April 20, 2024 6:18 am
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Explosive Critique: Kpakol Slams N8,000 Transfers, Suggests Affordable Fuel for Commercial Vehicles

Prof Magnus Kpakol on Friday was critical of the Federal Government’s proposal to transfer N8,000 to 12 million poor households in the country, as part of its efforts to mitigate the economic pains brought on by the removal of fuel subsidy.

Renowned economist Prof Magnus Kpakol has expressed his criticism of the Nigerian Federal Government’s plan to transfer N8,000 to 12 million impoverished families as a means to alleviate the economic hardships caused by the removal of fuel subsidy.

The six-month palliative plan was contained in a letter President Bola Tinubu wrote to the House of Representatives seeking the approval of an $800 million World Bank loan request by former President Muhammadu Buhari for a social safety net programme.

This proposal for a six-month palliative plan was put forth in a letter by President Bola Tinubu, requesting the House of Representatives to approve an $800 million loan from the World Bank. The loan would fund a social safety net program designed to provide temporary relief to those affected by the removal of fuel subsidy, as advocated for by former President Muhammadu Buhari.

This development comes just a month after President Bola Tinubu’s declaration in his inaugural speech that “fuel subsidy is gone,” which was followed by reassurances to millions of Nigerians.

Analysing the policy on Channels Television’s Politics Today, Kpakol echoed a popular opinion that the subsidy removal should have been implemented in phases, allowing Nigerians to adjust.

During his appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today, Prof Magnus Kpakol shared a popular viewpoint that the removal of the fuel subsidy should have been phased in, giving Nigerian citizens the opportunity to adapt to the changes gradually.

“I can see the aversion to any kind of fuel subsidy, but I’m not so sure that, in the first palace, we should have taken the whole thing away completely. But what I would have suggested is that you use computers, electronics, machines,” he said.

However, Prof Kpakol went on to explain that while he understands the rejection of fuel subsidies, he believes that an abrupt removal was not the best solution. Instead, he suggests implementing a system that utilizes technology such as computers and electronic devices to provide partially subsidized fuel to commercial vehicles like taxis, easing the burden on commuters.

“So, we don’t want to compound things by making transportation costs even steeper. I would have tried to address transportation costs.”

Prof Kpakol emphasized the importance of addressing the rising transportation costs, cautioning against further burdening the population who already face challenges due to high levels of general and food inflation. He stressed the need to find solutions that would alleviate rather than exacerbate the economic hardships faced by Nigerians.

Overall, while Prof Kpakol acknowledges the efforts made by the Tinubu administration in attempting to end the fuel subsidy regime, he highlights the difficulties in navigating the transition in a society heavily reliant on subsidies, particularly for the poor. He advocates for a more gradual approach that takes into account the impact on transportation costs and the country’s overall economic situation.

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