Mallam Hamzat Lawal, activist and Chief Executive Officer of Connected Development (CODE), has said Nigeria spends over N50 billion daily subsidizing the rich.
Speaking on Hard Copy, an interview programme on Channels Television, Mallam Lawal noted that the continued payment of fuel subsidies by the Nigerian government is unacceptable.
He said: ”We are subsidizing the rich, not the poor. The poor are actually bearing the brunt. And we spend over N50 billion every day in subsidizing the rich people who can actually afford it.”
Last month, the Buhari-led administration announced its plan to secure a World Bank loan to be distributed to about 50 million vulnerable Nigerians or 10 million households as part of its fuel subsidy palliatives measures.
The move caused outrage nationwide, considering the already astronomical debt profile of the outgoing administration.
Mallam Lawal urged the National Assembly to call for a public hearing concerning the loan, noting that it will help ensure that all the grey areas concerned Nigerians have been answered.
On whether the loan is necessary at a time the government is on its way out, Mallam Lawal said:
”Taking a loan is not bad, but what do we do with this loan? People are poor. We have poor people, and it is not their doing that they are poor. And as a government, as people, we must care for these poor people.”
He also advised that the government can explore the Open Government Partnership platform to ensure transparency in its spending.