Port Harcourt — A Member of the House of Representatives from Rivers State, Hon. Farah Dagogo, has tasked the Federal Government to jettison the planned $800 million cash transfers to about 50 million Nigerians that would serve as cushion for fuel subsidy removal.
Recall that the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, recently announced that the federal government has secured the sum of $800 million from the World Bank, as part of its post-subsidy palliative plans to be distributed to 10 million households, which according to her is equivalent to about 50 million Nigerians.
But the lawmaker, who represents Degema/Bonny Federal Constituency in the House of Reps, rather wants the money invested in visible and critical sectors such as education and health that would be beneficial to majority of Nigerians, since the transparency of the proposed cash transfers to vulnerable Nigerians cannot be guaranteed.
Dagogo reacting on the developemnt in his special Easter message, faulted and dismissed some of the claims of the Minister, especially the assertion that the country already has a National Social Register for 10 million vulnerable households from where the $800 million will be distributed to.
According to the lawmaker, as Nigerians join the rest of the world to celebrate Easter, the underlying importance of the period which centers on sacrifices by Jesus Christ ‘ should be emulated by ensuring that the workability of the set aside $800 million from the World Bank is adhered to and reflected with transparency and honesty.
“As Nigerians are sacrificing their fuel subsidy benefits, it should be for a general improvement in the educational and health sectors not some phantom list of names compilations which is already fraught with deceit’.
” Easter is a period when we Christians devote our time to reflect on the role of Jesus Christ in our lives and resolve to walk the path of moral regeneration. This period of grace is even more philosophical in view of the fact that it was preceded by the Lenten Season which, itself is a holy period for we Christians. It is then succinct that the Nigerian Government also take lessons and relate it to dealings with its citizens especially with the first $800 million fuel subsidy removal palliative.
” I consider it disingenuous on the part of the Federal Government to say Nigeria has a Social Register for 10 million vulnerable households, which they translated to be 50 million Nigerians. Just as I am finding it difficult wrapping my brain around it, so also are majority of Nigerians bemused.
“At this juncture, Nigerians, particularly, its government, should continuously meditate on the central message and the purpose of Jesus Christ’s birth, death and resurrection which ultimately led to the liberation of mankind from sin, should be emulated by ensuring that the workability of the set aside $800 million from the World Bank is adhered to and reflected with transparency and honesty.
“As Nigerians are sacrificing their fuel subsidy benefits, it should be for a general improvement in the educational and health sectors not some phantom list of names compilations which is already fraught with deceit.
“At this propitious time, that we celebrate the death, resurrection and ascension into heaven of our Lord Jesus Christ, which ultimately liberated mankind from sins, I enjoin us all, including our government, to continuously meditate on the central message and the purpose of our Lord’s birth, death and resurrection by ruminating on the essence of life and the responsibility to look out for each other, especially as it relates to those holding such responsibilities in trust, and be our brother’s keepers.
” It is my fervent wish and prayer that this auspicious period will usher in a new dawn of renewed hope, growth, development, peaceful and prosperous Nigeria.”