House Committee Chair Faults Replacement Of Subsidy With N5,000 Grant

The Federal Government’s N5,000 handout which will replace fuel subsidy by April 2022 has received backlash as prominent Nigerians have said that the programme will be marred by corruption.

Musa Sarkin Adar, Chairman House Committee on Petroleum Resources Upstream alleged that almost half of the funds will end up in the pockets of the rich.

Adar made the comment in response to the plans of the Federal government to remove fuel subsidy and replace with a monthly stipend of N5,000 to around 40 million poorest Nigerians.

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, announced on Tuesday that subsidy removal was due to pressure mounted by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

In her presentation, she said the final number of beneficiaries will depend on the resources available after the removal of the fuel subsidy.

By implication, Nigeria will spend N200bn monthly if 40 million beneficiaries are targeted.

In a year, Africa’s most populous nation will spend N2.4trn on transportation grants to its poorest population.

THE WHISTLER had reported that the NNPC incurred the sum of N25.37bn on subsidy in February this year.

But the law maker said the new plan should be thought with caution.

He said, “With this there is need for serious caution. In the first place before the second quarter of 2022, do we have the data of those targeted people- the vulnerable.

“If they say they have the data, what is the criteria used in the selection of those people? Who are categorised as the vulnerable and what apparatus will be put in place to make sure that this money gets to those that it is targeted for?

“We must sympathise with those that it is targeted for, but the fear I’m having and many of us are having is some other people should not take advantage of the vulnerable.

“When you say you are giving N5,000 to 40 million, you will find out more than half of that will not go to them. It remains in the pockets of the rich and this should not be condoned and we should not allow it.

” I do not share even in the idea of N5,000 to about 40 million vulnerable Nigerians for obvious reasons. One the fear of accountability, the fear of transparency.”

He said huge funds have been released to alleviate poverty but most of the funds ended in the wrong hands.

Adar said, “As of now, the government of President Muhammadu Buhari is a government that has provided more funds in terms of supporting the most vulnerable in other to move them away from below poverty level. But the question is what is the result achieved?

“All the nearly trillion of naira that have been disbursed and most recently, the one introduced by the Ministry of Labour and Employment where every local government is supposed to have 1,000 youths and given N30,000 a month. Until now that is a mirage. The money has been approved, the money has been released to them, but the implementation is very poor.”

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