Following intense criticism of his administration’s plan to pay N8,000 monthly to 12 million vulnerable persons as palliative to cushion the adverse effect of petrol subsidy removal, President Bola Tinubu has directed the review of the cash transfer policy.
This was announced on Tuesday by Dele Alake, Special Adviser to the President (Special Duties, Communications, and Strategy).
He said the government will now unveil a complete package of palliatives to Nigerians.
The presidential spokesman announced the approval by the president for the immediate release of fertilizers and grains to approximately 50 million farmers and households, respectively, in all 36 states and the FCT.
Alake said: “You will agree with me that it has become part of the culture of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration to dialogue with Nigerians who voted him into office constantly.
“The President covenanted with Nigerians that their welfare and security will be topmost in the Renewed Hope Agenda of his government.
In the last few days, the conventional and new media platforms have become awash with stories of the government intending to embark on conditional cash transfers to vulnerable households mostly affected by the painful but necessary decision to remove subsidy from petrol.
“The story has been widely reported that the Federal Government is proposing to give 12 million households from the poorest of the poor N8,000 monthly for a period of six months as government palliative to reduce the discomfort being experienced by Nigerians consequent upon subsidy removal.
“A lot of ill-informed imputations have been read into the programme by not a few naysayers.
“The administration believes in the maxim that when there is prohibition, there must be provision.
“Since subsidy, the hydra-headed monster threatening to kill the economy, has been stopped, the government has emplaced a broad spectrum of reliefs to help Nigerians.
“While it should be noted that the cash programme is not the only item in the whole gamut of relief package of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, as a listening leader who has vowed to always put Nigerians at the heart of his policy and programme, the President has directed as follows:
“That the N8,000 conditional cash transfer programmed envisaged to bring succour to most vulnerable households be reviewed immediately. This is in deference to the views expressed by Nigerians against it.
“That the whole gamut of the palliative package of government is unveiled to Nigerians.
“Immediate release of fertilizers and grains to approximately 50 million farmers and households respectively in all the 36 states and the FCT.
“The President further assures Nigerians that the N500 billion approved by parliament to cushion the pain occasioned by the end of the subsidy regime will be judiciously utilized.
“The beneficiaries of the reliefs shall be Nigerians irrespective of their ethnic, religious, or political affiliation.
“President Bola Tinubu has always promised to prioritize the well-being of Nigerians, and he is irrevocably committed to the vow. A number of decisions taken so far by this Administration have buttressed this stance.
“You will recall that the President took a similar decision after listening to complaints from the business community/stakeholders about burdensome taxes, particularly the multiplicity of taxes they are made to experience. This warranted the signing of four (4) Executive Orders cancelling some classes of taxes while suspending the implementation dates of others.
“In addition, the President has also set up a Tax Reform/Fiscal Policy Committee to bring up recommendations that will engender a wholesome fiscal environment for the country and remove anti-business barriers.
“I wish to assure Nigerians that President Tinubu will continue to be a listening leader whose ears will not be dull to the views expressed by the citizenry. The President believes government exists to cater to the interest of the people, and he has demonstrated this so clearly.”