Federal Government Secures $800m World Bank Loan for National Social Investment Programme Ahead of Fuel Subsidy Removal in June 2023

The Nigerian Federal Government secures $800 million from the World Bank to cushion the negative effects of the removal of petroleum subsidy scheduled for June 2023.

Hajiya Zainab Ahmed, the Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, announced this during a press briefing after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The fund is ready for disbursement, and it is the first tranche of palliatives to be disbursed to the most vulnerable in the society through the National Social Investment Programme.

Ahmed stated that the national social register currently has a list of 10 million households, which is equivalent to about 50 million Nigerians.

Furthermore, the minister disclosed that the Federal Government is having different stakeholder engagements to provide more palliatives to cushion the effect of the subsidy removal.

The engagements include working with labor unions, who are seeking mass transit for their members, and other stakeholders who require more than cash transfers. Ahmed emphasized that they are on course to provide palliatives before June 2023.

When asked if there has been a discussion with the incoming administration about the subsidy removal, the minister said, “there are a lot of discussions going on at different levels, including with members of the transition committee of the incoming government”.

However, the Minister of Labor and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, had stated that the incoming government of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu would be responsible for implementing the palliative measures to cushion the discomfort that the removal of petrol subsidy would bring.