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FG secures $800m for subsidy palliative from World Bank – Ahmed

World Bank

50m Nigerians to benefit

Also the Federal government yesterday disclosed that it had secured $800m from the World Bank, as part of its post subsidy palliatives.

This is as the Federal government is planning to deregulate all the petroleum products from June 2023.

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed while briefing State House Journalists, after the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, said the government is resolute on ending subsidy in June.

She said that it has been engaging with the newly established Presidential Transition Council (PTC) and the incoming administration, with the view to driving the palliative program.

“There is a commitment in the Petroleum Industry Bill. There’s a provision that says that 18 months after the effectiveness of the PIA that all petroleum products must be deregulated, that 18 months takes us to June 2023.

“Also, when we were working on the 2023 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and the Appropriation Act, we made that provision to enable us exit fuel subsidy by June 2023. We’re on course, we’re having different stakeholder engagements, we’ve secured some funding from the World Bank, that is the first tranche of palliatives that will enable us give cash transfers to the most vulnerable in our society that have now been registered in a national social register. Today, that register has a list of 10 million households. 10 million households is equivalent to about 50 million Nigerians.

“But we also have to raise more resources to enable us do more than just the cash transfers and also in our engagements with the various stakeholders, the various kinds of tasks that we have go beyond the requirement of just giving cash transfers. Labour, for example, might be looking for mass transit buses for its members.

“So there are several things that we’re still planning and working on, some we can start executing quickly, some are more medium-term implementation.

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“When asked how much funding was received from the World Bank for the execution of the planned exit, she said “$800 million for the scale up of the National Social Investment Programme at the World Bank and it’s secured, it’s ready for this disbursement”.

“Asked if the incumbent government had been discussing subsidy removal with the incoming administration, she said “there are a lot of discussions going on at different levels, including with members of the transition committee of the incoming government.”

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Ihesiulo Grace

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