N5 billion palliative: CSO, community leaders outline Akwa Ibom government’s agenda

Otuekong Franklyn Isong, the chairman of the Akwa Ibom State Center for Human Rights and Accountability Network, CHRAN, has encouraged the state government to use the N5 billion provided by the federal government to buy compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles.

It also suggested that the government cover the expense of transportation for citizens, including schoolchildren and government employees.

Isong, who is also a member of the Akwa Ibom State Palliatives Committee, stated that the Civil Society Organizations in the State would prefer if the Governor used the cash to create a fuel depot or refinery that would help down the cost of petroleum goods.

He stated that the elimination of gasoline subsidies was directly responsible for the country’s exorbitant cost of products and services, and that the only way to lessen the impact was to establish a functioning refinery right away.

“I’m aware that the FG has approved N5 billion to all the states of the federation as palliatives to ameliorate the hardship caused by the removal of fuel subsidies,” he told kuryaloaded. The committee has not yet received a briefing on how it will be put to use.

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“However, CHRAN and CSOs are making broad recommendations that, if followed, would improve everyone’s lives. Beyond the distribution of meager amounts of grain, we are looking.

“We are focusing on the need for a long-term remedy that would improve everyone’s lives; we are urging the government to build a fuel depot or refinery to lower the price of petroleum products.

“We are considering the government importing CNG vehicles to subsidize the cost of transportation, more vehicles to take civil servants from the plaza or any other strategic site to the secretariat, and more vehicles to transport schoolchildren, as well as creating refineries and a depot.

“We want to positively impact the rural people by establishing good roads, enhancing agriculture, and constructing ranches; it’s not only about giving rice and money.

“We want the conflict between farmers and herders to end; we already have a law against grazing; we want the government to put it into effect by first building ranches where the cows can be taken, preventing the cows from destroying people’s farmlands.”

The N5 billion palliative, according to Sir Sunday Orie, a non-native in Akwa Ibom State, was called robbery on the populace by the president.

Orie questioned why the Federal Government would continue to raise the price of petroleum products, which had led to an unfathomable rise in the price of commodities, and why it would pay the governors of the states a pitiful N5 billion to lessen the impact without addressing the underlying cause of the issue.

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The Igbo leader in Akwa Ibom encouraged President Bola Tinubu to establish an enabling climate, develop people-friendly policies, and promptly fix the fluctuating exchange rate in order for businesses to grow, describing the impact of N5 billion as a drop in the ocean.

What does a State get for $5 billion N? When you rob Peter to pay Paul, you are still committing robbery. Many people have left their cars in parking lots because they can’t afford the fuel; all you need to do is create an environment that’s supportive and give us a chance to make money.

“You raise the price of fuel every day and promise to provide a palliative tomorrow. Due to the high expense of transportation, some residents of the interior villages are unable to purchase or sell their items in town.

“If you give them N1500 as a palliative, would it cover the cost of their transportation, let alone food? Who therefore is deceiving whom?

He suggested that “the government should urgently address the root cause of the hardship Nigerians are currently experiencing.”

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