FG to invest N765bn on SIPs, insists no subsidy for fuel, electricity

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By Mordi Chukwunonso Esther 

The federal government has said that it will spend N765 billion on the Social investment programmes  (SIPs) as the programme got the highest allocation among the selected projects listed in the 2021 approved budget.

The Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed  said N400 billion will go directly to the programme while N365 billion will go into ”upscaling the programme”. The latter was an addition approved by the president.

The programmes, introduced by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2016, are aimed at the poor, unemployed, and disenfranchised Nigerians.

They include N-Power for unemployed graduates; Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) for small and micro businesses; Conditional Cash Transfer to poor Nigerians, and the National Home Grown School Feeding Programme for public primary school pupils.

Aside from the SIPs allocation, N159.8 billion was approved for regional interventions.

Details show that N65 billion was allocated for the reintegration of transformed ex-militants under the Presidential Amnesty Programme.

The North East Development Commission (NEDC) – Statutory transfer was allocated N31.33 billion while the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) got N63.51 billion.

Meanwhile, Ahmed also said the Federal Government would not subsidize  Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol and electricity.

She said provisions were not made for the subsidy of the two items in 2021 budget.

Responding to a question on whether the reduction in petrol price about a month ago had led to the return of subsidy, while speaking during a virtual meeting in Abuja, Ahmed said, “The answer is a flat no.

“We are not bringing back fuel subsidy. We didn’t make provision for fuel subsidy in the budget. The impact of what was done was reducing some of the cost components that were within the template.

“And also related to it, on matters of electricity subsidies, no provisions have been made for subsidy for fuel and no provisions have been made for subsidy for electricity.”

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