Across the 36 states of the federation and the federal capital territory (FCT), uncertainty prevails regarding the distribution of the N180 billion federal government palliatives designed to alleviate the consequences of the subsidy removal on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), according to investigations by LEADERSHIP.

The distribution process is not proceeding as smoothly as anticipated, with many state governments forming committees to determine how to fairly allocate the limited food supplies to their large and expectant populations.

Regrettably, several states, including Bauchi, Zamfara, Adamawa, Ebonyi, Imo, and Bayelsa, have yet to distribute any food items to their citizens.

On August 17, 2023, the National Economic Council (NEC) announced that the federal government had sanctioned N5 billion in subsidy removal palliatives for each of the 36 states. These funds were allocated for the procurement of grains, along with five trucks of rice and 40,000 bags of maize for each state.

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To date, most states have reported receiving N2 billion from the federal government, with varying quantities of rice trucks, some even receiving as few as two or three trucks.

A representative from the Civil Society Organisations (CSO) within the 18-member committee established by Governor Umo Eno of Akwa Ibom stated that the committee is diligently working to establish a transparent and equitable strategy for disbursing relief materials to both rural and urban impoverished communities. This meticulous approach has contributed to delays in submitting the report to the state government.

Despite the universal presence of impoverished and vulnerable populations, some governors are directing their efforts towards assisting disabled and displaced individuals. Ironically, in certain states, the disabled population has raised concerns about being marginalized.

In Kaduna, Governor Uba Sani outlined a three-phase plan for the utilization of palliative funds. The first phase focuses on distributing food items to households, with particular attention given to families led by People with Disabilities, Widows, and the Elderly. Subsequent phases involve supporting transportation, aiding smallholder farmers, and reviving locomotive train routes to enhance citizen transportation.

In Jigawa, the state government has already begun the distribution of palliatives across all 27 local government areas. The state received five trucks of rice from the federal government but had to purchase an additional five trucks. Each local government received only 200 bags of 50kg rice, translating to less than one bag per community.

However, there has been dissatisfaction and tension as the palliative items were inadequate for a state with a high poverty rate. The Chairman of the Joint Association of People With Disability, Jigawa State chapter, Hon. Adamu Shuaibu Jigawar Tsada, expressed frustration at the marginalization of disabled persons in the distribution process.

In Adamawa, an interim governor, Prof Kaletapwa Farauta, inaugurated a 20-member committee to oversee the smooth distribution of food and non-food items from the federal government. Additionally, the state government approved the procurement of more grain for distribution.

Abia State received N2 billion and 3,000 bags of 50-kilogram rice as part of its allocation of the palliatives. The distribution committee, chaired by Rev Fr Christian Anokwuru, targeted the poor and vulnerable. Each of the 184 wards in the state was allocated 14 bags of rice.

Katsina State, on the other hand, purchased 40,000 bags of rice with the N2 billion soft loan from the federal government and distributed them across the 34 local government areas. The distribution committee, comprising traditional and religious leaders, local government chairpersons, community leaders, and lawmakers, oversaw the process.

Despite these efforts, there have been complaints in some quarters about the quality and quantity of distributed maize and grains, with some recipients claiming they were inadequate and spoiled. However, the Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON) has refuted these claims, asserting that the maize distributed was of good quality and not part of the allocation they received.


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