The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed says part of the $800 million facility from the World Bank will be used to provide financial support for 50 million Nigerians for six months after the petroleum subsidy is removed.
The Minister also expressed optimism that Nigeria would benefit from the debt restructuring being worked out under the auspices of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.
The $800 million facility according to the Minister will provide immediate transport palliative to the most vulnerable members of the society who have been identified, registered in the national social register.
She said the social register was being developed by the Ministry of humanitarian affairs, disaster management, and social development with the support of the World Bank with the plan for ten million households.
Mrs Ahmed said with more savings from the proposed removal of petrol subsidy, the fund for palliatives would be grown to cover more vulnerable Nigerians.
‘’The initial design is to disburse cash transfers of N5,000 per month per household for a period of six months. So, whether this is enough is an assessment that we are undertaking with the transition team. If it’s not enough, the country has to raise additional resources to be able to cover more people, extend the period or increase the amount; whichever is finally negotiated upon.
When the subsidy is removed, there would be additional revenue that would now accrue to the Federation account. One of the things we are working on is how to use this incremental revenue would be used. The money belongs to the federal, state, and local governments. So, we need a consensus of how to use this’’ she stated.
The Minister said the government would be inclusive in its implementation of the plan with the participation of members of the transition committee from the incoming administration and organized labour.
Mrs Ahmed said the removal of the subsidy would bring about a spike in inflation temporarily and then normalize afterwards.
Reporting by Biodun Dare, editing by Daniel Adejo & Adeniyi Bakare