April 20, 2024 6:11 am
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Insufficient Palliatives Address Poverty Despite Subsidy Removal, Says Shehu Sani

A former lawmaker representing Kaduna Central, Senator Shehu Sani, criticizes the Federal Government’s planned palliatives to alleviate the impact of fuel subsidy removal on Nigerians.

In response to President Bola Tinubu’s announcement to immediately halt subsidy payments on petrol, the price of this essential commodity has surged from below N200 per litre at NNPC outlets and many stations across the country to the N500 range. The situation worsened when the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) adjusted the petrol price to N617.

Tinubu promised to provide a monthly transfer of N8,000 for six months to 12 million of the poorest households in the country as a way to mitigate the effects of the fuel subsidy removal. However, Senator Shehu, a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today, argues that these palliatives do not adequately address the widespread poverty in the nation.

“Palliatives are not enough to address the problems of poverty in this country,” Shehu expressed. “Even if you go by the layout plan, distributing N8,000 to a certain number of people, let’s say 20 million for a period of time, then what happens to other Nigerians who are not within that cycle of beneficiaries? What will happen to Nigerians once the money runs out? I believe that palliative measures should address both short-term and long-term issues.”

Shehu suggests that the Federal Government should focus on increasing workers’ salaries, assisting farmers in food production, and prioritizing agriculture as long-term solutions to poverty. He also warns against retrieving loans from the World Bank and indiscriminately distributing the funds among Nigerians, deeming it a “suicidal” move.

In the meantime, the National Executive Council (NEC) has reached an agreement on palliative measures for Nigerians, which include conducting integrity tests on state social registers and carrying out cash transfers via state social registers, taking into account the unique circumstances of each state.

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