RICE GRAIN v FUEL GAIN: TINUBU’S N5BN SUBSIDY HARDSHIP ALLEVIATION IS A BLUNDER
Criticisms continue to trail the Nigerian Federal Government, following its decision to distribute 5 Billion Naira (-$6.6M) hardship alleviation fund across its 36 states.
The funds earmarked for the purchase and distribution of 100,000 bags of rice, grain and fertilizer per state, was described as an “ill-thought economic blunder” by a group of international analysts who note the huge standard of living disparity among states. Worse still, for a nation with over 200 million citizens and home to the largest concentration of the world’s poorest, a paltry 180 million kilograms of grain —which amounts to a meager 900g of grain per citizen— appears grossly insufficient for the average day meal.
The situation is made more complex by the uncertainty surrounding effective distribution, especially since politicians under the APC-led government have become notorious for hoarding palliatives and diverting relief materials for private use.
Since the May 29th subsidy removal decision by President Tinubu, energy costs have recorded a 300% increase rippling through cost of food, transportation and production activities.
The unwise move by the President whose college certificate controversy, drug-related history and ascension to power remain a subject of litigation, has been labeled grossly insensitive for diverting subsidy funds—more likely to directly benefit poor masses—into the hands of state governments with a penchant for corruption and mismanagement.
Realizing the daily growing failures of his government, Tinubu has asked starving Nigerians to be patient and endure. The call, however, will neither include the former state governor who plans to lavish N40Billion renovating his government residence, nor lawmakers who pocket millions in weekly bonuses, and have recently earmarked N110billion for luxury bulletproof cars.
With no solid economic plan, Nigeria’s huge dollar savings from the subsidy removal will have no positive economic effect on the masses—as evidenced by a Tinubu presidency.