Tinubu’s Inherited Census, Kano’s Game of Throne and Subsidy Removal — Talks of the Weekend

By whatsoever means, elections have been won and politicking continues including matters of public attention that somewhat play on the public’s intelligence. 

Last weekend, wonders headlined the dailies. The Muhammadu Buhari-led administration bequeathed the 2023 Housing and Population Census to the incoming government of president-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu. The leader of Kwankwasiyya movement and presidential candidate for New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP), Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso hinted at the continuation of Kano Emirate’s Game of Throne. The reversal of subsidy removal.

But what could be the reason for suspending the 2023 census? It may not be disconnected from the fact that Buhari is leaving Aso Rock on May 29. One could not say the government is bankrupt in a way. But who knows!

The exercise, according to Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Clement Agba, would cost a total of N869 billion ($1.88 billion). 

He said  N626 billion ($1.36 billion) would be used for the census ($6 per capita), with N243 billion ($527 million) earmarked for post-census activities up to 2025. Further, Agba noted that the government has committed N291.5 billion ($632 million) representing 46 per cent of the total funding needed for the exercise. Partners including network providers were, however, urged to support the government.

But there are other pressing matters. The president is going and all T’s need to be crossed, likewise, the I’s must be dotted. Perhaps, the incoming government will deal with it.

KANO’S GAME OF THRONES — ADO’S WOES, SANUSI’S RETURN 

What goes around, comes around, goes a popular saying. 

Aminu Ado Bayero [now the emir of Kano Emirate] was the emir of Bichi, one of the four emirate councils governor Abdullahi Ganduje created, perhaps, to subdue the influence of the former governor, Muhammadu Sanusi Lamido. 

Hitherto, Sanusi escaped dethronement in 2018. Thanks to Alhaji Aliko Dangote and the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar II. But he ate the hot pie in 2020 when Ganduje finally sent him packing and replaced him with Aminu.

Now the game will change, Kwankwaso broke the news during the weekend. Aminu would be retired from the throne and Sanusi would resume his reign. This is what Kwankwaso meant.

Aminu would not walk alone, he would march with the other emirs of the four emirate councils that saw to the balkanisation of the Kano Emirate.

Kwankwaso’s message was delivered, but Aminu may enjoy his reign even though it has been numbered.

THE SUBSIDY SAGA: WHAT HAPPENS WITH WORLD BANK FUNDING?

It was rumoured, last week, that the federal government had backed down plans to remove fuel subsidies. Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, debunked it.

She said the government did not suspend plans to remove fuel subsidies but has rather expanded the subsidy removal committee to include teams from the incoming administration and the state governors, according to PREMIUM TIMES.

“We agreed to form an expanded committee that will be looking at the process for the removal of the subsidy, including determining the exact time as well as the measures that need to be taken to provide support to the poor and the vulnerable,” she had said.

The removal is scheduled for June and it remains sacrosanct, Zainab explained further.

The federal government, in preparation ahead of the removal, secured $800 million funding from the World Bank.

But who gets it, when and how 

The finance minister, Zainab, earlier this month said the money would be disbursed to 10 million households as cash. Additionally, a mass transit system would be provided to ease the cost of daily commutes.

She did not give details on how much beneficiaries would receive. She didn’t talk about when it would be. Everything is hidden from the public.

Let’s pray that it is not going to be like the COVID-19 heist.

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