Labour Criticizes N180 Billion Palliatives, Anticipates Governor-Driven Programme Disruption

Labour Criticizes N180 Billion Palliatives, Anticipates Governor-Driven Programme Disruption

 

 

The Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress have raised concerns over the recent release of a N180 billion palliative package by the Federal Government to states. This initiative, aimed at mitigating the impact of the fuel subsidy removal, has drawn skepticism from the labor unions. Both organizations express doubts regarding the trustworthiness of state governors in effectively disbursing the funds. They argue that politicians, rather than the impoverished citizens, may benefit from the N5 billion allocation provided to each state.

 

In response to the policy shift that has led to significant increases in fuel prices, resulting in elevated costs of goods and services, the Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress have led nationwide protests. These protests emphasize the need for refinery repairs as a prerequisite for any subsidy withdrawal. The surge in fuel prices has contributed to worsening socio-economic conditions and pushing millions of Nigerians into poverty.

 

During the 135th National Economic Council meeting, Borno State Governor Babagana Zulum, presided over by Vice President Kashim Shettima, announced the palliative release. The N5 billion allocation to each state aims to support the procurement of 100,000 bags of rice, 40,000 bags of maize, and fertilizers to address the prevailing food shortage across the nation. The government has also distributed five trucks of rice to each state as an initial measure to alleviate the mounting food costs.

 

The funding distribution strategy entails allocating 52 percent of the sum as grants to states, while the remaining 48 percent must be repaid in installments to the Central Bank of Nigeria over a 20-month period. The announcement underscores the Federal Government’s efforts, lauded by the National Economic Council, Central Bank of Nigeria, and NEMA, in addressing the challenges arising from the subsidy removal.

 

SOURCE: PUNCH NEWS

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