Civil Rights Activists Urge FG To Invest N500bn Palliative Funds In Infrastructure

Civil rights activists have demerited the National Assembly’s approval of President Bola Tinubu’s request of N500bn to soften the effects of the removal of fuel subsidy on the poor.

The activists stressed that the money is better invested in infrastructure because there is no dependable data system to carry out a transparent, impactful process.

They reacted on Thursday, following Tinubu’s move for “approval of an additional $800m for the funding of the National Safety Programme” under which the Federal Government will transfer N8,000 monthly to 12,000,000 poor and low-income households for six months.

The cash is said to be digitally transfered directly to the bank accounts and mobile wallets of beneficiaries.

The Executive Director of the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, Auwal Rafsanjani, said Nigerians do not need N8,000 monthly, but relief through infrastructure in the transportation, electricity, food production,, health care and other sectors.

Rafsanjani said that sharing of money would result to having funds that would not be accounted for.

“I think what Nigerians are looking for is relief in the area of transportation facilities. Nigerians are looking for relief in the area where potential services like electricity are stable, places where they can invest in food productions, areas where they can get relief in terms of healthcare.

“There are no frameworks on how to identify the vulnerable. Also, the mechanism for sharing the money is also not in place. There is some guide for community leaders, religious leaders, labour leaders, civil society groups, and even the NBA and FIDA.

“If you want to do a transparent something and to ensure that the money goes to the right set of persons, you must have this category of persons in every community, and what they should do is to ensure that any money that will be given should go to the entire local government such that the money is not in the hands of one agency,” he noted.

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