Organized Labour has kicked against the move by the Federal Government to make the State Governor in charge of the palliatives funds, alleging that they would frustrate the program.
According to Organized Labour, the Governors will gain from the palliative packages and their disbursement as experienced with the Covid-19 palliatives that were hoarded until citizens eventually broke into government warehouses to loot the products.
It would be recalled that the Federal Government, on Thursday, approved N5 billion for each State and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) totaling N180 billion, and also released five trucks of rice each to the 36 State Governors to cushion the impact of the removal of the fuel subsidy.
They, however, suggested that the Federal Government should come up with a body that would monitor the implementation of the palliative program at state levels.
NLC President, Joe Ajaero, said,“₦5bn multiplied by 36 states is going to give you ₦180bn. So if you divide that with the official figures from the National Bureau of Statistics, which says that 133 million Nigerians are multi-dimensionally poor, and calculate it, you will get about ₦2,000 each for those who are poor.
“That is the official statistics of the government, but you and I know that the actual figure is more than that. So is that what to celebrate? And then, five trucks, or thereabout, of rice to a state. The poor people of these states cannot get one cup of rice. It will not go round,” he argued.
Also reacting to the move by the Federal Government, the Deputy National President of the Trade Union Council, Tommy Etim, said, “It is one thing to make pronouncements, implementation is another thing. I am sure you remember what happened to the COVID-19 palliatives in 2020 when foodstuffs were stored in warehouses and kept from hungry citizens. Same thing with the issue of the Paris Club relief fund that some governors went to hide in the bank so that they could get some from it while citizens were starving.”
The Assistant National Secretary-General of the NLC, Mr. Chris Onyeka, told the Punch that the palliative would not get to the intended beneficiaries.
“The money will not get to the people, let them share the money as they want but what the NLC agreed with them were certain milestones. The NLC will close its eyes to what the Federal Government is trying to give to the Governors.
“To us as far as we are concerned, NLC will still stick to the milestones that we have agreed on, we will insist that those things are discussed and implemented to the letter,’’ he said.
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