The Federal Government’s proposed N8,000 monthly palliative for 12 million low-income Nigerian households to cushion the harsh effect of the elimination of gasoline subsidies has been criticised by the Campaign for Equal Rights and Opportunities for All Nigerians, CERON, as a mockery of the poor.
The group argued that the amount, which would be granted for six months, would be “a paltry N48,000 which is worth almost nothing in the present day Nigeria.”
Francis Odiir, the Executive Secretary of CERON, advised the government to drop the concept of disbursing the aforementioned sum in favour of non-financial palliatives in a statement released over the weekend in Makurdi.
According to him, “The government can opt for other forms of palliative other than cash, that would impact the goods and services that directly affect the lives of the ordinary citizens because the proposed N8,000 is not only too meagre, it amounts to a mockery of the poor.
“But if the government insists on giving out cash, then it should be looking at the equivalent of at least a minimum of $150 monthly for the said beneficiaries.
“If the government cannot do that for the suffering masses then there is no need for that gesture which we all know will not add any kind of value to the living condition of the suffering masses.
“So we advise President Bola Tinubu to sit down with his team of economic advisers and take a critical look at what could be the ideal sharing formula or the best way to impact the lives of the people with the fund because most Nigerians have all expressed disgust at the proposed N8,000 which does not make any economic sense.”
The group also encouraged the government to uphold accountability in the handling of the fund, saying that “the handling of the fund could set the tone on how Nigerians would perceive the government’s ability to deliver on critical assignments.”