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Don’t Politicise FG’s Palliative, Nigerians Warn Governors

 (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – According to him, fairness, equity and justice in the distribution exercise will thwart security threats and build confidence in the system.

 Some residents of Bauchi, Gombe and Dutse have urged the state governors not to politicise the Federal Government’s palliative to facilitate successful implementation of the programme.

They also called for engagement of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and stakeholders to mobilise participation in the programme.

The stakeholders including civil society activists, academics and government officials made the call while responding to a survey by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on implementation of the FG’s ₦5 palliative to states.

The federal government had initiated a comprehensive palliative programme to support Nigerians and businesses to cushing the effect of fuel subsidy removal.

Ibrahim Yusuf, Chairman, Association of Non-governmental Organisations (ANGO) in Gombe State, stressed the need for the state governors to shun political considerations in the palliative programme.

He said it was imperative for the state governments to ensure inclusiveness to achieve its objectives since the programme was meant for Nigerians.

He said that Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) and other organisations should be engaged to avoid turning it into a one-party affair.

“We should exercise caution in the implementation of the palliative so that it doesn’t generate tension because poor handling might create problems.

“This is part of the advice issued by the Department of State Services (DSS), asking governors of the north-east to prioritise distribution of relief materials to strengthen security gains in the insurgency-ravaged region,” he said.

According to him, fairness, equity and justice in the distribution exercise will thwart security threats and build confidence in the system.

NAN reports that Gombe state governor, Inuwa Yahaya confirmed that the federal government released ₦2 billion out of the ₦5 billion approved for the state.

Also, Garba Jinjiri, Chairman, Network of Civil Society Organisation (BASNEC) in Bauchi State has advocated inclusion of the CSOs in the palliative distribution committee to promote inclusiveness.

According to Jinjiri, the organisation is working with relevant agencies to fast track smooth implementation of the programming in the state.

“We expect the community structure to be involved in the composition of the committee but we are not carried along.

 “We tried reaching the office of the Secretary to the State Government to see why the community structure are not involved,” he alleged.

He advised the state government to accord priority to the indigents in the distribution exercise as against politicians or civil servants.

For, Abdullahi Yelwa, an economist, said the federal government provided N5 billion palliative to states to enable them to assist their people.

He said the federal government approved 52 per cent of the fund as grant while 48 per cent as loan facility.

Yelwa also advocated for the active engagement of local government councils in the palliative programme.

“The LGAs as the third their of government are closer to the people, therefore, their involvement will make positive impact.

“The state government should utilise the fund and offset backlog of gratuities, this will impact vulnerable families, especially those who lost their bread winners.

“It is also desirable to increase investment in agriculture in the area of extension services, provision of fertilisers and inputs to the farmers,” he said.

This, he said, would encourage productivity, enhance wealth creation and food security in the country.

Also, Danlami Haladu, Secretary, Nigeria Association of Small-Scale Industrialists (NASSI), applauded the inclusion of entrepreneurs in the palliative programme.

He expressed optimism that the government would ensure that the palliative reached to the targeted population.

Similarly, Musbahu Basirka, Chairman, Jigawa State Civil Society Forum, commended the government over the introduction of social protection programme in the state.

Yelwa said that, “the intervention is in line with the global best practices and we hope that the effort will assist poor families and eradicate poverty.


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