“The so-called palliatives that Tinubu seeks to share to the poor are just another avenue to divert public funds.”
Phrank Shaibu, Atiku Abubakar’s special assistant on public communications, has described President Bola Tinubu’s latest plan to provide N8,000 to 12 million homes for six months as a “suspected” ploy to steal public funds
“The so-called palliatives that Tinubu seeks to share to the poor are just another avenue to divert public funds,” Mr Shaibu said in a statement where he also recounted that Mr Tinubu removed fuel subsidy “without proper planning”.
Mr Shaibu said this in reaction to Mr Tinubu’s letter urging the House of Representatives to accept $800 million in loans to fund the national social safety net programme.
The loan is expected to provide N8,000 (approximately $10) per home registered in the federal government’s National Social Register (NSR) as monthly help to twelve million families nationwide.
However, in response to Mr Tinubu’s letter, Mr Shaibu said the president’s plan to spend $800 million on palliatives in an “obvious arrangement” was reminiscent of former President Muhammadu Buhari’s conditional cash transfer and COVID-19 intervention initiative, which saw politicians keep food and provisions in their homes while the poor went hungry.
Stating that the Buhari regime failed to publish the names of beneficiaries of the schemes, he said the programmes made Nigerians poorer, as shown in reports released by the National Bureau of Statistics.
“According to statistics, a Nigerian household as at 2019 counted on an average of 5.06 members,” he said. “So, with Tinubu’s uninspiring plan, each individual in a household will get N1,600 per month or N53 per day. What should they do with it?”
Mr Shaibu argued that Mr Tinubu lacked a clear economic policy apart from taxing Nigerians and has been exposed as an economic illiterate.
“Tinubu boasted that he would ‘develop Nigeria’s economy’ like that of Lagos, but this was all a scam. Statistics show that over 70% of Lagos’ revenue comes from income tax paid by private companies which had been in Lagos for decades due to its status as Nigeria’s former capital,” he said.
Mr Shaibu said the president should have focused on putting money into the agricultural sector, subsidising production, and attaining energy security if he was serious about reviving the economy.
“Tinubu should stop trying to deceive Nigerians who are still suffering from the effect of his lacklustre economic policies.
“Let no one make any mistakes about it; the planned palliative is Trader Moni 2.0. The scheme is nothing but a means to use public funds to prosecute political campaigns and objectives,” Mr Shaibu stated.