By Ismail Auwal
Senator Solomon Adeola, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, has revealed that there is no provision in the 2022 budget for the monthly N5,000 transportation allowance for 40 million Nigerians intended to mitigate the impact of the planned removal of petroleum subsidies.
Senator Adeola said this while speaking to journalists after submitting his Committee’s 2022 budget on Wednesday,
He noted that the proposal must come to the National Assembly for approval before the executive can embark.
He explained that there is no way the executive would take a unilateral decision on a programme that is expected to gulp N2.4 trillion without getting the approval of the National Assembly.
“I don’t want to go into details; if there is something like that, a document needs to come to the National Assembly and how do they want to identify the identity of the beneficiaries. This is not provided for in the 2022 budget proposal which is N2.4 trillion,” the lawmaker declared.
He further stated that “for us, we still believe it is news because this budget we are considering contains subsidy and if we are passing a budget with a subsidy in the fiscal document, we can’t speak because that is the document that is currently before us.”
On Tuesday, the Federal Government stated that it had plans to mitigate the economic impact of the planned subsidy removal.
Minister of Finance Zainab Ahmed announced plans to replace fuel subsidies with an N5,000 monthly transportation subsidy for the poor.
However, this has stirred various reactions including a response from the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) who rejected the planned petrol price hike in the country and the proposed transport palliative proposed.
According to the NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, the plan is a “penny wise-pound foolish” gamble.
He accused the government of adopting monologue in arriving at its conclusion on subsidy removal, stressing that it will continually reject deregulation that is anchored on the importation of petroleum products.