Gov. Eno’s ₦10bn palliative program earns praise for easing subsidy removal impact
A socio-political advocacy group, Good Governance Collective has hailed Akwa Ibom State Governor, Umo Eno for initiating an over ₦10 billion palliative programme for the people.
Speaking in an interactive session with journalists, the group said that after a careful assessment of the palliative roll out across the 36 states, they were very impressed with the actions taken by Governor Eno and his administration’s decision to touch almost every segment of the society.
According to Adebimbe Odutayo, the group’s spokesperson, the programmes so far laid out to cushion the effects of the fuel subsidy removal on residents of the state were worthy of emulation and called on other state governors to take a cue from Akwa Ibom, adding that if more states do the same, the suffering and general feeling of despair in the country will be greatly reduced.
The group lauded the governor’s decision to augment the federal government palliative package and for putting machinery in place to ensure effective distribution to the very needy at the grassroots, while also showing care for various categories of the citizenry.
She noted that apart from the ₦2bn so far received from the federal government, the governor has announced, ₦1bn as bursary disbursement of ₦10,000 each to indigenous students in public universities, ₦3.8bn for payment of entitlement to retired teachers and local government staff, ₦2bn for purchase of additional bags of rice, ₦2bn cash award to three thousand workers in the state, ₦100 million to people living with disabilities, every Friday free ticket for traders in all markets and free transport tickets for three months as well as free school uniforms to primary and secondary school students.
“When one calculates these interventions, there is no doubt that despite the harsh economic situation of the country, the state government would be spending in excess of N10billion directly on its people, and that is reason for this commendation”
It also applauded the directive of the governor that the supply of the additional bags of rice should be handled by local rice millers who would deliver directly to the local government areas. He said apart from cutting off middlemen, this decision will further create jobs for the mills and also engage the youths.
The group also urged the chairmen of the palliative committees across the federation to ensure equitable distribution of the palliatives considering the dire needs of the people. “This is not the time for state officials to be greedy, this is not the time to wear any political toga, these palliatives are for the most vulnerable and they should be distributed without any biases,” Odutayo noted.
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