The Nigerian government has approved the disbursement of N5 billion to each of the states in the country and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) “for the procurement of 100,000 bags of rice, 40,000 bags of maize and fertilizers.”
Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State, who disclosed this to State House Correspondents on Thursday after the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting led by Vice President, Kashim Shettima said they also approved the release of five trucks of rice to each of the states of the federation as palliatives to cushion the effect of the removal of fuel subsidy.
Zulum explained that 52% of the N5 billion would be given to the states as grants while 48% would be paid back by the states to the federal government.
“This funding has to be shared with a formula as follows: 52% of this money is given to states as grants, while 48% of the N5billon is to be paid back on an installment basis within a period of 20 months to the CBN by the states and the local government areas in Nigeria,” Governor Zulum said.
According to Zulum, the Council also took note of the $800 million World Bank facility approved by the Senate for the Tinubu administration to provide safety nets following the withdrawal of subsidy on petrol.
“Council has also taken note of the $800 million loan and insist that it be strictly used for intended purpose and based on accurate and acceptable register.
“The $800million announced by the president will go to Nigerians in accordance with an accurate social register.
“Furthermore, Council has also noted the package that was announced by the president in order to cushion the effect of subsidy removal, amounting to about N500 billion.
“This fund has to be distributed to the following sectors MSMEs, industrial sector, about N125 billion will go to cash transfers, agricultural sector as well as gas expansion for buses.
“Because of the increasing cost of fossil fuel, the federal government intends to establish more gas stations in Nigeria, procure more gas powered buses, CNG buses, as well as electric buses in order to cushion the effect of the subsidy removal.”
Influx of Refugees
Governor Zulum said that the National Economic Council directed the National Emergency Management Agency NEMA to liaise with states, especially those in the frontline states, bordering Niger Republic, because of the influx of refugees.
He said the directed was given to ensure the effective distribution of foodstuff to people in the affected states.
Interface with Labour
Governor Zulum also said that the Council tasked the states to dialogue with the labour unions leadership, while a committee made up of Anambra State governor, Charles Soludo and Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’Forum, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq and others have been nominated to interface with labour.
“The most important thing that the Council has taken note of is that all these palliatives that are being mentioned now are temporary solutions.
“Council has decided to invest in medium and longer term sustainable solutions that will ensure availability of food and non food solutions in Nigeria, especially investing in commercial agriculture and also investing in irrigated agriculture.
“NEC is calling on Nigerians and labour to be calm, law abiding as the president is determined to address the issues at hand,” Zulum stated.
He said the Council commended the efforts of the federal government under the leadership of President Tinubu as well as the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN and NEMA for the efforts made to cushion the effects of the removal of subsidy on Nigerians.
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