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Subsidy Removal: FG Provides $800 Million World Bank Funds For Palliatives


Subsidy Removal: FG Provides $800 Million World Bank Funds For Palliatives

By Abdullahi Ahmad Bamalli

Before the removal of fuel subsidies, the federal government announced that it had received $800 million in funding from the World Bank to cover some of its oil mitigation subsidies.

Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning Zainab Ahmed made this known to newsmen in a statement at the State House after a meeting of the Federal Executive Council chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Palace.

She stated that the $800 million is the first tranche of the palliative care fund, which will be paid in cash transfer to some 50 million Nigerians who belong to the most vulnerable groups in society.

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She said “The secondary question on exit of fuel subsidy, this is a commitment in the Petroleum Industry Bill. There’s a provision that says that 18 months after the effectiveness of the PIA that all petroleum products must be deregulated, that 18 months takes us to June 2023.

“Also, when we were working on the 2023 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and the Appropriation Act, we made that provision to enable us to exit fuel subsidies by June 2023. We’re of course, we’re having different stakeholder engagements, we’ve secured some funding from the World Bank, that is the first tranche of palliatives that will enable us to give cash transfers to the most vulnerable in our society that have now been registered in a national social register.

“Today that register has a list of 10 million households. 10 million households is equivalent to about 50 million Nigerians.

“But 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 go beyond the requirement of just giving cash transfers. Labour, 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, some are more medium-term implementation”, she said.

When asked how much funding was received from the World Bank for the execution of the planned exit, she said “$800 million for the scale up of the National Social Investment Programme at the World Bank and it’s secured, it’s ready for this disbursement”.

Asked if the incumbent government had been discussing subsidy removal with the incoming administration, she said “there are a lot of discussions going on at different levels, including with members of the transition committee of the incoming government”.

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