ANALYSIS: FG Saved N400bn from Subsidy Removal in 4 Weeks — 714,410 Vulnerable Northerners Could Get N200,000 Each

No fewer than 714,410 vulnerable persons in northern Nigerian would get N200,000 each if the federal government wishes to give cash palliative from the N400 billion saved from subsidy removal, using the template it adopted for Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) during COVID-19 pestilence in 2020.

Data obtained from Dataphyte, one of Nigeria’s leading data journalism platforms revealed that the CCT program benefited 784,176 people in 2020.

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It reported that the beneficiaries were spread across 24 of Nigeria’s 36 states, excluding Enugu, Ebonyi, Abia, Bayelsa, Delta, Borno, Edo, Lagos, Ogun, Zamfara, Ondo, and Kebbi states.

The program aims to facilitate the transfer of N5,000 per month to beneficiaries on a bi-monthly (every two months) basis, with payment made to all eligible households selected from the National Social Register (NSR), it added.


Following the removal of subsidy, Nigerians have been battling with hiked prices of goods and services. The federal government said 50 million Nigerians would benefit from the $800 million grant secured to cushion the effect of the subsidy removal.

However, combined together, the data [obtained from Dataphyte] showed that there were 714,410 beneficiaries across northern states including FCT, Abuja. But Borno, Kebbi and Zamafara states were excluded.

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Out of the N400 billion saved from subsidy removal, 714,410 vulnerable northerners could share N142,882,000,000 billion [if given N200,000 each]. The remaining N342,882,000,000 could be used to augment other things after dishing out palliative to the other 17 states in the country.


The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), a civic organisation is seeking explanations about the money and how it would be spent.

The group famous for suing authorities, urged Tinubu to “provide details of the plans on how subsequent savings from the removal of subsidy on petrol, including specific projects on which the funds would be spent, and the mechanisms that have been put in place to ensure that any such savings are not embezzled, misappropriated or diverted into private pockets.”

Kolawole Oluwadare, SERAP’s Deputy Director, in a letter dated July 1, said: “Your government has a legal responsibility to ensure that the savings from the removal of subsidy on petrol are spent solely for the benefit of the 137 million poor Nigerians who are bearing the brunt of the removal.

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“Prevention of corruption in the spending of savings from the removal of subsidy on petrol and preventing and addressing the challenges caused by the removal are serious and legitimate public interests.”

Oluwadare noted that Nigerians “have the right to know how the savings are spent.”

“Publishing the details of the spending of the savings would promote transparency, accountability, and reduce the risks of corruption in the spending of the funds,” the group noted.


SERAP fears that the money saved from subsidy removal may be “embezzled, misappropriated or diverted into private pockets.”

“Opacity in the spending of the savings from subsidy removal would have negative impacts on the fundamental interests of the citizens and the public interest,” it continued. “We would be grateful if the recommended measures are taken within 7 days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter. If we have not heard from you by then, SERAP shall consider appropriate legal actions to compel your government to comply with our request in the public interest.

“Unless the government is transparent and accountable to Nigerians in how it spends the savings from the removal of subsidy on petrol, the removal will continue to undermine the rights of Nigerians, and increase their vulnerability to poverty and social deprivation.”


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