• Tuesday, November 28, 2023
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Subsidy removal: FG urged to provide subsidised transport scheme to Nigerians

The cost of travelling from Lagos to Warri in Delta State has more than doubled on the back of the increased pump price of petrol with the removal of petrol subsidy by the Federal Government.

The Federal Government has been urged to partner with states to provide subsidised transport schemes as part of measures to cushion the effect of fuel subsidy removal.

It has also been asked to support small and medium sized businesses by granting them increased funding as well as assist small-holders farmers to boost their productivity.

Wisdom Enang, a fellow of the Nigerian Society of Engineers who stated this in an interview in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State said both the Federal and State Governments needed to take urgent steps to address the present economic hardship Nigerians were going through.

“The Federal Government should partner and synergise with the State Governments to drive citizen-oriented post-subsidy policy programmes such as: the introduction of subsidised or free mass transit road transport vehicles.

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“Also, there is need for increased funding or business support grants for SMEs; increased minimum wage; increased financial support for farmers; and increased drive to diversify the Nigerian economy, ” he said.

Enang, who expressed worry over the level of inflation in the country said it has taking a toll on the purchasing power of many Nigerians pointing out that the decision of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to float the naira has not helped matters.

“The removal of fuel subsidy and floating of the Naira simultaneously, are two policies that inadvertently exert enormous cost-push inflationary pressure on the Nigerian economy,” he said.

He also criticised the monetary policy of the Federal Government saying accurate data is needed for decision making.

“The availability of timely and accurate data and information for the monetary authorities, are all crucial for the design of a successful monetary policy.

Additionally, a good balance must be established between the monetary policy and the fiscal implications for the economy”.

Enang also suggested currency swap agreements with Nigeria’s key trading partners like India and China to stabilise the foreign exchange.