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Scam Alert: Government warns Nigerians against post-subsidy palliative fraudsters  

Photo: Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed/LinkedIn

*Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, Minister for Finance, Budget and National Planning, cautions the citizenry against falling victim to scammers running a Web site purporting to be that of her Ministry by registering unwary individuals on a fuel subsidy removal palliative

Gbenga Kayode | ConsumerConnect

Sequel to the Federal Government’s recent announcement of the $800million fund secured from the World Bank for palliatives for vulnerable Nigerian consumers, Mrs. Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, Honourable Minister for Finance, Budget and National Planning has cautioned the citizenry against falling victim to scammers in the online space.

The Minister, who disclosed the development via her verified social media account described the fraudsters’ offer to assist prospective beneficiaries through registration on a portal as “fake”.

Mrs. Ahmed wrote: “It has come to our attention that a Web site purporting to be that of the Nigerian Ministry of Finance, is registering Nigerians on a fuel subsidy removal palliative.”

She warned: “THIS IS A SCAM! The general public should disregard and/or report any interactions.”

ConsumerConnect had reported the Federal Government recently disclosed it secured a sum of $800 million from the World Bank as part of its post-subsidy palliative plans for Nigerian consumers.

Ahmed told the State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting Wednesday, April 5, 2023, in the Presidential Villa, Abuja, FCT, that in view of a N3.35 trillion petrol subsidy budget in 2022, the Nigerian Government said it would stop under-recovery payments June this year.

According to the government, subsidy or under-recovery cost the authorities the sum of N3.3 trillion in the first 11 month of 2022.

On the current administration’s resolve on the controversial fuel subsidy removal, the Minister stated the government is still working on ending the current subsidy regime June.

The Minister also disclosed that engagements with the newly-established Presidential Transition Council (PTC) and the incoming administration had been initiated.

In connection with what is in the $800m palliatives for vulnerable Nigerians, the government further said the $800 million received from the World Bank would be disbursed to the 10 million households considered to be most vulnerable to cushion the effect of the subsidy removal.

“This is a commitment in the Petroleum Industry Act. There’s a provision that says that 18 months after the effectiveness of the PIA that all petroleum products must be deregulated, that 18 months takes us to June 2023.

“Also, when we were working on the 2023 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework and the Appropriation Act, we made that provision to enable us exit fuel subsidy by June 2023,” said Ahmed.

The Minister also noted: “We are on course, we’re having different stakeholder engagements, we’ve secured some funding from the World Bank, that is the first tranche of palliatives that will enable us give cash transfers to the most vulnerable in our society that have now been registered in a national social register.”

According to her, “that register has a list of 10 million households. 10 million households is equivalent to about 50 million Nigerians.

“But we also have to raise more resources to enable us to do more than just the cash transfers and also in our engagements with the various stakeholders, the various kinds of tasks that we have go beyond the requirement of just giving cash transfers.

“Labour, for example, might be looking for mass transit for its members.”

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