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N5bn FG Palliative: Eyes On Adeleke As Osun Residents Fear Political Hijack

N5bn FG Palliative: Eyes On Adeleke As Osun Residents Fear Political Hijack
  • PublishedAugust 20, 2023
  • Don’t play politics with FG’s subsidy palliative – Osun IPAC
  • Adeleke Will Ensure Equitable Distribution – Spokesperson

Residents of Osun State have been lamenting the delay by the state government in the distribution of palliative given to the state by the Federal Government.

Also, the residents noted that apart from the Federal Government’s intervention, the state government ought to have rolled out its palliative programme for Osun people like its counterparts in Lagos, Oyo, Ogun, Ondo and Ekiti have done.

Similarly, the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) in Osun State urged the Governor of the state, Senator Ademola Adeleke, not to play politics with the distribution of palliatives to the people of the state.

Map of Osun State

It would be recalled that the Federal Government, on Thursday, announced the release of a N180bn palliative package to states to cushion the impact of the fuel subsidy removal.

Each state is expected to get N5bn and trucks of rice as part of measures to cushion the effect of subsidy removal.

READ ALSO: Subsidy: Osun Awaits Adeleke’s Palliative Programme

The removal of subsidy on petrol, announced by President Bola Tinubu during his inauguration on Monday, May 29, 2023, has worsened the socio-economic situation in the country and dragged millions of Nigerians into poverty.

Announcing the release of the palliative at the end of the 135th National Economic Council meeting presided over by Vice-President Kashim Shettima in Abuja, the Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, disclosed that the N5bn 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.

Zulum noted that considering the urgency in meeting the need to mitigate the skyrocketing food prices across the country, the Federal Government had last week released five trucks of rice to each state of the federation.

The governor explained, “This funding has to be shared with a formula as follows: 52 per cent of this money is given to the states as grants, while 48 per cent of the N5bn is to be paid back on an instalment basis within 20 months to the CBN by the states and the local government areas in Nigeria.

“The council has taken bold decisions to ensure the speedy release of grains and other items to cushion the effects of subsidy removal on the underprivileged in society.”

Since the announcement, some states of the Federation have begun sharing the palliatives released by the Federal Government, while others are still waiting for the materials to arrive.

Osun IPAC chairman, Wale Adebayo in a statement made available in Osogbo on Sunday, said Governor Adeleke was voted into office by the credibility of the people to address their concerns, urging him not to play politics with the distribution of FG’s palliatives to the state.

He said: “The state government has been rather slow in announcing its own palliatives to the state. The plight of the less privileged and the vulnerable shouldn’t be compounded by this unnecessary delay in the distribution of the items from Abuja.

“What the FG has done are commendable efforts to stem the hunger and hardship experienced by Nigerians as a result of fuel subsidy removal. We want our state too to do more as the good people of Osun State have so much trust in them to deliver.

Speaking with the medium, a resident of Kola Balogun area of the state, Mr Ajani Hammed, said the state government needed to prioritise the people of the state and not allow greedy politicians to take over the distribution of the palliative.

According to Hammed, Osun people will be watching how the state Governor go about the issue of palliative, adding that his actions will have a future impact on him.

“I want to urge the state government to monitor the distribution of the palliative and make sure it is not hijacked by greedy politicians.

“We all know how most politicians behave when it comes to things like this and it will surely dent the image of the Governor if this is not properly done and that will have a future impact on him. We are all Osun people.”

In her view, Mariam Otegbeye, a trader at Orisunmibare market opined that apart from the Federal Government’s palliative, Osun Government ought to have rolled out its plans for her citizens.

Otegbeye said other states in the South West had already come out with their plans, wondering what was keeping the Osun state government from doing so.

“It is quite unfortunate that our dear state governor is yet to come up with any meaningful plan on how to cushion the effect of subsidy removal while his colleagues in the South West have done so.

“If the Federal Government did not give the state any palliative, won’t the state government cater for her citizens? What the Federal Government did should be additional and now, I even fear the food distribution will be hijacked as usual.”

Allaying the fear of the residents, the spokesperson for the governor, Mallam Olawale Rasheed, while speaking with newsmen, said Governor Ademola Adeleke will ensure equitable distribution to all sections of the society.

Rasheed said the palliatives were yet to be distributed, urging the residents to hold on for the last batch of rice to be received.

According to him, the government would issue the template for the distribution when the last truckload of rice with 600 bags arrives.

He said, “The government has so far received four truckloads making it a total of 2,400 bags of rice. Four truckloads were delivered last week. The last batch is expected any moment from now. The government is already presenting the template for the distribution across the states.

“The template will be released in the new week. Members of the public are informed that the government of Governor Ademola Adeleke will ensure equitable distribution to all sectors and sections of society.

“We urge the public to ignore any insinuation that the palliatives will not get to those who need it. This government is of the people, by the people and for the people.”

The state Commissioner for Information and Public Engagement, Kolapo Alimi, corroborated Rasheed’s position and said the Federal Government approved 3,000 bags of rice for the state, adding that 2,400 bags had so far been received.

“Out of the five truckloads of rice to the state, we are waiting for the completion of the palliative supply before the announcement and distribution.”

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