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Federal Govt Dishes Out N5 Billion To Each State As Fuel Subsidy Removal Palliative

The Federal Government of Nigeria has resolved to give each of the 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) the sum of N5 billion, specifically to procure 100,000 bags of rice, 40,000 bags of maize and fertilizers as part of palliative against the backdrop of the fuel subsidy removal.
Speaking to newsmen today, August 17, shortly after the meeting of the National Economic Council (NEC), presided over by Vice President Kashim Shettima, the Borno State Governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum said that the money is in addition to the federal government’s $800 million for the same purpose.
Zulum, who briefed the newsmen along with Governors Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, Yahaya Bello of Kogi State, Uba Sani of Kaduna State and Charles Soludo of Anambra State, gave the details of the N5 billion.
According to him, 52 percent of it is given as grants, while 48 percent is to be paid back on an instalment basis within a period of 20 months to the CBN by the states and the local governments areas in Nigeria.
Zulum said that in addition, the federal government has released five trucks of rice to each state last week.
He said that NEC, made up of the governors of the 36 States, FCT and other stakeholders were concerned “as regards increasing cost of food items, increasing cost of transportation amongst others as a result of subsidy removal.”
He said that however, the Council commended the efforts of the federal government under the leadership of President Tinubu as well as the CBN for the measures so far taken to correct the anomalies in the nation’s economy.
“We have also commended the efforts of NEMA in cushioning the effects of the subsidy removal.
“Council has taken bold decisions in order to ensure speedy release of grains and other items in order to cushion the effects of subsidy removal on the less privileged in the society.
“Council has also taken note of the $800 million loan and insist that it be strictly used for intended purpose and based on accurate and acceptable register.
“The $800 million announced by the president will go to Nigerians in accordance with an accurate social register.
“Furthermore, Council has also noted the package that was announced by the President in order to cushion the effect of subsidy removal, amounting to about N500 billion.
“This fund has to be distributed to the following sectors MSMEs, industrial sector, about N125 billion will go to cash transfers, agricultural sector as well as gas expansion for buses.
“Because of the increasing cost of fossil fuel, the federal government intends to establish more gas stations in Nigeria, procure more gas powered buses, CNG buses, as well as electric buses in order to cushion the effect of the subsidy removal.
“Furthermore, NEMA will also liaise with states in order to distribute foodstuffs to the people immediately, especially those affected in the frontline states that are bordering Niger Republic because of influx of refugees.
“The Council has also tasked the states to dialogue with the labour unions leadership.
“A committee made up of Anambra State governor, NGF Chairman and others have been nominated to interface with labour.
“The most important thing that the Council has taken note of is that all these palliatives that are being mentioned now are temporary solutions. “Council has decided to invest in medium and longer term sustainable solutions that will ensure availability of food and non food solutions in Nigeria, especially investing in commercial agriculture and also investing in irrigated agriculture.
“NEC is calling on Nigerians and labour to be calm, law abiding as the President is determined to address the issues at hand.”

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