Kwara State Governor AbdulrRasaq AbdurRahman has urged public support for the federal government’s reform on petroleum resources and reassured that the near future of the country is bright.
Governor AbdulrRasaq also pledged that his administration will allocate more resources to public welfare to alleviate the impacts of subsidy removal on Kwara residents.
Rafiu Ajakaye, Press Secretary to the Governor, revealed this on Tuesday, July 25, 2023.
While addressing APC stakeholders in Ilorin on Monday, the Governor re-emphasised that the decision to remove fuel subsidy was the lesser evil open to President Tinubu. He maintained that if the FG had made the move to print more naira notes to finance fuel subsidy, then the economy would have collapsed, resulting in greater harm.
“At the moment, we will concentrate more on funding welfare programmes in order to keep the economy going and help the people cope with the temporary discomfort. This means we’ll slow down on other things that do not specifically address this need,” the Governor told a crowd of APC stakeholders and community leaders.
Among them are the Deputy Governor Kayode Alabi; Rt. Hon. Speaker Yakubu Danladi Salihu; principal officers and members of the House; APC Chairman Prince Sunday Fagbemi; Ambassador Nuhu Mohammed; Senator Ahmed Mohammed; Oloriewe Raheem Adedoyin; and Pa Oyin Zubair.
The Governor said, “We have rolled out several palliatives that cover different sectors, including medical workers, teachers, small and medium scale. Those who are not immediately covered will be taken on board very soon. We appeal for patience. We are working with the Federal Government to ease the temporary pains of the removal of fuel subsidy. Very soon, things will normalise, and we will be better for it.
“We will also reach out to the most vulnerable members of the society. President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has advised all states to go ahead and look at ways of mitigating the effects of the subsidy removal until the labour and Federal government reach an agreement on the new minimum wage. That’s why we rolled out new palliatives which include N10,000 transport allowance for workers. There will be food distribution, among several other interventions we announced yesterday.”
He added, “The federal government is also selling fertilisers and maize to state governments. The former CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele had bought a lot of fertilizers and maize which the federal government will now sell to the state governments and the states will pass it on to the public in ways to be determined.
“The challenges of mitigating the effects of fuel subsidy removal is an ongoing exercise which we will continue to look at. Not everybody will be captured from day one because of the cost of implementing the programmes. For example, nurses alone will receive about N60m a month under the new arrangement. If you look at it over a year, it is over N700m.
“So, when you look at the numbers, we are heading to a situation where all our statutory allocations and IGR are going into paying salaries. But for now, that is what we need to do to make sure people feed well and they are okay and then continue other businesses. It is important that we be our brothers’ keepers. Our efforts will not be confined to civil servants’ welfare alone. So, through KWASSIP, we will reach out to other segments of the society and also through food distribution like we did during COVID-19.”
Reacting to the governor’s speech, one of the APC leaders, Prince Sunday Fagbemi, stated his satisfaction with the administration’s second term in office for creating an enabling avenue for Kwarans to enjoy more dividends. He urged members for collective support in making the efforts fruitful.
He stated, “I want to start by congratulating the Governor on his re-election, his emergence as NGF Chairman and the conferment on him of the Commander of the Order of Niger (CON). I also congratulate those of us who worked assiduously and ensured victory in the last election.
“It is unity that is foremost required at this juncture. And I want to assure each and every one of us that the second term of the Governor will be better than the former, and I request that we cooperate with him, knowing fully well that he has some other assignments to perform at the national level. I believe that this era will bring more progress to Kwara State.”