In a bid to alleviate the impact of fuel subsidy removal and the resulting cost of living on citizens, the Federal Government has taken significant steps during a National Economic Council (NEC) meeting presided over by Vice President Kashim Shettima. The council announced the approval of a N5 billion grant for each of the 36 states in the federation, aimed at aiding the procurement of grains. Additionally, five trucks of rice will be provided to each state as part of palliative measures.
The NEC’s decision also includes the distribution of 40,000 bags of maize to states. To address the recent political instability in the neighboring Niger Republic, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has been directed to distribute food items to Nigerian states that share borders with Niger.
Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State, addressing reporters after the meeting, emphasized that the allocation of N5 billion and the provision of rice and grains through the trucks were interim solutions to counter the immediate effects of fuel subsidy removal. He stressed that these measures are being implemented as the government continues to work on more sustainable and lasting initiatives.
Governor Zulum further detailed that the states are required to purchase a combined total of 100,000 bags of rice and beans, among other essential items, to help stabilize the availability of food resources.
In light of the ongoing review of the social register, Governor Charles Soludo of Anambra State highlighted the progress being made. He expressed concerns about the influx of refugees from Niger Republic, which has impacted the equitable distribution of palliatives.
Governor Uba Sani of Kaduna State, however, pointed out that only N2 billion has been disbursed to states thus far, despite the NEC’s approval of N5 billion.
The decisions made during the NEC meeting underscore the government’s commitment to addressing the immediate challenges faced by Nigerians due to the fuel subsidy removal, while simultaneously working towards more comprehensive and enduring solutions. Further details on the implementation and impact of these measures are expected to be revealed in due course.