President Bola Tinubu-led Federal Government of Nigeria recently announced N5 billion palliative to each of the 36 states of Nigeria.
According to the the Tinubu administration, the palliatives which also include thousands of bags of Rice to each state, are aimed at cushioning the effects of the removal of subsidy on Petrol.
Recent reports indicate that some states of the Federation have begun acknowledging receipt of the palliatives including truck loads of Rice.
This is just as a state like Kwara has reportedly acknowledged receiving N2 billion cash out of N4 billion from the Federal Government.
Some other states have equally acknowledged receipt of some of the Federal Government’s palliatives especially, truck loads of Rice.
While it is apt to say that Imo people indeed need the palliatives in view of the heightening economic hardship occasioned by President Tinubu’s policies with emphasis is on the fuel subsidy removal, so far, nothing seems to have turned up on whether the Imo State Government has received anything as palliative from the Federal Government.
The price of Rice, as an emerging staple food in the country, has risen even much higher since the present Federal Government brought the subsidy regime to an end.
The Imo State Government needs to ensure that the palliatives, once received, are disbursed in such a manner that Imolites especially, those in the low and middle class will benefit.
This is moreso, as many Nigerians had taken a swipe at state governors over the alleged hoarding of the Covid-19 palliatives a few years ago. Although the affected state governments denied hoarding the relief materials.
Indeed, Covid-19 experience appears to be fuelling fears that the recent palliatives as announced by the Tinubu administration may go the same way.
We had suggested in our previous Editorials in recent time, for the state government to seriously consider rolling out buses or setting up a subsidised transport scheme to cushion the effects of the ever rising transport fares in the state.
We are therefore persuaded that part of the cash from the Federal Government palliatives should be channelled to the provision of buses for subsidised mass transport scheme as such has the potential to benefit Imo citizens both in the Civil service and in the Private sector. It is our hope and expectation that only the right thing would be done.