The House of Representatives is urging the quick implementation of the N550 billion presidential palliative fund, designated to mitigate the effects of fuel subsidy removal initiated by the current administration.
This call follows the adoption of a motion for urgent intervention to address the delay in implementing the Presidential Palliative. The motion, jointly sponsored by multiple lawmakers, highlighted the adverse impact of petrol subsidy removal on micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Nigeria.
The removal of petrol subsidy, announced in May 2023 by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has significantly affected numerous businesses, leading to closures, job losses, and increased poverty levels across the country.
President Tinubu had unveiled a N550 billion government intervention plan in July 2023, targeting key sectors of the economy, including Agriculture, MSMEs, and transportation. However, despite the pronouncement, the implementation, especially concerning the MSME sector that directly impacts 1 million nano businesses, has faced significant delays.
Recognizing the substantial contribution of SMEs to Nigeria’s economy, representing 48% of the GDP and engaging over 84% of the workforce, the House is concerned about the worsening challenges faced by these businesses due to the delay in implementing the palliative.
To address this issue, the House mandated the Speaker, Hon. Tajudeen Abbas, to meet with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to address the delays. Additionally, the House directed its Committee on SMEs to engage relevant government agencies to identify obstacles to the implementation and report back within two weeks.
This move aims to expedite the implementation of the presidential palliative to bring relief to Nigerian businesses, particularly MSMEs, grappling with the adverse effects of the fuel subsidy removal and currency devaluation.