The Council of Bishops of the Methodist Church Nigeria (MCN) has asked President Bola Tinubu to reconsider his decision to distribute N8,000 monthly stipend to poor and low-income households as part of efforts to help cushion the effects of petrol subsidy removal.
Speaking on Sunday at the end of the 40th Annual Council of Bishops Conference, which held at the Wesley Cathedral Methodist Church, Uwani in Enugu, the Prelate of the MCN, Oliver Ali, said that instead of the palliatives, the current administration can work towards reviving the ailing industries in Nigeria in order to create jobs for the teeming population.
Tinubu had in a letter, asked the Senate to permit his administration to go ahead with the processing of an $800 million loan facility from the World Bank to be distributed to poor and vulnerable households.
The president had said: “Under the conditional cash transfer window of the programme, the Federal Government of Nigeria will transfer the sum of N8,000 a month to 12 million poor and low-income households for a period of six months with a multiply effect on about 60 million individuals to help cushion the effects of petrol subsidy removal.”
However, reacting to the request, which has been approved by the Senate, Ali said that the move will only open up opportunities for people in government to steal funds meant for the people.
“The current administration needs to depart from the style of the previous administration and begin to do things differently,” he said.
“The revival of moribund industries will be more beneficial because people will have jobs that will give them money in the long run.”
The council also congratulated the president on his inauguration, while also calling on him to be magnanimous in victory by initiating the process of healing and national unity.
“While we commended the government for its efforts in curbing insecurity, we are calling for the formation of state police to reduce the spate of killings of civilians by terrorists and other criminal elements across the country,” He said.