President Bola Tinubu has ordered a review of his administration’s plan for a monthly N8,000 transfer to 12 million of the poorest households in the country for six months, in a bid to cushion the effects of the removal of fuel subsidy.
The plan was contained in a letter read last Thursday on the floor of the House of Representatives regarding the $800 million loan request of the previous Muhammadu Buhari administration for a social safety net programme.
The President’s Special Adviser on Special Duties, Communications and Strategy, Dele Alake, in a statement on Tuesday, noted that the cash programme was not the only item in the relief package initiated by Tinubu.
Alake said the President vowed to always put Nigerians at the heart of his policy and programme.
According to him, Tinubu directed “that the N8,000 conditional cash transfer programmed envisaged to bring succour to most vulnerable households be reviewed immediately”.
He added that “this is in deference to the views expressed by Nigerians against it.”
The President also directed that the entirety of the government’s palliative package be unveiled to Nigerians, while ordering the immediate release of fertilisers and grains to approximately 50 million farmers and households respectively in all the 36 states and the FCT.
Parts of the statement reads;
“You will agree with me that it has become part of the culture of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu 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 a period of 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 programme by not a few naysayers. The Administration believes in the maxim that when there is prohibition, there must be provision. Since subsidy, the hydra-headed monster threatening to kill the economy, has been stopped, government has emplaced a broad spectrum of reliefs to bring help to Nigerians.
“While it should be noted that cash programme 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 programme, the President has directed as follows:-
“1. That the N8,000 conditional cash transfer programmed envisaged to bring succour to most vulnerable households be reviewed immediately. This is in deference to the views expressed by Nigerians against it.
“2. That the whole gamut of palliative package of government be unveiled to Nigerians.
“3. Immediate release of fertilisers and grains to approximately 50 million farmers and households respectively in all the 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 subsidy regime will be judiciously utilised. 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. A number of decisions taken so far by this Administration have buttressed this stance”.
Rrecall that the President took a similar decision after listening to complaints from the business community/stakeholders about burdensome taxes, particularly multiplicity of taxes they are made to experience. This warranted the signing of four (4) Executive Orders cancelling some classes of taxes, while suspending the implementation dates of others.