The Benue State Government has announced preparations for the distribution of the N5 billion provided by the Federal Government to mitigate the negative effects of subsidy reduction on citizens.
This was announced by the state governor, Rev Fr. Hyacinth Alia, during the start of the distribution of relief materials to flood victims in Makurdi in 2022.
He stated that the state government has received N2 billion from the funds allotted to the state and anticipates the next tranche of palliatives to alleviate the consequences of subsidy elimination.
He stated that the cash would be used by the state government to enroll students from government secondary schools for the West African Examination Council (WAEC) and National Examination Council (NECO) exams for the 2023/2024 academic year.
Alia further stated that the amount will be used to provide rigorous computer and ICT training to 2000 state youngsters in order for them to obtain jobs both within and beyond the state.
He also revealed that the proposed intervention will pay grants to 5,000 women in the state based on the women cooperatives’ amended social registry.
He stated that because of the hardships that commuters in the state are experiencing as a result of the elimination of subsidies, he will utilize the palliatives to purchase 100 new buses for the state-owned transport business, Benue Links, to provide services to the people of the state at a subsidized rate.
Similarly, he stated that the palliatives will be utilized to offer shuttle buses in the three major towns of Makurdi, Gboko, and Otukpo in order to facilitate transportation within the towns.
He also stated that the funds would be utilized to pay one month’s worth of pension arrears to state and local government retirees.
He stated that the palliatives will be used to distribute food supplies such as rice in big amounts to each of the state’s 23 local government districts, among other things.
He also expressed hope that the remaining portion of the money would be given to state government coffers soon and urged the public to be patient as the government would soon begin executing the aforementioned strategies to mitigate the effects of subsidy removal.
Remember that President Bola Tinubu announced the cessation of fuel subsidies during his inauguration on May 29, 2023.