The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL, has commended the federal government for approving the sum of one hundred and eighty billion naira (N180bn) as palliatives for the 36 states of the federation.
In a release issued by the organization’s Director of Administration and Programmes, Tola Oresanwo on behalf of Mr. Debo Adeniran, CACOL’s Chairman, he noted, “It would be recalled that Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State shortly after the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting disclosed that the sum of N5bn which will be given to each state was to enable the state governments to procure 100,000 bags of rice, 40,000 bags of maize and fertilizers to cushion the effect of food shortage across the country. In addition to the fund, Zulum said the Federal Government also released five trucks of rice each to the 36 state governors.
This development comes in the wake of the hike in the cost of food items and petrol owing to the removal of subsidy on the commodity.
According to the CACOL’s boss, “We would like to commend the federal government for at least heeding to numerous outcries from various quarters calling for palliatives to cushion the effect of the fuel subsidy removal on the people. This administration has shown that it is feeling the pulse of the people by approving 180bn as palliatives to be shared among the states in the country”.
We are however skeptical about the capabilities of some governors to deliver or disburse these palliatives to those they were intended, going by the happenings in the past. We are all living witnesses to the way and manner some foodstuffs that were meant to serve as palliatives for Nigerians were locked up in warehouses across the country by some greedy and selfish people in power at the detriment of pauperized, traumatized and famished Nigerians during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We would also want to call on the state governors to ensure judicious disbursement of the palliatives both in cash and kind. They should ensure that these palliatives do not end in the pockets of the few powerful individuals in their various states. The people of the state should feel the impacts of these palliatives no matter how small.
We also want to use this medium to call on our people to monitor the disbursement of these palliatives in their various states so as to ensure that foodstuffs and other commodities meant for the people are not cornered by politicians.