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Stakeholders call for judicious use of fuel subsidy funds

Stakeholders call for judicious use of fuel subsidy funds

Some stakeholders have called on the Federal Government to channel subsidy funds into agriculture, health and education to address the impact of fuel subsidy removal.

The Stakeholders which include 19 Civil Society Organisations, traditional leaders, women groups and Unions, among others, made the call during a two-day northern regional town-hall meeting organised by Partnership for Amplified Voices (PAV) in Kano.

The stakeholders also called for increase minimum wage and subsidized production.

The Executive Director Connected Development (CODE), Mr Hamzat Lawal, said that the meeting was to come together to proffer lasting solutions on fuel subsidy removal which has affected people at the grassroots level.

Lawal described citizens engagement as a major catalyst to help improve their engagements in the northern region, states and Communities and be more effective at promoting transparency and accountability.

On his part, the National Coordinator, NG Cares, Dr Abdulkarim Obaje, in his presentation, tagged “understanding the NG Cares initiative of Federal Government, Financed by world bank”, called for enforcement of funds release policy to ensure timely release of palliatives.

“The fund should not stay more that 10 working days in the account of the state government and immediately be disbursed to the beneficiaries,” Obaje said.

He advised CSOs to work closely with government and citizens, to effectively monitor the subsidy savings and spendings to promote transparency and accountability at sub national level.

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Dr Eze Onyekpere, also speaking on “fuel subsidy Savings and other FG policies: How can citizens optimally benefit?” noted that an Infrastructure support fund has been set up by proclamation to alleviate suffering due to fuel subsidy removal.

Speaking earlier, the Falakin Bichi, Alhaji Abba Wada-Waziri, emphasized the need for more efforts, by CSOs to ensure that palliatives are distributed at the grasssroots level.

Others who spoke during the town-hall meeting, include: Hajiya Mairo Bello from AGIP, Safiyan Lawan-Bichi, from Kano budget working group and Fatima Musa-Aliyu, Bridge connect Africa, among others.

The town-hall meeting, with the theme “How Best Citizens Can Benefit From Government Policies on Electricity Pallaitives and Fuel Subsidy Savings”, was organized by Partnership for Amplified Voice (PAV) with support from World Bank.

The PAV is an accountability Civil Society platform facilitated by partnership of two leading CSOs in Nigeria, BudgIT Foundation (BudgIT) and Connected Development (CODE).