The Akwa Ibom State Government has officially acknowledged the receipt of N2 billion in funds and 3,000 bags of rice, which were part of the palliatives pledged by the Federal Government.
Governor Umo Eno confirmed this development during a press conference held on Tuesday in Uyo. The announcement was made as he received the report of the Palliatives Committee, which had been established by the state government.
These palliatives were initiated by the Federal Government to assist citizens and mitigate the impact of the fuel subsidy removal. Governor Eno shared that the state government was committed to utilizing the resources effectively to create employment opportunities, stimulate economic growth, and enhance cash flow within the rural communities.
To achieve this, the governor unveiled plans to implement a project in each Local Government Area, intending to employ local contractors from those areas. These contractors would then recruit residents to work on the projects, thereby increasing their productivity and purchasing power. Eno emphasized that the collaboration between the local government chairmen and the State Executive Council would be pivotal in identifying specific areas of need to be addressed through this initiative.
Governor Eno conveyed, “What we have received so far from the Federal Government is N2 billion and 3,000 units of 50kg bags of rice. We believe that the other portions will follow. If the Federal Government intends to donate a total of N5 billion, the committee’s recommendations reflect an additional N5 billion, resulting in a total estimated palliative value of N10 billion.”
Furthermore, Governor Eno emphasized the importance of distributing these palliatives impartially across party lines and to all residents of the state, especially those in rural communities. He urged the committee to ensure that the distribution process adhered to this inclusivity principle.
“The distribution of the palliatives should transcend party affiliations. This is not about PDP or APC; it’s about Akwa Ibom and its people. Let’s ensure that this initiative is embraced by everyone, as we take it to the villages for distribution,” Governor Eno stated.
The Chairman of the Palliatives Committee and the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Enobong Uwah, expressed gratitude to the governor for establishing the committee. Uwah highlighted that the committee had worked meticulously to formulate recommendations that would ensure the equitable distribution of palliatives, particularly to the economically vulnerable segments of society.
Among the committee’s recommendations are providing a three-month financial support to civil servants, approving a four-day workweek for civil servants, reducing transportation ticket costs, lowering market women’s daily ticket prices, disbursing bursaries to students, offering free medications for pregnant women, children, and the elderly, and providing buses for commuting workers.
The Akwa Ibom State Government’s receipt of these palliatives underscores its commitment to addressing the socio-economic implications of fuel subsidy removal while promoting an inclusive and holistic approach to distribution.