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Hardship: 15 million households to receive N25,000 monthly – Finance Minister

Minister of Finance, Wale Edun, says the federal government is making efforts to minimise the level of economic hardship faced by Nigerians.

Edun spoke on how President Bola Tinubu will alleviate the difficulties in the country during an interview on Channels Television on Friday.

Since the removal of fuel subsidy and the increasing rate in the foreign exchange market, the cost of living in the country has been unbearable for many households.

Speaking on the measures put in place to provide succour, the minister said the president is introducing intervention programmes that will be delivered directly to households.

He said the programmes, which have been revamped, will now “be immediately implemented”.

“Mr president is bringing an intervention programme, which has direct payments of N75,000 each, over three months, 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,” Edun said.

“That all-important programme has been revamped to make sure that it is robust and to make sure that each beneficiary has a NIN number and a BVN number or access to mobile money accounts so that we are sure that the right people are paid and that the system is fraud-free.

“In addition, and this is really in addition to the intervention, to put food on people’s tables to make access to folk food affordable for the average Nigeria and that is the intervention to provide greens, for food and even for feed females. All in an effort to increase the availability of food in the markets.

“Earlier, there was the release from the strategic greens; more recently there was a 42,000 metric tonne release from the strategic reserves and with another 60,000 metric tonnes to come. This is all in a bid to make sure there is food in the marketplace but more importantly, the emphasis now is on making sure food. The purchasing power to buy food is in the hands of the poor and the vulnerable in our society in particular.

To improve productivity, Edun said the government is also planning to give artisans, traders, women, and youth, a grant of N50,000 to start nano businesses.

“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 1000 people in all 774 local governments,” he said.

“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.”

According to Edun, the reason for the economic situation at the moment is as a result of eight years of a buildup of money supply, liquidity in the system, and money which was not matched with increased production.

“Therefore we had excess demand and an excess supply of money without having the goods on the other hand to match it. That is what the reform measures are correcting and they are well on the way to doing that,” he said.

Edun said the microeconomic put in place would go a long way to provide relief, adding that technology would be deployed to ensure payments and revenues paid would go directly to desired places without any intermediary.


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