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June 21, 2024

N5 bn palliative insufficient to alleviate poverty, declares NLC President

Joe Ajero, President of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), has raised concerns regarding the recently announced N5 billion palliative package per state by the Federal Government.

He asserted that this allocation would equate to a mere N1500 per individual when distributed among the staggering 133 million Nigerians entrenched in multidimensional poverty.

During an exclusive interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today show yesterday (Friday), Ajero voiced his reservations, contending that a sum of N185 billion would lack the necessary impact when shared amongst such an extensive demographic that is grappling with multifaceted poverty.

Drawing insights from the National Bureau of Statistics, he emphasized that even if the funds were converted into the equivalent of six trailer loads of rice, the resulting provision would scarcely amount to more than a fraction of a cup per person.

The head of the Labour Union underlined the stark reality that the nation’s populace has been pushed further into poverty, from the onset of fuel price hikes to the most recent increments.

Ajero pointed out that a substantial number of Nigerians have crossed the threshold into a substantially elevated level of impoverishment.

While acknowledging the allocation as a potential palliative rather than a loan, Ajero expressed skepticism about the potential impact of such a sum during the current period, particularly in light of statistics from the Bureau of Statistics indicating that over 133 million Nigerians endure multidimensional poverty.

Highlighting this grim reality, Ajero remarked, “You start to wonder about the impact of N185 billion on 133 million people who, according to their own admission, are multidimensionally poor.

“In fact, between the first and the most recent increase in petrol prices, many individuals transitioned from the brink of poverty to an even more severe state”

“If you perform the arithmetic, it becomes apparent that this wouldn’t exceed N1500 per person, prompting one to question whether this is the level of impact we aspire to achieve.” he said.

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Mustapha Salisu

Mustapha Salisu is a graduate of BSc. Information and Media Studies from Bayero University Kano, with experience in Communication Skills as well as Public Relations.

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