Fuel subsidy: NEC dumps Buhari’s social register

The National Economic Council, NEC, has dumped the national social register used under former President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

NEC cited a lack of credibility as the reason for discarding it.

The decision was part of the outcome of the meeting by NEC members at the state house on Thursday.

The council, presided over by Vice President Kashim Shettima, proposed implementing a cash transfer programme for states based on their social registers and a cash reward policy for public servants for six months.

This is different from the National Social Register, which, as of 2023, was reported to have captured over 61 million vulnerable Nigerians eligible for various government social programmes.

NEC proposed that State Governments implement cash transfer programmes using state-generated social registers to cushion the harsh economic realities since the stoppage of the petrol subsidy.

The council also proposed that the implementation would be based on the individual capacity and priority of various states.

Governors of Anambra, Prof Charles Soludo, Ogun, Dapo Abiodun; Bauchi, Bala Mohammed and Acting CBN Governor, Folashodun Shonubi, addressed State House Correspondents following the outcomes of the meeting.

On his part, Abiodun stated that the adoption of the state-generated register is aimed at enhancing the integrity and reliability of the NSR and ensuring that resources go to the intended beneficiaries.

The governor noted, “It was prescribed that it should be implemented for six months in the first instance”, explaining that the states are in a better position to do that enumeration to ensure the integrity of the social register.

He added that a cash award policy was proposed for all public servants, allowing subnational entities to pay their public servants a prescribed monthly amount for six months.

However, Anambra State governor, Soludo, explained that under the cash transfer programme, there would be no uniform figure as it would depend on the capacities of respective states.

He said state governments with outstanding salaries and allowances to pay must prioritise clearing the backlog instead of implementing cash transfers.

“There is quite some fiscal surplus that will be coming to the states, local governments, and federal government.

“And we’ve suggested that it will be nice that you can implement cash transfers, subject to your financial capacity. Some might be able to do one; some might be able to do 10; some might be able to do 20, as the case may be. It depends on their capacity,” he said.

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