• Friday, December 08, 2023
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Palliative: One cup of rice and N2000 is not enough – NLC


The Nigerian Labour Congress has kicked against the N180 billion palliative package released by states to cushion the impact of the fuel subsidy removal.

The Nigeria Labour Congress say that only the governors will gain from the palliative packages and their disbursement.

As revealed in PUNCH, the NLC President, Joe Ajaero, said that based on what the government provides, poor people across the country will get N2,000 and a cup of rice.

Ajaero pointed out that Nigerians could not trust the state governors to pay minimum wage. Why should they be charged with successfully implementing the initiative?

“Who are the governors you are giving it to? Are the governors who have not paid minimum wage? Is there any committee to ensure the effective disbursement of that which is very insufficient?”, Ajaero asked.

“N5 billion multiplied by 36 states will give you N180 billion. So if you divide that with the official figures from the National Bureau of Statistics, which says that 133 million Nigerians are multi-dimensionally poor, and calculate it, you will get about N2,000 each for those poor.

Read also Pallatives: Ondo did not receive 18000 bags — Akinterinwa

“That is the government’s official statistics, but you and I know the figure is more than that. So is that what to celebrate? And then, five trucks or about, of rice to a state. The poor people of these states cannot get one cup of rice. It will not go around.

“Even if you pick them from the poverty bracket, it will be difficult for them to get one cup of rice. Is that the best we can do? Is that the best approach to governance? So, do we look at our people as people we should give one cup of rice and N2,000? Is that palliative?”

As part of measures to reduce the economic effects of subsidy removal, the Federal Government on Thursday announced an N5 billion palliative and 180 trucks of rice for each state in the country.

Vice President Kashim Shettima first announced the palliative in Abuja at the 135th National Economic Council meeting by chaired by the Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum.

He disclosed t state governments were to procure 100,000 bags of rice, 40,000 bags of maize and fertilizers to cushion the effect of food shortage from the N5 billion palliative.

He added that last week, the Federal Government released five trucks of rice to each federation state to mitigate the skyrocketing food prices across the country.