The Ondo State Government has confirmed that it has received only 3,000 from the Federal Government as part of fuel subsidy removal palliatives.
Wale Akinterinwa, the state Commissioner for Finance and Chairman of the State Palliatives Committee confirmed this on Tuesday in Akure while speaking at the “Ondo Media Agenda”, organized by the State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).
According to him, the State expects 81,000 bags of rice from the federal government, but only 3,000 bags have been delivered. He noted that the Ondo State Government had ordered the purchase of additional 3,000 sacks of rice, making 6,000 bags ready for distribution to vulnerable residents of the State.
Akinterinwa, also the Chairman of the Forum of State Commissioners for Finance, noted that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is worried and concerned about the welfare of the masses, hence the decision that people with low incomes would not be overburdened with tax.
He said the federal and the Ondo State governments had rolled out different comforting. Still, the delay in implementing some of them was caused by technical issues, saying that many states are ordering foodstuff and CNG vehicles simultaneously to cushion the effects of the fuel subsidy removal.
“From this month, apart from Transportation, the pensioners would get their #10, 000, and the vulnerable would also get the same; some of these promises would take time, and we have to ensure transparency and accountability.
“Free Transportation for School children will commence next month, transportation for civil servants will also commence for ease of movement, and we intend to buy more vehicles; we would have purchased more vehicles, but we don’t want the ones using petrol; we want to buy CNG buses because they are bigger, but all the State are going for this purpose because of the fuel cost, we are also on the queue for it.”
He added that Ondo State had gotten 3,000 bags of rice contrary to the 81,000 bags of rice that the federal government promised, but rice is not the only food we consume; we would provide other foods, and the State would also get more additional 3,000 bags of rice added to the ones given by the federal government.”
“The government would help the farmers get their food crops to get to town because we had realized that transportation has been the major difficulty; the farmer do complain of access; we would provide tricycles for easy access when these crops get to town; it would be sold in a subsidized price,” Akinterinwa said.
“As a member of the Tinubu tax committee, I am sure by the time the committee is done with their plans; you will see that we have come up with policies that would favour the mass, we would Ensure tax payment, the developed nation are developed because they pay their tax at when due, we have followed suit in Ondo State in the enforcement of tax payment, we don’t have to suffocate the poor with it as Tinubu had said, ‘let the poor breath’. He is concerned about the welfare of the masses,” Akinterinwa, a member of the Presidential Committee on Tax Reform, said.
While the state Chairman of the NUJ, Leke Adegbite, in his earlier remarks said journalists in the State would continue to engage those in the public and private sectors to make them accountable to the masses.