By John Ikani
The Administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has promised to pay Nigerians transport allowance after fuel subsidy removal in 2022.
Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance, disclosed this while speaking on Channels TV on Thursday.
According to her, deregulation of the petroleum industry will take effect from July 2022 hence, to ease the pain and burden, the Federal Government is considering payment of transport allowance.
What the Minister said:
“It is important that we exit this subsidy. It is costing us a significant amount of resources that we could have applied for education, health and critical infrastructure. It is a major waste and a major drain on the economy.
“Aside our plans to deploy Compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles as an alternative to petrol-aided vehicles, we are also considering the payment of transport allowance to Nigerians for six or 12 months to cushion the effect of fuel subsidy removal.”
The Finance Minister added: “What we are doing now is — we’ve been negotiating with labour. We are planning and deploying CNG — which is an alternative to mass transit to PMS.
“But we are also looking at providing some palliatives for a large number of the population in terms of maybe a transport subsidy for a short period like six months or if it is long, maybe nine months or maximum 12 months.
“Transport subsidy that would be given directly to individuals. What is constraining us is the issue of registration. The national identity registration process is ongoing and we want to make sure that this subsidy goes into the hands of the right people.
“That we can make transfers to people using their BVNs, account number and National Identity Number, and we know that it has gone to the right people.
“That is part of the things we are negotiating and working on. We are also engaging with the World Bank in designing a programme that will help us to provide succour for at least a minimum of 6 months, maximum of 12 months to enable us to make that transition.”