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N5,000 Transport Grant for Poor Nigerians to Last a Year – FG

Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, yesterday shed more light on the proposed N5,000 monthly transportation grant the federal government plans to give poor Nigerians after the removal of fuel subsidy by June next year.

The Minister of Finance justified the basis for the transport allowance saying: “Government is providing the support and support is to augment what the families already have. We wish we can do more. But we’re also limited in terms of the maximum of what government can afford. But there nothing’s stopping the states to add more than the N5,000 that is going to come from the federation.

The minister who spoke after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the State House, Abuja said the allowance would last for a duration of 12 months but the Senate yesterday faulted the move by the government, saying the 2022 appropriation bill under consideration by the legislature does not make provision for the N5, 000 monthly transportation stipend for 40 million Nigerians being contemplated by the federal government next year.

Speaking with newsmen after submission of its Committee budget proposal, Chairman of Senate Committee on Finance, Senator Olamilekan Adeola added that before the Executive could embark on such intervention the proposal must come to National Assembly because it was going to cost N2.4 trillion.

He also wondered what criteria to be used to determine the beneficiaries of the transportation allowance.

“I don’t want to go into details, if there is something like that a document needs to come to National Assembly and how do they want to identify the identity of the beneficiaries, this is not provided for in 2022 budget proposal which is N2.4 trillion.

“For us we still believe it is a fake news because this budget we are considering contains subsidy and if we are passing a budget with subsidy in the fiscal document, we can’t speak because that is the document that is currently before us.

“The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning was quoted as saying that 40 million Nigerians will be paid N5000 as transportation allowance, in lieu of the fuel subsidy. I don’t want to go into details for now.

“I believe that if such proposal is to come to pass, a document to that effect must be sent to National Assembly for us to see how feasible this is and 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 and how do we raise this money to pay these 40 million Nigerians because I know that even the revenue being raised and monies that are coming in from this so called oil and other sources of revenue to the federal government.

“So, this is not provided for already in the 2022 budget. We don’t have anywhere in the budget where 40 million Nigerians will collect N5000 monthly as transportation allowance totaling N2.4 trillion.

“I know that there must be a budgetary provision for this for us (National Assembly) to consider. That is why I said it is still a news out there until it is formally come to the National Assembly for either a virement to the budget or reordering of the budget. For now, I still want to take it as a rumour until, it is formally presented before the National Assembly,” he said

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