Following the approval of N180 billion by the Federal Government to the 36 states of the federation for the procurement of food itemsand fertilisers as palliatives to ameliorate the impact of petrol subsidy removal, a Lagos-based Civil Society Organisation (CSO) has charged Nigerians to monitor the disbursement by state governors.
President Bola Tinubu had on May 29 during his inaugural speech after taking an oath of office, announced the removal of petrol subsidy, which led to hike in food prices.
According to the National Economic Council (NEC), a sum of N5bn will be given to each state to procure 100,000 bags of rice, 40,000 bags of maize, and fertilizers to cushion the effect of food shortage across the country.
But reacting on Saturday, the Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL, expressed pessimism in governors distributing these palliatives because of happenings in the past.
The organisation stated that during the Covid-19 pandemic, palliatives meant for Nigerians were locked up in warehouses across the country, to the detriment of the people.
CACOL noted that Nigerians monitoring the disbursement of these palliatives would ensure that they are not cornered by politicians.
“We would like to commend the federal government for at least heeding 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,” said CACOL Chairman, Debo Adeniran.
“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 disbursementof 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,” he added.