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House Approves Tinubu’s Request for N500bn Fuel Subsidy Palliative 

PoliticsHouse Approves Tinubu’s Request for N500bn Fuel Subsidy Palliative 

● N’Assembly gets N70bn

The House of Representatives has granted speedy approval to President Bola Tinubu’s request for N500 billion for fuel subsidy palliative.

The president’s request sought to amend the 2022 Supplementary Appropriation Act so as to extract N500 billion from the budget as the request was considered and passed at plenary on Thursday. 

The president had Wednesday requested the passage of the N500 billion from the supplementary budget for subsidy palliatives.

Also, the National Assembly had in December 2022 passed a supplementary budget of N819 billion earmarked for

Agriculture – N69 billion, Works – N704 billion, FCTA – N30 billion, Water Resources – N15.5 billion.

Following the president’s request, the breakdown of N819 billion Supplementary Appropriation Act showed that N500 billion would be expended on fuel subsidy palliatives and N185.2 billion for the Ministry of Works.

Also, N19.2 billion was earmarked for Ministry of Agriculture, N100 million for Ministry of Water Resources and N35 billion for the National Judicial Council.

In addition, the Federal  Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) would get N10 billion; while N70 billion was earmarked for the National Assembly members to support their working condition.

However, the Deputy Speaker of the House, Hon. Benjamin Kalu, while briefing journalists on Thursday said what the House passed was to cushion the effect of the fuel subsidy on Nigerians.

His words: “We took a decision today in view of the current pain that everybody is complaining about as a result of the bold steps taken by Mr President. He removed the oil subsidy but not to be insensitive to the needs and the welfare of the people and in line with the provision of the constitution he needed to complete the process by engaging the parliament to do their bid for that particular bill to become an act.

“There are various components of that bill, that bill did not speak about one component. That bill, which is about N819 billion, was not only for palliatives and so the breakdown was not only for palliatives, discussion was not only about palliatives. 

“The palliatives component of that particular bill was on N500 billion that is to cushion the impact of the oil subsidy, because you know Mr President from what we understood believe that we can delay gratification for a greater gain tomorrow. 

“So we suffer a little bit now because of the impact of the subsidy and then when we get our country into autopilot with regards to our economy, we will now begin to enjoy the decision of the oil subsidy.”

The deputy speaker further stressed that: “But having said that, we will feel the pain now. That is what you and I are feeling and the wisdom of Mr President said parliament approved N500 billion, let us put it towards making a socio-economic impact directly on the lives on Nigerians. That was what the parliament passed today.

“I want to assure you that we have done our bit and I am sure the senators will also do their bit today or in few days coming, to enable us immediately attack the matter of urgent public importance which is the welfare of Nigerians. Other components have to do with Ministry of Works and these monies are domiciled in various ministries.”

He further stated that: “I just wanted to make it clear that what we did today was not just for the palliatives so that the narrative that will be out there will not be that we passed palliative bill to take care of the Judicial Commission, to take care of National Assembly.

“The money for the National Assembly is meant for the National Assembly infrastructure. That’s what we are talking about when we mentioned component that has to do with National Assembly for infrastructure. But the major part of the whole bill we passed today was to help Nigerians who due to the removal of subsidy are feeling the impact.”

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