Plans by the Federal Government, to start spending N200 billion monthly, as transport allowance on 40 million Nigerians from July 2022, may not be feasible, in view of the liquidity and other problems facing the country, the President, Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), Mr Clement Isong, has said.
This is coming on the heels of the recent statement attributed to the Minister of Finance and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, that the Federal Government, as from the middle of 2022, will start paying transport subsidies of 5,000 to between 30 million to 40 million deserving Nigerians.
The government is planning to suspend subsidy on petroleum products, at the end of June, and thereafter usher in full deregulation of the downstream sub-sector of the oil industry. In an interview with the Saturday Telegraph, at the weekend, Isong said that N5,000 multiplied by 40 million Nigerians, gives N200 billion, adding that the money might be a constraint on the purse of the government. He said: “Do you think the Federal Government can spend N200 billion on Nigerians monthly” he asked. According to him, fuel subsidies should have been stopped before now, as it is consuming funds, which could as well be channeled to other areas of the economy. “I think we (Nigerians) need to stop subsidies as quickly as possible, while at the same time, the government puts palliatives in place for the vulnerable “.