Federal Government set to disburse $800 million World Bank palliatives for petrol subsidy removal

The  Federal Government has secured the sum of $800 million from the World Bank to provide post-petroleum subsidy palliatives for over 50 million Nigerians ahead of the full deregulation of the downstream sector of the oil industry in June 2023.

The revelation was made by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, while speaking to the State House Correspondents on Wednesday, April 5, 2023, after this week’s Federal Executive Council (FEC) which was chaired by the President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Ahmed said that the $800 million fund is the first tranche of palliatives ready to be disbursed to 10 million households in form of cash.

What the Finance Minister is saying

  • Ahmed said, “There’s a provision (of the Petroleum Industry Act) that says 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 to 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 to 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 are equivalent to about 50 million Nigerians.’’

FG to raise more resources for palliatives

When asked how much funding the FG received from the World Bank, the Minister said

  • $800m for the scale-up of the National Social Investment Programme at the World Bank. And it’s been secured, it’s ready for disbursement.’’

However, she noted that the FG must raise more resources to enable it to do more than cash transfers.

The minister added that wide-ranging negotiations are underway to deploy non-cash palliatives such as a “mass transit” system for workers’ daily commute.

  • She said, “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.
  • “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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