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July 13, 2023

Tinubu’s request of N500 bn for palliatives to Nigerians commendable – expert

healthcare sector – Presidency

A financial expert, Prof. Uche Uwaleke, has described as commendable, President Bola Tinubu’s request for legislative approval of N500 billion as palliatives to cushion the removal of petrol subsidy.

Uwaleke, a Professor of Capital Market at the Nasarawa State University, Keffi, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja.

He urged the National Assembly to give the request favourable consideration as speedily as possible.

He advised the Federal Government to consider non-cash palliatives.

According to him, although the nature of the palliatives was not indicated, as much as possible, the government should look into the direction of non-cash palliatives in the utilisation of such funds.

“Reports say Nigeria has also secured 800 million dollars from the World Bank as a soft loan to cushion the impact of subsidy removal, expected to be distributed as cash to about 10 million households.

“That will amount to N600 billion, assuming I & E average rate of N750 applied to the World Bank’s facility. That should give N1.1 trillion.

“One way to ensure that the money reaches the grassroots is to divide it by 774, which translates to about N1.4 billion, and transfer this sum to each Local Government Areas (LGAs).

“That will be consistent with the principle of maximum social benefit in public expenditure,” Uwaleke said.

He.added that an optimal way to ameliorate suffering is through sustainable jobs.

“So, this money can be utilised as initial capital to establish massive skill acquisition centres in every LGA.

“The construction of these centres will generate huge job opportunities in the LGAs and help to reverse rural-urban migration.

“The management of the funds will be done by the communities themselves using traditional and religious institutions.

“In the area of mass transit schemes, the government should partner the private sector to address the challenge,” he said. .

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports the President Bola Tinubu, on Wednesday, wrote to the National Assembly seeking an amendment to the 2022 supplementary appropriation Act.

He.said ttga the amendment.woul.allow the Federal Government to source N500 billion for palliative to cushion the effect of petrol subsidy removal.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas, who read the president’s letter during plenary on Wednesday, said the money would be sourced from the 2022 supplementary Appropriation Act of N819.5 billion.