With the Federal Government set to completely remove subsidy by mid-2022, it has designed measures to cushion the negative impact of the removal on the most vulnerable 40 per cent of the population.
One of the ways it wants to achieve this is by giving a monthly transport subsidy in the form of cash transfer of N5,000 to between 30 to 40 million deserving Nigerians.
This was disclosed on Tuesday by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed at the launch of the Nigeria Development Update.
“With the expansion of social protection policies during the pandemic, the government has an opportunity to phase out subsidies such as the PMS subsidy while utilizing cash transfers to safeguard the welfare of poor and middle-class household.
“To this end, overnment intends to accelerate our structural reforms, particularly in the power sector, in governance, in business environment to unlock the huge potentials of the economy, scale up social safety net and deepen financial inclusion to reduce poverty and inequality gaps.
“We will carefully calibrate the sequencing of these reforms to manage their attendant political fallouts,” she said.
Ahmed noted that government is optimistic that “the recent developments in the oil sector, such as the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021, 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.”
She noted that subsidies regime in the sector remains unsustainable and economically disingenuous.
Ahmed also stated that digital revolution is looming in Nigeria and waiting to happen spontaneously.
“Nigeria’s digital economy can transform economic activities by unleashing new productivity gains, offering new services, and improving the government’s efficiency,” she said.