Hardship: FG to increase cash transfers to 12m Nigerians

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By Emeka Samuel,Uyo

As economic hardship continue to bite harder on Nigerians, the Federal Government has said it could increase cash transfers to 12 million vulnerable Nigerians, Finance Minister who is also the Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Wale Edun has said.

Edun who made this known on Wednesday in Uyo at a retreat for management staff of the ministry and heads of parastatals under the ministry noted that the transfers which was temporarily halted would soon return after necessary reviews and adjustments.

The minister maintained that Nigeria remained on course towards economic stability pointing out that the present forex challenges and inflation were the inevitable effects of efforts to stabilize the economy.

“We are working hard to ensure that the financies of the nation which used to be in few hands at the detriment of other Nigerians is reversed. Such corrective actions are long overdue.” He said.

Edun said the Central Bank of Nigeria and the FG have continued to work on reducing and stabilizing the exchange rate while over 60,000 metric tonnes of grains have been released to drive down the cost of food items.

The FG, the minister said remained committed to using financial engineering and increased revenue generation to fight the current inflation adding that a new method of direct payment of unconditional transfers to vulnerable Nigerians would ensure increased transparency and effectiveness.

He called for unity of purpose among all the MDAs responsible for the economy and expressed hope that the fight against economic instability and hardship would eventually be won.

In a remark, Governor Umo Eno of Akwa Ibom expressed his confidence in the capacity and ability of Edun to reverse the downward plunge of the Naira and the economic hardship faced by the people.

“The retreat is timely due to the current economic realities. I therefore urge you not to fail the President. Nigerians are also looking up to you to fix the economy, recreate a vibrant middle class and make the economy less import dependent.” Eno who was represented by his deputy Senator Akon Eyakenyi said.

The Governor said the state would continue to strengthen and expand it’s investment on strategic ventures and projects in agriculture, aviation, energy, health and education aimed at building a good foundation for the economic prosperity of the area. In a welcome remark, Permanent Secretary in charge of Special Duties, Finance Mr Okokon Udoh said the retreat with theme, “achieving the 8 presidential priorities of Mr President” was organised to build synergy and streamline the activities of the different components and parastatals in the ministry to achieve better results.