The World Bank has given the Nigerian government $800 million to set up a comprehensive palliative scheme for its citizens prior to the elimination of fuel subsidies in June 2023.
The Federal Government January had hinted at stopping the payment of fuel subsidies by the end of June 2023
Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, announced on Wednesday that $800 million is the first tranche of palliatives to be disbursed through cash transfers to about 50 million Nigerians to the most vulnerable category of society.
“We made that provision to enable us to exit fuel subsidies by June 2023 when we were working on the 2023 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and the Appropriation Act,” she says.
We’re on track, we’re engaging various stakeholders, and we’ve secured some World Bank funding. That is the first tranche of palliatives that will allow us to provide cash transfers to our society’s most vulnerable members, who have now been registered in a national social register.
“Today, that register has a list of 10 million households.” Ten million households are equivalent to about 50 million Nigerians.
Cushioning the Effects of Subsidy Removal
The Finance Minister said there are plans to go beyond cash transfers to cushion the effect the subsidy removal will have on Nigerians.
Her words: “We also have to raise more resources to enable us to do more than just the cash transfers, and also in our engagements with the various stakeholders, the various kinds of tasks that we have to go beyond the requirement of just giving cash transfers. Labor, for example, might be looking for mass transit for its members.
“So there are several things that we’re still planning and working on, some we can start executing quickly, and some are more medium-term implementations.”
Ahmed said: “$800 million for the scale-up of the National Social Investment Programme at the World Bank, and it’s secured, ready for this disbursement.”