Kogi, Others Received 30Billion Each To Fight Hunger – Akpabio

by J.J Olawuyi

Senate President Godswill Akpabio has disclosed an “unverified report” suggesting that state governors in Nigeria received an additional N30 billion each from the Federation Account to help alleviate the effects of inflation and the soaring cost of living in their states. This comes after an earlier announcement that N2 billion was disbursed to governors out of a N5 billion loan intended as a palliative measure following the removal of fuel subsidies.

During a recent Senate session, Akpabio mentioned that this supplementary N30 billion was distributed through the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), in addition to the original tranche of funds. He urged the governors to use these resources wisely to ensure food availability and address other pressing issues facing the country.

Amidst this backdrop, various protests have erupted across Nigeria, with citizens demonstrating against the high prices of food and other commodities. Recent protests were reported in Ibadan, Minna, and Sokoto, where residents called for immediate government action to mitigate the economic hardship.

Akpabio, however, suggested that many of these protests are orchestrated by groups with the intention of opposing the federal government. He emphasized the Senate and federal government’s ongoing efforts to combat inflation and improve living conditions, stating that the goal is to ensure that Nigerians have access to food without resorting to importing it.

He attributed the current economic challenges to a combination of factors including COVID-19, insecurity, and the N30 trillion Ways and Means advancement taken by the previous administration from the Central Bank of Nigeria, which has put significant pressure on the country’s financial system.

In a broader perspective, Deputy Senate President Barau Jibrin highlighted that the economic difficulties faced by Nigeria are not unique, pointing out that other countries, including the United Kingdom and the United States, are also dealing with similar issues. Jibrin emphasized the global nature of the economic downturn, exacerbated by the Russia-Ukraine war and conflicts in the Middle East, which have led to a worldwide increase in commodity prices.

He reassured that the federal government is actively working to address these challenges and called for a collaborative effort from state governments and local authorities to contribute to resolving the crisis. Jibrin also mentioned personal initiatives by senators and members of the House of Representatives to distribute grains to their constituencies, urging state and local governments to take similar actions to support the federal government’s efforts in alleviating the economic burden on Nigerians.

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