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The National Economic Council on Thursday, in Abuja, said it considered recommendations from the National Salaries Income and Wages Commission to pay N702bn as cost of living allowance to civil servants as part of intervention plans to mitigate the effects of the discontinuance of petroleum subsidy as announced on May 29, 2023.

The Governor of Bauchi State, Bala Mohammed, disclosed this to State House correspondents shortly after the inaugural National Economic Council meeting at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa on Thursday.

Mohammed also revealed that the intervention included a recommended sum ranging from N23.5bn to N45bn per month as a petroleum allowance for civil servants.

Thursday’s announcement came barely two weeks after President Bola Tinubu directed the governors to concretise various palliative structures to ease the attendant hardship from the petrol subsidy discontinuance.

According to him, “The NEC had received recommendations on the various ways and means that the country can use whatever increases that we have in the revenue to mitigate the impact that this is going to make on the lives of our workers.

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“And so they recommended that there should be a consequential adjustment, estimated at N702.92bn as part of the allowances that should be given as petroleum allowance to all workers and as well as a N23bn or N25bn monthly offer to cushion the effect on workers.”

The returning governor said the council received other suggestions to review salaries and wages.

“In addition to the palliative, the government looked at all the issues, challenges and problems holistically and set up a small committee of the council to review and come up with a term of reference to organise areas specifically where this palliative can come from and how it will be dispensed to alleviate the problem of workers and other vulnerable groups,” Mohammed explained.

Members of the committee included the Governor of Kebbi State as chairman; Anambra representing the South-East geopolitical zone; Governor of Benue, North-Central; Governor of Kaduna, North-West; Governor of Cross River, South-South; Oyo, South-West; and the Bauchi State Governor representing the North-East.

Other relevant agencies in the committee are the Budget Office, representatives of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation, Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, Trade Union Congress of Nigeria and the Nigeria Labour Congress and Rukayat El-Rufai.

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