Some stakeholders have criticised the planned distribution of eight-thousand naira as palliative for the removal of fuel subsidy to twelve million poor households within 6 months.
Speaking on Nigeria Info’s Morning Crossfire, the Chairman of Trade Union Congress, TUC, in Rivers State, Foster Onyefuru accused the federal government of snubbing Labour in its decision to announce a palliative despite ongoing negotiations between the government and labour unions to ameliorate the harsh impact of the fuel subsidy removal on Nigerians.
Onyefuru described the decision as politically driven and an ‘ambush’ to force Labour to accept the sum of eight-thousand naira as palliative, an amount which he said is being debated as inadequate in catering to the needs of poor Nigerians following a rise in market prices of commodities.
Meanwhile, the Social Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, is skeptical the cash transfer exercise will serve its purpose, citing a lack of transparency and accountability with previous unsuccessful government intervention programs.
SERAP’s Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare questioned the feasibility of the program, which is meant to take twelve million households out of poverty amid a high inflation rate in the country.
“How will 8000 naira…lift anybody out of poverty,” he said on the Morning Crossfire.
Recommending solutions to ease the burden of the subsidy removal on citizens, Oluwadare urged the government to ensure accountability and transparency in its policies, cut down the cost of governance, subsidise transportation, and others. He, however, added that SERAP would be seeking legal means to address its concerns.
On his part, the Rivers State TUC Chairman suggested a revamp of the nation’s refineries; while funds saved from the removal of fuel subsidy be injected into critical infrastructures that will have a meaningful impact on the wellbeing of the populace.
Oyefuru also advised that the nation’s Compressed Natural Gas, CNG project, earlier initiated by the previous administration be revisited so Nigerians can have alternatives to petrol.