N5,000 cash payment is too small considering the level of inflation in the country – Energy Analyst says as he opposes to subsidy removal
Dr Bala Zaka, Port Harcourt-based Energy Analyst, has reacted as the Federal Government moves to pay N5,000 grant to 40 million Nigerians as part of measures targeted at cushioning the negative impact of petrol subsidy to be introduced in 2022.
The Analyst who opposed to the subsidy removal, said the nation did not attract any positive impact from previous subsidy withdrawals.
“First, the N5,000 cash payment is too small considering the level of inflation in the country.
“Second, it would be difficult to select or determine beneficiaries. Third, we are also not very sure of frequency of disbursement. More than these, it would be open to corruption.”
Instead of cash payment, he said: “It would be better to increase the minimum wage, which would empower citizens to meet basic needs.
“Government can also invest significant funds into the power sector to supply commercial and stable electricity nationwide. “The increased supply of power would reduce the demand for petrol products, which the citizens need to generate their independent power.”
He said: “The government had withdrawn subsidy in diesel and kerosene before, which did not make much positive impact on Nigerians and Nigeria.
“The major problem is that we are not refining enough locally. As far as we are not refining enough, the government should continue to subsidise to prevent anarchy in the nation because of the total cost of the subsidy would be cheaper than the cost of such impending anarchy.”
“In fact, the removal of subsidy on kerosene made many households to shift to cooking gas.
“As the households were increasing their coking gas consumption, the price of the product surged, mainly due to the imposition of the Value Added Tax, VAT.
“Now, many households are going for increased consumption of firewood, which promises to culminate in further deforestation of our environment.