A non-governmental organisation,Policy House International (PHI), Monday disclosed that only ten states in Nigeria have been able to clearly account for the N2b so far released to each state by the federal government as part of palliative measures to cushion the effect of the removal of subsidy on petrol.
Taiwo Akerele, the Executive Director of PHI,told journalists in Benin City said this amounts to only 27.7of state governors accounting for the N72b so far released by the federal government.
He implored President Bola Tinubu to engage the governors on accounting for what they have received before releasing the remainder.
He said, “The federal government has released N72billion to all the 36 states of the country which accounted for 40 percent of the total pledged amount of N5bn per state but unfortunately, out of the 36 states, only ten states have come out with clear plans and ten states amount to only 27.7 percent so for us this is woeful, it is not a pass mark so we need to have the plans of the state governors on what they want to do with the N2billion that has been released so far.”
“From the ten states, food and transportation is their focus which is fine but they need to expand the windows and the basket of utilization that can reach out to more people in the states.
“Twenty six states are silent and this is not good for us and as we speak, the governors are agitating for the release of the balance N108 billion but unfortunately there is a gap because they have not accounted for what they have used the released N72billion for.
“We in Policy House International are of the view that Mr. President has to stand his ground to ensure that these resources are channeled to areas that affect the poor the most in these states and for Mr. President to release the balance funds, he has to sit down with the governors to agree on fund utilization; what do they want to use these funds for because the National Bureau of Statistics say that over 130 million Nigerians are poor and this is an opportunity for us to reach out to them.
“Based on our research, we are of the view that food production and its associated value chain is key so Mr. President has to stand his ground that most of these money should go into food production, then mass transportation support services and then basic health services; the governors need to invest in primary healthcare and its support staff, then of course school feeding and then support to MSMEs.
“There has to be an agreement on the social register that will be used to make cash transfers and aides to the poorest of the poor.The president has to stand up, hold the governors accountable and ensure that there is accountability for the resources released.”