By Ononye VC
There’s palpable anger across many states of Nigeria over the seeming delay in the distribution of the palliatives by the state governors.
The Nigeria Labour Congress, Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, the Nigeria Union of Teachers, National Union of Pensioners and others have been lamenting and expressed misgivings about the way the palliatives package was being handled by the authorities.
Last Thursday, the Federal Government had announced the distribution of N180 billion and 180 trucks of rice to the states to ease the subsidy pains but many governors have kept the materials in warehouses while the workers and residents languish in hunger.
The Federal Government announced N5bn palliative for each state of the federation and 180 trucks of rice as part of measures to assuage the pains of the subsidy removal which had led to multiple hikes in fuel pump prices and driven up the prices of goods and services, worsening the poverty level in the country.
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, 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.
The Assistant General-Secretary, Nigeria Labour Congress, Chris Onyeka, said the delay by the Federal Government in providing its own palliatives for Nigerians was worrisome.
According to him, NLC officials in states were not part of the committee involved in the sharing of the palliatives.
Onyeka said, “We are not involved. How can we be involved? How can we be involved with the governors to share the federal palliatives? We are not part of it. I told you that what they have done is to dash money, N5bn each, to the boys, who are the state governors.”