Bauchi State Government says it has received 2 billion out of the N5 billion the Federal Government of Nigeria promised to give states to cushion the effect of the fuel subsidy removal.
The Commissioner for Humanitarian and Disaster Management, Hajara Wanka, confirmed the receipt while briefing journalists on the template and modalities of sharing.
According to her, a larger percentage of the beneficiaries of the Federal Government subsidy removal palliative will be reached at their various polling units, while other sections of the beneficiaries will be reached through other channels.
Announcing the sharing mode, she said that N2 billion would be used to procure 88,889 25kg bags of rice for distribution to vulnerable groups in the state, adding that N800 million would be used to settle the gratuity of the state retirees.
She said that to avoid politics in the distribution process, the palliative distribution committee will be headed by traditional and religious leaders and monitored by the local government authorities, adding that the committee has also drafted the sharing formula for the remaining N3 billion.
Among the beneficiaries are women, people with disabilities (PWDs), and pensioners in the state.
In her words, “We suggested a model for sharing and we proposed consideration of the numbers of polling units as communities because it is through polling units that you will get to the grassroots and reach the deserving population,” she said.
“The sum of N2 billion has been earmarked for the purchase of 88,889 25kg bags of rice at the rate of N23,500 each. N500 million to be released to the State Pension Board and N300 million to the Local Government Pension Board for payment of gratuities.
“To those in active service, they have been owed for about 12 years, specifically a leave grant. It has been agreed that the sum of N680 million is earmarked for the payment of the leave grant of 2023.
She said that Health workers are not left out, adding that 1,000 health volunteers will be given unconditional cash transfers for six months, which totals N60 million.
The commissioner stressed that the most vulnerable targets, which are people living with disabilities, women social development workers, and non-partisan women’s groups, would also be given unconditional cash transfers in the sum of N325 million.
Wanka said that N76 million has also been allocated for the payment of unconditional cash transfers to the youths, adding that proactive measures have been evolved to ease transportation difficulties experienced by students.
She added that 10 new buses would also be purchased and deployed in the Bauchi metropolis, Azare, Ningi, and Misau.