Dear Colleagues, Mr President in his compassion decides to allocate N500B as palliative for distribution to the poor to cushion the impact of the fuel subsidy removal, with the approval of the NASS now received, the stage seem set for release, all things being equal. But how much really can 8k per month for 6months do for a poor man, maybe much but also maybe not much.


This brings to mind the question, WHAT IS THE GREATEST NEED OF THE POOR? And how can government’s provisions ameriolate this in a sustainable way, that is equitably distributed and that adds value to the nation?


As part of preparations for the removal of the subsidy pre-current administration in December/January 2021/2022, I wrote a letter to the Minister of Transportation advocating for use of the gains of the subsidy for development of sustainable transport system and called on him to facilitator a national dialogue to draw Mr presidents attention to this.


But what really do I mean: a solid investment into developing high capacity public transport system in Nigerian cities is one cheapest way to end porverty in Nigeria… According to an analysis by TSL in 2020, 60% of low and middle income earners in Nigeria spend about 51% of their income on urban transport. Maybe that same analysis today may show 90% income going for transport.


World bank says about 90% of urban dwellers cannot afford a car in Africa yet transport developments have centred on infrastructure that makes the car the most if not the only convenient means of mobility with only a fragment going to sustainable options, this only continues to widen the gap between the rich and the poor, and the poor must move, so they find alternatives resulting in sustained transport informalities, I mean the one we keep banning from cities.


The need for mobility is intrinsic, there is no life without movement. the poorest of all are those who can’t afford mobility -Penalosa


This means that addressing the transport needs of cities in terms of availability, quality and affordability can actually mean a lift from porverty.


Germany, a high income country at the peak of the gas crises in Europe drop down transport cost per month to 9 Euros which gives you access to all forms of public transport, now they have increase it back to 49 Euros per month for everybody, buy one ticket have access to public transport daily in city and regional, at the pick of crises like we have now, drop the cost… This is a better, equitable and sustainable palliative than sharing 8k.


N500B can purchase approximately 8000 of 60 seater bus that can be distributed to 36 state capitals and Abuja each having up to 216 of them.


Alternatively N500B can establish 10 function BRT public transport system for the 10 largest cities in Nigeria and other cities can follow. Do you know what this means to development and the image of Nigeria?


It makes more economic sense, it has longer value, it is equitable, you can trace where the investment went, IT IS A BETTER PALLIATIVE TO THE POOR. Who will take the lead in this call?


Engr. Emmanuel John

July, 2023

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