank has granted the Nigerian government $800 million to put up a comprehensive palliative scheme for its citizens.

Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, revealed this on Wednesday, shortly after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.

According to Ahmed, the Nigerian government has resolved to end fuel subsidy by June, and, hence, has begun moves to make the impact less stressful for the citizens.

She noted that already there has been meaningful engagement with the newly established Presidential Transition Council (PTC) and the incoming administration, with a view to driving the palliative programme.

“We have secured a modest sum of $800 million from the World Bank to drive the palliatives and we are targeting about 10 million households or 50 million vulnerable Nigerians in the first instance,” the minister stated while briefing State House correspondents.

She noted that a good chunk of the fund will go to the 10 million households considered to be most vulnerable, to cushion the effect of the subsidy removal.

“We are currently engaging all the stakeholders. We know that various plans are being considered, including the need for buses by the Labour, amongst several other palliative schemes,” she noted.

What you should know

Barring any change in his plan, the president-elect, All Progressives Congress’s Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has expressed determination to remove subsidy when assumes office as the President of the country.

Just two days ago, the All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Council said the incoming administration of Tinubu will decide the date the fuel subsidy will be removed.

Though the regime of the President Muhammadu Buhari said the subsidy policy would end by June when the budget for the initiative would lapse, the Chief Spokesperson for the All Progressives Congress PCC, Festus Keyamo said that the next government would determine the terminal date for the subsidy regime.

There has been apprehension over the planned removal of subsidy with marketers and other petroleum stakeholders projecting that the development may push fuel prices to N750 per litre.

The removal became imperative to relieve what many analysts tagged as wasteful spending as annual subsidy spending surpassed N4 trillion in 2022.

Among other expected ripples, Nigerians will spend more to buy fuel when the subsidy is finally removed, thus the call for palliatives to cushion the effects on vulnerable Nigerians.

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