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Obi to FG: Provide details of N1.1trn given to governors to alleviate economic hardship

Obi to FG: Provide details of N1.1trn given to governors to alleviate economic hardship
February 23
11:20 2024

Peter Obi, presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the 2023 elections, has asked the federal government to provide details of the N1.1 trillion allegedly disbursed to governors to alleviate the economic hardship in the country.

BACKGROUND

There have been pockets of protests in different parts of the country in recent weeks over the pervading economic hardship.

Inflation has spiralled in Nigeria since President Bola Tinubu ended the subsidy on petrol and unified the exchange rate in 2023.

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Speaking during plenary on Tuesday, Godswill Akpabio, president of the senate, said the protesters are not aware of the efforts made by the senate and the federal government to tackle the situation.

He said the protests were being sponsored, adding that unverified reports suggest that governors were given N30 billion by the federal government to ease the hardship on people in their states.

“You can see a lot of sponsored protests here and there but those people are not aware — most of those sponsored protesters are not aware of the kind of efforts made by this senate to tackle the situation together with the management team of the federal government,” he said.

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“Unverified reports have it that state governments in the last few months have received additional N30 billion from the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), outside their normal allocations from the federation account, to assist them in ameliorating the food situation.”

Reacting, Obi in a post on his X page on Friday, said in the interest of good governance and transparency, the federal government should make details of the support public.

He said the details will enable the masses follow up and ensure that the funds are utilised appropriately.

“Recently, the Senate President, Senator Godswill Akpabio announced that a staggering financial support of N1.1 trillion, amounting to a sum of N30 billion each was doled out to the State Governors to help ameliorate the present hardship in the country,” Obi said.

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“While the Federal Government is to be commended for offering such a huge support, considering the difficult times people are going through, it is pertinent, for the interest of good governance and transparency, that the details of the disbursement of such support be explained further.

“So that the public, the masses for whom the support is meant, can follow through and ensure that it is utilized appropriately to the benefit of the people.

“While waiting for such details, I appeal that concerted efforts should be made to ensure that the resources are genuinely and transparently invested in productive ventures to alleviate present hardship and help the future growth of the country.

“We must stop this unproductive habit of throwing scarce and borrowed money at immediate problems, and consumption, but rather through an articulated plan, invest aggressively in production, in a clear, visible, and transparent manner, in which people can see the future benefits.

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“Now more than ever, our nation needs a clear and urgent move from consumption to production by prioritizing and investing in human development which will go towards providing a sure and lasting solution to many of our challenges of today.

“That is the surest way to put us on a path of developmental growth. This is the spirit of the New Nigeria we are clamouring for.”

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WE DIDN’T RECEIVE ANY MONEY, SAYS MAKINDE

Speaking on Thursday during the inauguration of the renovated Iseyin Central Mosque, Seyi Makinde, governor of Oyo, said his state did not receive the sum from the federal government as stated by Akpabio.

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Makinde also said other state governors did not receive the sums as alleged, because he would have been privy to the development as vice-chair of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF).

Makinde said his administration is doing its best to mitigate the hardship being faced by residents of the state.

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The Oyo governor urged leaders in the nation to instill confidence and hope in the citizenry in these trying times, rather than play politics.

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