(News investigators) The Federal Government may likely not transfer the N8,000 each to 12 million poor Nigerians and house-holds as palliatives for petrol subsidy removal. Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun revealed this yesterday when he was featured on a national television programme, Politics Today.
Abiodun said that the Bola Ahmed Tinubu administration is thinking of investing the $800 million World Bank facility in energy transmission projects.The bank had granted the then Muhammadu Buhari government the facility for direct transfer to vulnerable Nigerians to cushion the effects of subsidy removal.
The Federal Government had a few days ago said it planned to share the $800 million as palliative to the 12 million households after getting the nod of the National Assembly to do so. But the announcement drew wide criticisms across the length and breadth of the country.
Consequently, the President convened the National Economic Council led by Vice-President Kassim Shettima to review the policy of sharing money to the poor.
Speaking on the issue, Abiodun,who made it clear that was not the spokesman for the Federal Government, said he did not see Tinubu’s government sharing the money.
His words: “Talking about the World Bank loan, I’m not sure that the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu administration is very disposed to distributing N8,000 per household. “Though I’m not a spokesman for the Federal Government, I can see the government leaning towards using such intervention for energy transition.
“For instance, purchasing CNG(Compressed Natural Gas) buses and distributing them across the country.I think that is the kind of thinking that the Federal Government is considering as against distributing cash to households.”
Pleading with Nigerians to be patient with the government, Abiodun said it was commendable that Tinubu meant well for the country by stopping the payment of petrol subsidy.
He said: ‘“The Renewed Hope is here with us and that is what has sustained us thus far.This is the very first time any administration will deregulate by such a margin without seeing protesters on the streets.This is because the people understand that there can’t be any gain without some pain.
“I only plead with Nigerians to be patient and continue to hold on as there is light at the end of the tunnel.All these issues will be resolved and Nigeria will be better for it.
“The proceeds from the removal of subsidy will definitely be channelled to social infrastructure that will make life more abundant and fulfilling for the good people of this country.”
The governor also assured that Tinubu’s government would intervene in record time to address the pains induced by subsidy removal.
How palliatives can be distributed, by World Bank
Meanwhile, the World Bank has advised the governors to use the Nigeria COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (NG-CARES) structures to coordinate the distribution of palliatives in their states.
“They (states) have social protection structures, they can transfer cash because they have a very solid registry managed by their planning ministries and they have a database of the poor,” said World Bank Task Team Leader for NG-CARES, Foluso Okunmadewa.
Okunmadewa explained that states are currently using their own implementing units to deliver services and goods to the poor and vulnerable.
The NG-CARES programme in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory(FCT) is being supported by the Federal Government and the World Bank both in terms of funding and technical assistance.