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Nigerian House of Representatives Passes Bill for N500b Palliatives Following Fuel Subsidy Removal

July 13, 2023

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Nigerian House of Representatives has successfully passed a bill that authorizes the provision of N500 billion in palliatives to alleviate the impact of fuel subsidy removal on Nigerian citizens. The bill underwent second and third readings and was scrutinized by the Committee of Supply, chaired by Speaker Hon. Tajudeen Abbas, during Thursday’s plenary session.

The amendment bill was introduced in response to President Bola Tinubu’s request to extract N500 billion from the 2022 supplementary budget for the purpose of providing palliatives to offset the effects of subsidy removal. Titled “A Bill for an Act to Authorize the issuance of the sum of (N500,000,000,000.00) five hundred billion Naira only from the 2022 Supplementary Appropriations of (N819,536,937,815.00) only for the provisions of palliatives to Nigerians to cushion the effect of fuel subsidy removal,” the legislation gained support from both the Leader of the House, Professor Julius Ihonvbere (APC, Edo), and the Minority Leader, Hon. Kingsley Chinda (PDP, Rivers), during the reading.

During the debate on the general principles of the bill, Ihonvbere emphasized the necessity of providing measures to alleviate the consequences of fuel subsidy removal, stating that the executive bill addressed the concerns raised by both the government and the public. Hon. Ahmed Jaha (APC, Borno) commended President Tinubu for boldly removing the fuel subsidy, a decision previous administrations had been hesitant to make due to fear of losing popularity. He stressed the importance of ensuring that the funds allocated for palliatives are used appropriately and not diverted or misappropriated, as has happened in the past.

The leader of the opposition, Chinda, supported the swift passage of the bill due to its positive intentions. However, he urged cautious implementation of the palliative programs to ensure they have the desired effect and truly benefit Nigerians. Chinda also highlighted other pressing concerns, such as high electricity bills and exorbitant school fees, emphasizing the need for comprehensive palliatives that address these issues and provide relief to the ordinary citizens.

In a separate development, President Tinubu has requested the House’s approval of an $800 million loan from the World Bank to finance the National Social Safety Network Programme. The loan aims to support the Conditional Cash Transfer program, which involves transferring N8000 per month to 12 million poor and low-income households for six months, benefiting approximately 6 million Nigerians.

 

Source: The Guardian

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