President Bola Tinubu has ordered a review of his administration’s earlier plan to distribute a monthly cash grant of N8,000 to 12 million poor and vulnerable households in the country for 6 months as part of efforts to cushion the impact of the removal of fuel subsidies.
This is in response to the public criticism that has greeted the policy with organized labor saying it falls far from the level of intervention required to ease the pains of vulnerable Nigerians and some others raising concerns over the transparency of the initiative.
This disclosure is contained in a statement signed by the Special Adviser to the President on Special Duties, Communications and Strategy, Dele Alake, on Tuesday, July 18, 2023, where he noted that the new directive is in deference to the views expressed by Nigerians against it.
The entirety of the palliative package is to be unveiled to Nigerians.
Alake, who pointed out that the cash program was not the only item in the relief package initiated by Tinubu, said President Tinubu has vowed to always put Nigerians at the heart of his policy and program.
He said President Tinubu directed that the N8,000 conditional cash transfer program envisaged to bring succor to most vulnerable households be reviewed immediately.
The President also directed that the entirety of the government’s palliative package be unveiled to Nigerians while ordering the immediate release of fertilizers and grains to approximately 50 million farmers and households respectively in all 36 states and the FCT.
What the Presidential Media Aide is saying
The statement from Alake reads,
- ‘’You will agree with me that it has become part of the culture of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration to constantly dialogue with Nigerians who voted him into office. The President covenanted with Nigerians that their welfare and security will be topmost in the Renewed Hope Agenda of his government.
- ‘’In the last few days, the conventional and new media platforms have become awash with stories of the government intending to embark on conditional cash transfer to vulnerable households mostly affected by the painful but necessary decision to remove subsidy from petrol.
- ‘’The story has been widely reported that the Federal Government is proposing to give 12 million households from the poorest of the poor N8,000 monthly for six months as government palliative to reduce the discomfort being experienced by Nigerians consequent upon subsidy removal.
- ‘’A lot of ill-informed imputations have been read into the program by not a few naysayers. The Administration believes in the maxim that when there is prohibition, there must be provision. Since the subsidy, the hydra-headed monster threatening to kill the economy has been stopped, and the government has emplaced a broad spectrum of reliefs to bring help to Nigerians.
- ‘’While it should be noted that the cash program is not the only item in the whole gamut of relief package of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, as a listening leader who has vowed to always put Nigerians at the heart of his policy and program, the President has directed as follows: –
- That the N8,000 conditional cash transfer program envisaged to bring succor to most vulnerable households be reviewed immediately. This is in deference to the views expressed by Nigerians against it.
- That the whole gamut of a palliative package of government is unveiled to Nigerians.
- Immediate release of fertilizers and grains to approximately 50 million farmers and households respectively in all 36 states and the FCT.
- ‘’The President further assures Nigerians that the N500 billion approved by parliament to cushion the pain occasioned by the end of the subsidy regime will be judiciously utilized. The beneficiaries of the reliefs shall be Nigerians irrespective of their ethnic, religious, or political affiliation.
- ‘’President Bola Tinubu has promised to always prioritize the wellbeing of Nigerians and he is irrevocably committed to the vow. Several decisions taken so far by this Administration have buttressed this stance.
- ‘’You will recall that the President took a similar decision after listening to complaints from the business community/stakeholders about burdensome taxes, particularly the multiplicity of taxes they are made to experience. This warranted the signing of four (4) Executive Orders canceling some classes of taxes while suspending the implementation dates of others.
- ‘’In addition, the President has also set up a Tax Reform/Fiscal Policy Committee to bring up recommendations that will engender a wholesome fiscal environment for the country and remove anti-business barriers.
- ‘’I wish to assure Nigerians that President Tinubu will continue to be a listening leader whose ears will not be dull to the views expressed by the citizenry. The President believes government exists to cater to the interest of the people and he has demonstrated this so clearly.’’