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Petrol subsidy palliatives: PDP accuses Gov. Alia of withholding information



Benue state Governor Hyacinth Alia announced on Tuesday that the state government has received N2 billion from the Federal Government as part of the N5 billion petrol subsidy reduction palliative owed the state.

The Governor made the announcement in Makurdi while kicking off the distribution of National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, relief goods to homes impacted by the state’s 2022 flood calamity under the Special National Economic and Livelihood Emergency Intervention, SNELEI.

The Governor made the clarification in response to the Benue state Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) concern about the government’s alleged non-disclosure.

The PDP stated in a statement issued in Makurdi by the State Publicity Secretary, Bemgba Iortyom, that “Benue State PDP and indeed the people find as troubling Governor Alia’s continued silence over the package sent to the state, which we understand consists in trucks of food items and N5 billion, the same as was given to each of the 36 states of the federation.”

“It is widely known that many other state governments across the country have since distributed the palliatives to their people, with some even supplementing the package with their own resources, but Governor Alia in Benue State has not said anything about it.”

“This raises serious concerns for us as a party, especially given the governor’s track record as a man who is deeply uneasy with the demands for transparency and accountability in the management of public resources.”

“Questions already agitating the state’s populace include whether Governor Alia has received Benue’s share of the palliatives or not.” If he has gotten the gifts, how will he distribute them? “Who are his intended beneficiaries, and what are they likely to receive?”PDP urges Governor Hyacinth Alia to break free from his cocoon of quiet and secrecy around the palliatives and shine light on the situation.

“The governor’s continued silence, combined with the concomitant delay in the distribution of palliatives, aggravates the sufferings of the intended beneficiaries, in the reality that ‘Benefits delayed are benefits denied.”

“The PDP also urges Governor Alia to resist any temptation or pressure from his cronies to play politics with the palliatives, and to ensure that the packages reach the suffering and vulnerable people of Benue State for whom they are intended.”

The Governor added, in what looked to be a direct reaction to the PDP, that the government had put in place processes for the disbursement of the N5 billion and five trucks of rice allotted to the state by the Federal Government.

He stated that the state government will use a portion of the monies to register graduating students in all government-approved secondary schools in the state for the 2023/2024 academic year for the WAEC and NECO examinations.

The Governor also stated that the government would provide intensive computer and ICT training to 2,000 state youth in order for them to obtain jobs both within and outside the state, and that grants would be provided to 5,000 women in the state based on the revised social register of women cooperatives.

He said that the government planned to buy 100 Hummer buses for the state-owned transportation company, as well as shuttle buses in the three major towns of Makurdi, Gboko, and Otukpo, to improve mobility inside the towns.

He also stated that the administration wanted to pay one-month pension arrears to state and local government pensioners, as well as deliver bags of rice to each of the state’s 23 LGAs, among other things.

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