World Bank grants FG $800m for subsidy palliatives

File Photo: President Buhari presiding over a FEC meeting

The World bank has granted the Federal Government of Nigeria $800 million as part of its post-subsidy palliatives measures.

This was revealed by Dr Zainab Ahmed, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning while speaking to State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Muhammmadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Wednesday.

Ahmed, who said the grant would be used to attend to a segment of post-petroleum subsidy palliatives requirement in the country, noted that the $800 million “is the first tranche of palliatives to be disbursed through cash transfers to about 50 million Nigerians, who belong to the most vulnerable category of society.”

The minister said: “When we were working on the 2023 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and the Appropriation Act, we made that provision to enable us exit fuel subsidy by June 2023.

“We’re on course, we’re having different stakeholders’ engagements and we’ve secured some funding from the World Bank.

“That is the first tranche of palliatives that will enable us 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 is equivalent to about 50 million Nigerians.”

Ahmed added that the government was ready to go beyond cash transfer to cushion the effect the subsidy removal will have on Nigerians.

“We also have to raise more resources to enable us do more than just the cash transfers and also in our engagements with the various stakeholders.

“There are various kinds of tasks that we have gone beyond the requirement of just giving cash transfers. Labour, for example, might be looking for mass transit for its members.

“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,” she stated.

On how much funding was received from the World Bank for the execution of the planned exit, Ahmed said: “$800 million for the scale-up of the National Social Investment Programme at the bank, and it’s secured, it’s ready for this disbursement.”