The Benue State Government has unveiled plans for the disbursement of the N5 billion given by the Federal Government to cushion the toxic effects of subsidy removal on the citizens.
This was revealed by the state governor, Rev Fr. Hyacinth Alia, during the flag-off of the distribution of relief materials to victims of the 2022 flood in Makurdi.
He said the state government has received N2 billion out of the money allocated to the state and is expecting the next tranche of palliatives to mitigate the effects of the subsidy removal.
He said the state government would use the funds to register students of government secondary schools for the West African Examination Council (WAEC) and National Examination Council (NECO) examinations for the 2023/2024 academic year.
Alia added that the fund will be deployed to provide intensive computer and ICT training for 2000 youths of the state to enable them to acquire jobs within and outside the state.
He further disclosed that the planned intervention will provide grants to 5,000 women in the state based on the revised social register of the women’s cooperatives.
He noted that because of the hardship commuters are facing in the state due to subsidy removal, he will use the palliatives to purchase 100 new buses for the state-owned transport company, Benue Links, to provide services to the people of the state at a subsidized rate.
In the same vein, he said the palliatives will be used to provide shuttle buses in the three major towns of Makurdi, Gboko, and Otukpo to ease movement within the towns.
He added that the money will also be used to pay one-month pension arrears to state and local government retirees.
He said the palliatives will be used to provide food items like rice in large quantities to each of the 23 local government areas in the state, among other things.
He further expressed the hope that the remaining part of the money will be released to the state government coffers soon and called on the people to be patient as the government will soon start implementing the mentioned plans to cushion the effects of subsidy removal.
Recall that President Bola Tinubu pronounced a suspension of the fuel subsidy during his inauguration on 29th May 2023.