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Disbursing N500bn to 12m homes won’t suffice

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By Usman Oladimeji

Aftermath of subsidy removal is affecting millions of Nigerians.

The hardship facing Nigerians, as a direct consequence of subsidy removal, has been brought to the spotlight by Africa Leadership Group (ALG), a citizen-centric and effective governance leadership organization, criticizing President Bola Tinubu swift decision to end fuel subsidy. ALG further voiced their displeasure on the matter in a press release signed by Lara Gureje-Oderinde, ALG Director of Publicity and Media Relations. It stated that the current administration’s plan to distribute N500 billion to 12 million households over the course of six months does not go far enough in addressing the underlying problems and consequences of the subsidy removal.

According to the statement, millions of Nigerians have grown concerned pertaining to the aftermath of the decision to end the Petroleum subsidy, such as the spike in the cost of virtually everything from food to transportation. This has made it hard for average Nigerians to earn a living. Rising domestic fuel prices have an effect on household financial well-being in two distinct ways; in the first place, households are experiencing the effects of the increase in the price of fuels used for everyday activities like cooking, heating, lighting, and transportation.

48.7 percent of the fund should be invested in modular refineries.

Secondly, rising fuel prices have a knock-on effect due to the fact that it inevitably raises production costs and consumer prices for other goods and services purchased by consumers. The Africa Leadership Group, established by Pastor Ituah Ighodalo to cater to the calls for aid from Nigerians, polled the populace to assess public sentiment. The survey found that some analysts believed that the strategy cannot effectively address the basic difficulties and cannot suffice to cater for the people’s needs.

Rather than providing incentives to 12 million households, the group proposed three main parts pointed out by the citizens where the 500 billion Naira could be adequately utilized. It said 48.7 percent of the fund should be invested in modular refineries to generate new employment opportunities. 48.1% should be invested in either Manufacturing or agriculture, with concentration on SMEs and smallholder farmers. While 41.7% should be allocated to subsidize commercial transportation or fund the purchase and distribution of new buses to States to lessen the effect associated with transportation.

Populace welfare and food provision should be at the forefront.

Furthermore, the polled participants proposed concentrating on Food Security efforts, investing in regions hit hard by terrorism, subsidizing Electricity bills, and providing funds to the poor in a transparent manner. The statement also noted that a gradual elimination of Subsidies would have been preferable because it would have given people more time to prepare financially. This has strongly impacted my family’s Welfare and even forced some to abandon their vehicles due to the skyrocketing fuel price.

With the aim of improving food Security and decreasing reliance on imports, ALG claims that the government should explore investing part of the 500 billion naira in climate-smart Agriculture pilot food production initiatives in various geopolitical zones. The populace welfare and food provision should be at the forefront. Planning and executing actions to alleviate the immediate effects of the subsidy elimination while simultaneously investing in long-term solutions can ensure a fair and equitable transition towards a sustainable and economically secure future.

ALG suggested boosting investment on healthcare, education.

To effectively create and win public support for any relief programme, it is essential to first identify who stands to gain from fuel price increases and how that will affect their welfare. The negative effects on low-income households highlight the urgency of taking precautions to safeguard those households. ALG suggested boosting Investment on healthcare, education, and Infrastructure as high-priority areas as well as extending existing safety net programmes with possible improvements in targeting to help the poor.


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