The Senate, yesterday disclosed that there is no budgetary provision for a N5,000 monthly transport allowance for 40 million Nigerians in lieu of the expected removal of fuel subsidy next year. Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Hajia Zainab Ahmed, had on Tuesday told journalists that the Federal Government will be doling out the largese as part of measures to cushion the impact of the expected hike in the pump price of fuel. According to her, the transport subsidy will be extended only to the segment of the population considered vulnerable. However, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, Senator Solomon Adeola Olamilekan, told journalists that the upper chamber of the parliament is not aware of the proposed N5,000 transport subsidy and was yet to receive any formal communication on the policy. Adeola said despite the speculations of a possible removal of fuel subsidy next year, the 2022. Appropriation Bill under consideration still had a provision for fuel subsidy.
He said before the Executive could embark on such an intervention programme, the proposal must get to the National Assembly for due consideration. According to him, the programme if approved, would cost N2.4 trillion and there is yet no clear criteria that would be used to determine the beneficiaries of the transportation allowance.
He said: “I don’t want to go into details; if there is something like that, a document needs to come to National Assembly for us to see how feasible this will be.” “How do we identify the 40 million Nigerians that are going to benefit from this process? There are still a lot of issues to be deliberated upon and looked into if eventually this will come to pass. How do we raise this money to pay these 40 million Nigerians? “For us, we still believe it is news because this budget we are considering contains subsidy. We don’t have anywhere in the budget where 40 million Nigerians will collect N5,000 monthly as transportation allowance totalling N2.4 trillion. “I still want to take it as a rumour and as a news until, it is formally presented before the National Assembly,” Olamilekan said.