The Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed disclosed to Nigerians the President’s plan to remove fuel subsidy by 2022. In lieu of the existing subsidy, Zainab explained that the federal government has a plan to financially assist some Nigerians. According to her, the removal will result in the disbursement of N5,000 to 30-40 million poor Nigerians to help ameliorate living conditions. 

If approved, the proposed program is set to kick off in June 2022 while necessary preparations will precede it. N2.4trillion is the estimated sum these grants will cost the federal government annually once kickstarted in 2022. The Nigerian Labour Congress unsurprisingly has reacted to this proposal by the federal government, calling it “unwise” and a bad financial move by the current Administration.

Although the Nigerian Labour Congress has kicked against it, there are businesses set to benefit from this grant. Some of such businesses are different sports betting companies in Nigeria.

Why Sports Betting?

With a gambling industry that is thriving massively, there are several top betting sites in Nigeria. According to a survey by NOI Polls, 4 in 10 Nigerians surveyed engage in sports betting, spending an average of N3,000 weekly on different markets. This means the average gambler in the country spends 3k to 5k monthly betting on sports. 

Now, it is this same amount that has been proposed by the government to tackle fuel subsidy hardship on poor Nigerians. A similar survey is spotlighted in the USA on the assessment of early stimulus checks paid by the US government. The stimulus check was handed out to Americans in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. The survey revealed that the stimulus payment was mostly spent on upkeep and other things perceived to boost citizens’ income levels.

Unlike the US, the means of basic sustenance in Nigeria is high. And this leads every young person into looking for ways to enhance their income. Given how sports betting has been remarkably predominant among young people, the N5,000 subsidy grant may find its way to betting companies.

Nigeria’s National Lottery Regulatory Commission is doing its best to maintain a sane gambling space. Notwithstanding the Commission’s efforts, the fact remains that several gamblers no longer see gambling as a means of having just fun. To them, betting on profitable odds and markets can also be a means of making money instantly.

An Initiative for Better Opportunities

As we noted earlier, the federal government’s decision to implement subsidy removal and subsequently hand out cash in its place has been condemned by many. But realistically, the average Nigerian is always seeking ways to better their financial condition in light of obvious economic woes. A lot of people still argue that fuel subsidy retention is not profitable to average Nigerians. Therefore, they posit that it wouldn’t be bad for people to receive stipends they can invest into petty ventures.  

It is on the basis of this constant drive to make something out of so little that many will bet with their N5,000. There’s no gainsaying N5,000 is indescribably small compared to what obtains in Europe and North America. 

However, it is believed that with deep research and great odds at a reputable site, punters might make the most of their cash. Besides, many people would rather have a go at what might fetch them more money than squander the stipend.

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