The Federal government of Nigeria on Wednesday revealed that it has secured $800 Million ( approx N372 Billion) from the World Bank, as part of its post-subsidy palliatives.
The fuel subsidy removal is expected to take effect from June, 2023. Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed made the disclosure to State House Correspondents, after the weekly meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC), presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, on Wednesday.
Ahmed said the government is determined to end subsidy in June, adding that it has been engaging with the newly established Presidential Transition Council (PTC) and the incoming administration, with the view to driving the palliative programme.
She explained that the funds will be disbursed to the 10 million households considered to be most vulnerable, to cushion the effect of the subsidy removal.
She further elaborated that: “This is a commitment in the Petroleum Industry Act. 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 exit fuel subsidy by June 2023. We’re on 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 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 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 “We are currently engaging with all the stakeholders. We know that various plans are being considered, including the need for buses by the Labour, amongst several other palliatives.”