Subsidy: FG should review bank charges, pension deductions – Chidoka


A former Minister of Aviation, Osita Chidoka has asked President Bola Tinubu to take quick steps such as removal of bank charges and reduction in the monthly contributions to pension schemes by workers to ameliorate the biting effects of the removal of fuel subsidy on the masses.

Speaking in a televised interview with newsmen, Chidoka said the aforementioned steps will serve as palliative to the sufferings of Nigerians over the removal of petrol subsidy.

On May 29, President Tinubu announced an end to the payment of petrol subsidy by the federal government.

Since the announcement, the price of petrol has increased to around N500 per litre.

Reacting to the development, the former minister faulted the sudden removal of the petrol subsidy, saying the federal government was not quick to think about ways to ameliorate the impact of the policy on Nigerians.

“When he took a decision to remove subsidy and he removed fuel subsidy and the fuel prices rose by over N500 in a day, what are the immediate measures that can be taken to make sure there is more cash in the pockets of people who go to work every day?” he said.

“If I was thinking with him, I would have said immediately — remove the charges for bank transfers in Nigeria, the N26 and the N56, cut it immediately.

“That money goes to the banks and they are just enriching themselves; or make a flat rate of once a month, you can charge N100 for IT support.

“So, that puts more money in the hands of people.

“Second, our pension scheme has accumulated a lot of money, and that pension scheme now requires people to pay 12 percent of their salaries from the employers’ side.

“So, I think you can reduce the amount the people are contributing for a one-year period or six months to allow more money.

“That way, immediately from the next month’s salary, another N10,000, N5,000 as the case may be, enters into the pocket of the people who go to work every day.

“They are able to pay their transport fare because they need to go to work tomorrow.”

The ex-minister also said the minimum wage needs to rise from the current rate of N30,000 to reflect the current economic realities and inflationary shocks.

According to him, though the Tinubu government removed subsidy from its day one in office, the administration inherited $3bn debt to be paid to fuel importers.

I'm a graduate of Nuhu Bamali Polytechnic Zaria, where I studied Business Administration and Management from 2014-2019. Presently, I work with TV360 Nigeria, as a journalist, producer and reporter. I'm so passionate on what I do.

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