Frustration, confusion in Imo, Enugu, Anambra, others as South-East residents await palliatives

With the cost of living on a steady rise, no thanks to the subsidy removal by the Federal Government of Nigeria, the hope of survival of the common man hangs in the balance. But a glimmer of hope appeared recently with the promise of government’s intervention to cushion the lingering effect of economic hardship.

But weeks after the announcement by the Federal Government of the provision of N5 billion to each state of the federation for the procurement of relief items to poor citizens to cushion the effects of the economic hardship caused by the fuel subsidy removal, it has been an endless wait by residents of the five Southeast States of Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo. Up till now, only few states across the country have distributed any palliative items. And items distributed have been mere drops in the ocean. Some others have promised to start sharing the items. But in most of the states, particularly South-East, the people have seen no palliatives, with no one sure of if and when anything would get to them.

EBONYI

From Abakaliki, Chijioke Agwu reports that Ebonyi State government has acknowledged receiving N2 billion and 3000 bags of rice from the Federal Government. Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Jude Okpor, said Governor Francis Nwifuru announced the arrival of the palliative on Wednesday, August 23,2023. The governor subsequently set up a committee on palliative distribution, with himself as chairman. But the distribution had not commenced as of Wednesday August 30.

IMO

In Imo State, the State government has flagged off the distribution of the palliative items on August, 30 at the premises of the Imo State College of Advanced Professional Studies (ICAPS), Egbu Road, Owerri, with the governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma in charge. All the autonomous communities in the state, represented by their wards, were in attendance. Also Federal agencies, boards, MDAs were also present, reports Stanley Uzoaro. It was gathered that 100,000 bags of rice was approved for distribution by the governor for the people of the state and to make sure the palliatives get to the desired people, some agents were engaged by the state government for even distribution. The governor also approved the distribution of grains such as rice and gari to be sold at very affordable prices to the residents of the state and strictly monitored by commodity officers in 27 local government area of the state.

ANAMBRA

Obinna Odogwu in Awka reports that the distribution of the palliative items has not started in Anambra. The state government said that the materials meant to be distributed to the deserving recipients were still being procured. Commissioner for Information in the state, Sir Paul Nwosu, told Saturday Sun that as soon as the materials were ready, they would be distributed to the people who are supposed to get the materials. “There is no point stampeding these things and at the end of the day you discover that some people were left out. And you know that Governor Soludo is a man that is very thorough and meticulous. “When you stampede, you make mistakes and people are left out. But we want to be thorough so that everybody gets what they are supposed to get, so that it will be all inclusive.”

ABIA

Abia State Government said it has started palliative distribution from the Federal Government’s N5b financial grant-cum-loan to the state, writes Okey Sampson in Umuahia

Equally being distributed is the 30,000 bags of rice that also came from the Federal Government as palliative for the hike in fuel price. This was disclosed by the Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to the Governor, Kazie Uko. Although the CPS did not give details of the distribution process, investigation revealed that government set up a committee to oversee the palliative distribution, first in the 17 Local Government Areas and further down the 184 political Wards of the state. Apart from the actual palliative distribution, it was gathered that the committee which was mandated to ensure only the poorest got the goodies, would also interface with the people to know their actual needs.

ENUGU

In Enugu state preparations are still on for the distribution of palliatives, even as materials for distribution are still being assembled and expected too, writes Geoffrey Anyanwu

The State Governor, Peter Mbah had before the federal government’s announcement of N5 billion palliative for each state, inaugurated a Palliative Committee headed by the Deputy Governor, Ifeanyi Ossai. The committee has met for about three or four times and has according to reliable source, set up subcommittees comprising of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), Presidents General (PGs) of town unions, church leaders and council chairmen and councillors for easy and accountable distribution of the palliatives. It was gathered that the state government do not want to be involved in the distribution so that it would not have political coloration, hence the involvement of the aforementioned groups. The committee which reliably has discussed the modalities for distribution, it was also gathered agreed to have the CSOs have a representative in each of the 360 wards of the state.

Culled from Sun

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