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Economy Blues: Government to disburse N25,000 monthly to 15m households –Edun

*The Federal Government says it is set to distribute N25,000 monthly to 15 million households, among other measures, in a move to further minimise the negative impact of the current economic hardship hitting millions of Nigerian consumers

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

As part of ongoing measures to minimise the negative impact of the current economic hardship facing millions of Nigerian consumers, the Federal Government has stated its readiness to distribute N25,000 monthly to 15 million households across the country.

ConsumerConnect reports Mr. Wale Edun, Honourable Minister for Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, stated this during an interview on the Channels TV, monitored in Lagos.

Mr. Wale Edun, Honourable Minister for Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy

The Minister disclosed the Federal Government is working to alleviate the hardship, especially for the poor and vulnerable consumers.

Edun said: “I think the important thing to point out, at this time, is that the focus of Mr. President is on keeping his promise, particularly to the poor and the vulnerable.

“Food prices are elevated, and the purchasing power is limited, and that is what Mr. President is speaking directly to through the intervention programme of direct payments of N75,000 each over three months.”

He further explained “that is N25,000 a month to 15 million households and each household is about five people. So, that effectively provides funding for 75 million people.”

Dislocating effects of skyrocketing inflation on consumers

It is noted that among other policy decisions and Executive Orders (EOs), President Bola Ahmed Tinubu in his address at the Presidential inauguration May 29, 2023, in Abuja, FCT, had announced that the hitherto controversial petrol subsidy regime “is gone!”

Other measures, including the harmonisation of the Foreign Exchange (Forex) as a form of currency controls have apparently led to high fuel prices, skyrocketing inflation, and increasing cost of living with the plummeting value of the Naira against the US Dollar.

Of recent, several Nigerians have suffered an economic crisis with soaring inflation, leaving many people struggling to afford basic food items and other consumer commodities for their families.

Subsequently, some have hit the streets to protest against the harsh socio-economic realities and attendant telling consequences on their wellbeing in Suleja in Niger State, Abuja in FCT, Kano, Kogi, Osun and Ibadan, Oyo State capital, among others across the West African country.

On practical measures to curb food inflation

Ẹdun, Minister for Finance, also restated the Nigerian Government’s plan to provide grains to help cushion the rising cost of food items with the release of 42,000 metric tonnes (MT) of assorted grains and assured supply of 62, 000 MT of rice by the mega rice millers in the economy.

ConsumerConnect reports the 42, 000 MT of various grains is about to be released for circulation to the poor and vulnerable citizens, according to Mr. Bayo Onanuga, Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, in an update released Friday, February 23.

Minister Edun, in the interview, equally stated: “More recently, there was a 42,000 metric tonnes release from the strategic reserves with another 60,000 metric tonnes to come. This is all in a bid to make sure there is food in the marketplace.”

About Nano businesses

The Minister further revealed that the current administration is planning to give artisans, traders, women, and youths a grant of N50,000 each to activate nano businesses to improve national productivity.

He explained the modus operandi this way: “In this particular case there will be digital verification, just like with the direct payments, direct transfer procedure and in this particular case, it will cover at least 1,000 people in all 774 local governments.

“So, that programme will now be another N50 billion. The important thing is to know that to the extent that this is the most direct way to help people at this time, it can be expanded it can be continued until we find a more stable environment in terms of food production, food prices, and affordability through increased spending power of the poor people.”

Why the current economic hardship -Edun

On the current discomfiting economic realities across Nigeria, the Minister said the situation at the moment resulted from eight years of a “buildup of money supply, liquidity in the system, and money which was not matched with increased production” in the economy.

According to him, the microeconomic measures put in place would go a long way to provide relief, as technology would be deployed to ensure payments and revenues paid would go directly to desired places without any intermediary going forward.

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