Fuel Subsidy: NEC To Work Out Palliative Measures in Two Weeks
By Adedapo Adesanya
The National Economic Council (NEC) has made moves to provide palliatives for workers and vulnerable groups in the country to ease the impact of the removal of the fuel subsidy by President Bola Tinubu.
The council, after its inaugural NEC meeting on Thursday, chaired by Vice President Kashim Shettima, announced that it would set up a committee to work out the modalities for organizing and distributing the palliatives within two weeks.
Members of the committee comprise the Governor of Benue, Mr Hyacinth Alia, for North Central; the Governor of Kaduna, Mr Sani Uba, for Northwest; Bauchi’s Mr Bala Mohammed representing the North East; the Governor of Cross River, Mr Bassey Otu for the South-South; Anambra’s Mr Charles Soludo representing the South East geopolitical zone and Mr Seyi Makinde of Oyo State for the South West.
Speaking to State House correspondents at a briefing, the Governor of Bauchi State, Mr Mohammed, who was flanked by four of his colleagues, said the Council also discussed the possibility of obtaining funds from the World Bank and London partners to implement a Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) programme for vehicles in the country as part of measures to cushion the impact of fuel subsidy removal.
He said the council deliberated on other recommendations, including the one by the organized labour for N702.9 billion consequential adjustment on allowances as well as no less than N25 billion per month, which they requested to cushion the effects of the subsidy removal.
While noting that NEC took very far-reaching decisions and deliberations on the issue of the removal of petroleum subsidy and its general impact on the economy, Mr Mohammed noted that NEC had received recommendations on the issue of the National Salaries, Income, and Wages Commission to help the situation.
The Bauchi governor equally stated that inputs of the committee on palliative, earlier set up and headed by former Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, would not be discarded but integrated into the ongoing process.
Recall that on Wednesday, President Tinubu tasked the new council with eight priority areas, including Security, Economy, Job creation, Agriculture, and Infrastructure, among others.
He noted that the task of growing the Nigerian economy was quite enormous, but he and the Governors should have no reason to complain and emphasised the need to harness the nation’s potential to stimulate serious growth.