The federal government has released N2 billion from the N5 billion it offered to each states as palliative to cushion the impact of subsidy removal.
Addressing journalists at his maiden press briefing in Abuja on Friday, the minister of finance and coordinating minister for the economy, Wale Edun, said the federal government was mindful of the consequences of its decisions, as a result, it opted to stagger the release of the palliative funds.
“The Federal Government had to hold back on the balance of N3billion to avoid a spike in inflation figures if the funds were released at once”, he said, adding that the source of the fund is “a blend of grant to and borrowing by the state governments.
Edun however clarified that the fund was not part of the proposed $800 million World Bank loan to cushion the effect of the subsidy removal.
Outlining some of his headline policy plans for the nation’s economy, Edun anchored the economic plan of the administration on increasing revenue, effective debt management, and automation of revenue collection to plug leakages and create the enabling environment for private sector players to invest and flourish.
He said Government will mobilise revenue from improved oil production to earn more forex and create the enabling environment for local and foreign investors.
“The president is going to deliver a better life to Nigerians by encouraging investment that increases productivity that grows the economy and thereby creating jobs and reducing poverty”, he added.
Meanwhile, the group chief executive officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), Mele Kyari, who was also at the press conference, said the oil company would have gone bankrupt if gasoline subsidy was not removed by President Tinubu on resumption of office.
Kyari also said government will start making more money soon following improved crude oil production and removal of subsidy on petrol.
He added that Nigeria’s crude oil production has increased to about 1.7 million barrels as at Wednesday, August 30.