…says about 1.527 Million Edo Citizens benefits from Obaseki-Free Bus Ride Palliative
By Simeon OSAJIE
The Edo State government, today, 20th September, 2023, said the state is yet to get the N5 billion palliatives given to each states by the federal government to cushion the adverse effects of fuel subsidy removal on Nigerians.
Recall that President Bola Tinubu during his inaugural speech to the nation said “Fuel Subsidy is gone.”
The Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Chris Nehikhare disclosed this while addressing newsmen on how the state government has waded in in making life meaningful to its citizens by providing a free ride to its citizens in the state.
He said the state government has been trying to find out if the N2 billion received from the federal government is part of the palliatives promised by the federal government to states or the money owed states but answers were not forthcoming from the federal government.
“I am still seeking for clarification from the federal government if they are supporting us.
“I think you are aware that by the time the first set of FAAC was shared few months ago, the federal government did say that they are holding onto some states allocations.
“I am sure you are aware of that? Now, the federal government has not told us that if the N5 billion they promised the state is part of the money they held back or if it is from their own 52 percent of the FAC.
“I hope you know that there is a sharing formula, state takes 48 percent and the federal government 52 percent.
“If somebody is giving me from my allocations and I don’t think that, that person is doing me a favour but if he is taking from his 52 percent to give us N5 billion for each states, then we will tell the federal government thank you.
“But I have asked this question severally and I have not gotten response from the federal government if this N5 billion is what is constitutionally assigned to me (Edon State government) or if it is from their own 52 percent.
“What we are doing, is, and we continually do, is to make life better for Edo people and one of the things we have done, is to make sure that our people get free ride”, Nehikhare said.
While reeling out the successes of the free ride in the state as part of the state government’s palliatives, Commissioner Nehikhare said since the exercise was flagged off, September 11, 2023 over one million passengers have benefitted from the free rides within the city while about 33,000 persons have also boarded the vehicles to other part of the States.
He added that the state is re-validating its own data to ensure that palliatives get to the poorest of the poor, stressing that it will be devoid of politics.