Six ways Nigerian government plans to cushion locals after fuel subsidy removal

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Nigerian President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. [VOA NEWS]

Nigerian President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has announced six measures aimed at cushioning the people from the government’s economic reforms.

The president made the announcement during his first national address, as he led the country in marking the 63rd anniversary of their Independence Day.

The announcement of his new measures comes at a time when there has been heightened criticism of the government due to the rising inflation, after the removal of fuel subsidy.

During his inauguration, President Tinubu removed the petroleum subsidy on the grounds that it was strenuous to the government.

In a statement made on Sunday, October 1, he proposed a temporary minimum wage hike and more cheap gas-powered public transport among other measures to help offset the impact of his economic reforms as labor unions threatened a national strike.

The following are some of the measures announced by the president on a live broadcast on national Television.

  1. About USD30 (N25,000) additional pay for low-income earners

The Nigerian President has made a proposal to increase the salaries of low-grade workers for the next six months, with an increase of about 30$ (N25,0000.

“Based on our talks with labor, business, and other stakeholders, we are introducing a provisional wage increment to enhance the federal minimum wage without causing undue inflation. For the next six months, the average low-grade worker shall receive an additional Twenty-Five Thousand naira per month.”

  1. Handing out relief funds to states

He also says there will be relief funds for all states in order to cushion the ripple effects following the removal of petroleum subsidies.

“To ensure better grassroots development, we set up an Infrastructure Support Fund for states to invest in critical areas. States have already received funds to provide relief packages against the impact of rising food and other prices,” Tinubu explained.

  1. Reducing Transport Charges

President Tinubu also explained the introduction of gas-propelled buses in order to crash transport prices for Nigerians.

“Making the economy more robust by lowering transport costs will be key. In this regard, we have opened a new chapter in public transportation through the deployment of cheaper, safer Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses across the nation. These buses will operate at a fraction of current fuel prices, positively affecting transport fares.”

  1. Creating more opportunities for entrepreneurs

The President also revealed that this measure would provide opportunities for entrepreneurs across the country.

“New CNG conversion kits will start coming in very soon as all hands are on deck to fast track the usually lengthy procurement process. We are also setting up training facilities and workshops across the nation to train and provide new opportunities for transport operators and entrepreneurs.”

  1. Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) reformation

President Tinubu also pledged to ensure a thorough audit of the Central Bank of Nigeria in order to ensure healthy fiscal policies.

“I pledged a thorough housecleaning of the den of malfeasance the CBN had become. That housecleaning is well underway. A new leadership for the Central Bank has been constituted. Also, my special investigator will soon present his findings on past lapses and how to prevent similar reoccurrences. Henceforth, monetary policy shall be for the benefit of all and not the exclusive province of the powerful and wealthy.”

  1. Financial aid to vulnerable households

The President also promised to help vulnerable households in the country.

“Commencing this month, the social safety net is being extended through the expansion of cash transfer programs to an additional 15 million vulnerable households,” he said.

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