By Chibuike Nwabuko
Abuja (Sundiata Post) – The Presidency says the Federal Government is on standby to monitor the distribution of palliatives – meant to cushion the impact of subsidy removal – to Nigerians at the state level.
Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, made this known on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Friday.
“It is fair to say that there does not need to be a check. There needs to be a means of monitoring which is why federal regulators are involved; which is why we have put in place the palliatives distribution,” he said.
Recall that the Federal Government approved N5 billion for each state and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to enable them to procure food items for distribution to the poor in their respective states.
Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State disclosed this at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, shortly after the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting on Thursday.
Hours after the development, Tinubu’s spokesperson admitted that there are possibilities of bad eggs manifesting in the disbursement process, adding that his principal is going to enforce a bottom-up approach.
“So, what we are doing now is this: yes, the state government is being empowered to the extent that they are implementing some of the palliatives that we are talking about with respect to the delivery of rice and maize to communities across the states and other supplements that are well known by now.
“But what we are also doing is that from the federal end, we are ensuring that these funds are not just giveaway grants that don’t have to be paid back. First of all, it’s a loan facility.”
‘We Have To Trust Them’
Organised labour is pushing for a reduction in the pump price of petroleum among others.
Ajuri also slammed the organized labour, urging them to avoid blank statements and generalising the state governors as incompetent for the palliative distribution task.
“And by the way, these state governors that the organized labour movement is painting all 36 of them with the same brush as if all of them are the same, all of them are performing at the same level, all of them have the same competency—we know that’s a ridiculous assertion,” he said.
According to the Special Adviser, Nigerians should open a window of trust to the state governors in distributing palliatives, adding that they were voted in by the credibility of the people to address their needs.
“What we are saying is Nigerians elected these state governors just as they elected the president, and we have to trust the judgment of Nigerians who elected these officials to conduct these activities on their behalf,” he said.
“So, it can’t just be at the outset panicking that they can’t do it. We have to trust them to do the job they were elected to do.”
However, he added that given the “history of maladministration in our country,” such skepticism is expected.