By Ajuma Edwina Ameh
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, has disclosed that the federal government will replace fuel subsidy with a N5,000 monthly transportation grant to the poorest Nigerians in 2022.
Speaking at the launch of the World Bank Nigeria Development Update (NDU) on Tuesday, Ahmed said about 30 to 40 million most vulnerable Nigerians will benefit.
According to Ahmed, the final number of beneficiaries will depend on the resources available after the removal of the fuel subsidy.
She said: “The subsidies regime in the oil sector remains unsustainable and economically disingenuous.
“Ahead of the target date of mid-2022 for the complete elimination of fuel subsidies, we are working with our partners on measures to cushion potential negative impact of the removal of the subsidies on the most vulnerable at the bottom 40% of the population.
“One of such measures would be to institute a monthly transport subsidy, in the form of cash transfer of N5,000 to between 30 to 40 million deserving Nigerians.
“We are very optimistic that the recent developments in the oil sector, such as the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021, hopefully, the full reactivation of the four public refineries in the country, and the completion and coming on stream of the three private refineries under construction in 2022, would significantly boost contribution from the sector to our economic growth efforts.”
Ahmed said though the set date for the subsidy removal is June 2022, the federal government hopes to do this before June in line with the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).