Proposed N8000 Palliative Inconsequential to Our Plight, Nigerians Lament

The Federal Government recently announced that it will provide N8000 to 12 million Nigerian households for 6 months to cushion the economic hardship brought upon them by his policies. Hadiza Ibrahim queries the efficacy of this plan as a way out or just a wasted effort.

On May 29th, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu was inaugurated as the 16th president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. During the inauguration ceremony, he announced the removal of fuel subsidy, buttressing the fact that fuel would henceforth be sold at normal pump prices to Nigerians.

This has since generated both negative and positive effects to Nigerians which in turn has generated alot of reactions. Most noticeable effects are hikes in transport fares, food prices and general cost of living.

He subsequently floated the naira, otherwise known as devaluation of the currency.

In an effort to cushion the ripple effects of these policies, the government assured of plans to provide palliatives to relieve the people of the hardship they are going through. Among these palliatives is the proposal for a monthly cash payment of 8000 naira to 12 million homes, being the poor of the poorest, according to a statement from the presidency.

African Health Report (AHR) spoke to some Nigerians on this proposal by the government in a bid to assess how far the proposed cash palliative would go in ameliorating their sufferings.

According to Mr. Godwin Onyeugbo, an elderly citizen, who is also a retiree, “the government is definitely putting us through alot and it is obvious they did not think it through before implementing subsidy removal, and now Nigerians have to bear the full brunt of the Policy.

“Personally, what I receive from the government as pension payment is not even enough for me and my family and now, coupled up with the subsidy removal, I wonder how 8000 naira a month would solve any of these”.

Also John Emordi, a student of Nasarawa State University, Keffi, accused the government of not being considerate to the people.

•Emordi

Speaking in anger, he stated: “It seems the government does not care about the people at all. Why on earth would they bring up anti-people policies? No doubt, the positive effect of subsidy removal is good due to the inflow of more revenue, but they should have made certain plans on ground before doing that.

“And the 8000 naira a month is an absolute sham for me, instead of giving out that money, they should use it to fix up the refineries, so fuel can be affordable for the common man because giving out of cash palliative of 8000 naira is basically nothing to a common man.”

Mr. Anthony Embuka, another respondent who is a service provider in a fashion line, agrees with Emordi. He argued: “8000 naira can’t even feed me for a month, let alone pay my bills.

• Embuka

“They should use that budgeted money for something else, maybe invest it into fixing refineries or increasing the minimum wage of workers and employees.”

He decried how badly the subsidy removal has affected his business and reduced his clients, adding that 8000 naira monthly cannot solve these problems.

As Nigerians eagerly await President Tinubu’s plans for cushioning the economic hardship inflicted by his policies, it is expected that the views of the masses will be put ibto consideration.

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