• Wednesday, December 06, 2023
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BusinessDay

Make palliative distribution continuous, Salis urges government

Why putting social investment programme agency under presidency is great decision – Salis

The Federal Government has been advised to make palliative distribution a continuous exercise considering the endemic nature of poverty in the country at the moment.

The advice was given by Owolabi Salis, a Nigerian lawyer and chartered accountant based in New York, United States of America (USA).

Salis said in a statement from his base that this has become expedient, going by the army of poor people across the country.

According to him, “it would therefore, make a lot of sense, if palliatives were made continuous as hunger occasioned by poverty is a time bomb which Nigeria cannot afford.”

Salis also noted that the scenario has been made worse by the removal of subsidy by the current administration.

He said: “There is no doubt that government needs to be proactive in addressing the misery in which millions of Nigerians have fallen in recent times.

“The presidency should set up a grassroots governance system like ‘Presidency Direct’ by recognising the circle of relationships at the wards. We have about 9000 wards. What stops the government from throwing food and drugs stamps of 1,000,000 to the wards weekly. That’s just 9 billion naira out of the billions saved from subsidy.

Read also: Hoarding N2bn palliative fund means sabotaging Tinubu’s Govt, Osun APC tells Adeleke

“They are going to fight over the money. While fighting, another money comes in and another. This will make the grassroots sort themselves out. The money is strictly for food and drugs, and landlords and car owners are disqualified. Instead of cash, it can be I form of food stamps or paid to food suppliers to supply foods to the wards.”

According to him, “Since the removal subsidy, I have personally given over 1000 people a minimum of 50,000 naira to resolve hunger and health problems. I am sure many philanthropists are doing same.

“People are dying of hunger. Let us imagine many elderly people in the grassroots who are poor and have no family or think of those children without family, waking up daily to hunger? This is pathetic. We have to think of them and make provisions for them.

“The government in any country must defend the people’s interest and the Tinubu administration cannot afford to fail in this regard by ensuring it ensures that the poor not only breathe, but breathe well.

“The administration is equally advised to prevail on Universities that have increased fees astronomically to back down in the interest of the poor.

“Education is a very potent weapon changing the world on a daily basis and should therefore not be left to a privileged few.

“The government should heed the advice of well-meaning Nigerians in this regard, to stem the population of gangsters and other undesirable elements in the society.”