The Gombe State Governor, Muhammadu Yahaya, said that they have received N2 billion out of the N5 billion subsidy removal palliative set by the Federal Government.
Yahaya, who doubles as Chairman Northern States Governors’ Forum made this disclosure on Wednesday at the grand finale of the distribution of palliatives at the Gombe Emir’s palace ground.
Our correspondent reports that since last week when the governor inaugurated the distribution in Yalmatu Deba, the committee headed by the chairman of Gombe State Emergency Management Agency has toured around Nine LGAs sharing palliatives across households, and polling units.
Some of the items distributed include five kg of rice, two bags of fertiliser and two litres of pesticides, carton of macaroni or spaghetti.
According to Yahaya, there won’t be a miracle as perceived by those who learned about the Federal Government’s N5b, disclosing that so far only N2b has hit the state coffers.
He said, “We have been going round distributing across the 11 Local Government Areas. This is just a step in anticipation of what the Federal Government will give in order to provide the palliative as a result of the injuries inflicted on people because of subsidy removal because there is dislocation in the country and there are problems most of which didn’t start even now but we have to address now.
That is why I’m emphasising that people that got these must go and use it well especially if you have a farm you can use the two fertiliser bags to ensure there is productivity on your farm.
“For those anticipating that as a result of the N5b that the Federal Government is giving to the states that there will be miracle at this N2b only hit the account of Gombe State Government and we have N2b worth of rice according to the palliative committee that we can buy as the next money is disbursed to us and grains, especially maize that we received from Central Bank that is worth N1b.
“I have my doubt as to whether the Federal Government through CBN, or through any of its agencies has that much in the reserve. For instance the grain silos in Gombe which is owned by Federal Ministry of Agriculture has been leased to a private company meaning the 25,000 tons that should have been strategic grain reserve is already out of control of the government in the private hands.
“If you give N3b and ask that we go to the market and buy directly from the market it will add more inflation and the prices will go up again and the problem will persist,” he added.
Yahaya noted that he was not pleased with palliatives, describing them as curative measures instead of preventive maintenance which would cure hunger.
“We shall carefully look at how best to utilise our own money and ensure it gets to the correct set of people. The deputy governor will take charge of ensuring we implement the Federal Government palliatives so that it gets to the right persons.
“We have given out palliative package. I’m not happy that we are sharing palliatives I will prefer we teach people to go back to farm so that they can produce what they eat, that is what government should do instead of sharing palliatives because we are in a situation we caused ourselves.
“We backtrack, think twice, and do the needful, and inshallah I promise that I will give that effective leadership required so that together we can move forward,” Yahaya said.