Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Pst Umo Eno, has inaugurated an 18–man committee to handle the distribution of palliatives sent by the federal government to cushion the effects of fuel subsidy removal on the people of the state.
Speaking while inaugurating the Committee in Uyo, on Wednesday the governor charged members to ensure even and equitable distribution of the materials to all and sundry, especially the vulnerable in the society.
Pst Eno who disclosed that the state has received 3,000 bags of rice from the federal government tasked the Committee to evaluate and recommend to the state government other measures, to add to the FG’s palliatives.
He stressed that the distribution should be done with reference to economic realities and availability of funds in the State, within a time frame of two weeks.
“Apart from the recommendations, we have to know how you want us to make it trigger down so that you will also be part of the implementation not just for Civil Servants but for Akwa Ibomites generally, particularly to the most vulnerable, those who really need these things.
“I am going to make sure I do whatever it takes to ensure that we cushion the effects of all of these but it has to be within the capacity of the State Government”, he stated.
Restating his administration’s commitment to workers’ welfare in the state, the Governor thanked the organized labour for the cooperation his administration has enjoyed, especially the peaceful conduct of the August 2 protest, describing the action as lawful and in line with the tenets of democracy.
He said: “We will continue to ensure that we energize our workforce because that is the engine room of government. We will handle every issue that has to do with gratuity and all of that.
“By the grace of God, there will hardly be any two months that we don’t do something about gratuity”, the Governor added.
Speaking with newsmen after the inauguration, the NLC Chairman, Comrade Sunny James, commended the Governor’s integrity in keeping to his promise of setting up the Committee even before the expiration of his promised ten days and gave assurances of labour’s support to ensure the palliatives get to those deserving it in the state.
Comrade Sunny James stated that beyond food for the poorest of the poor, the current cost of transportation has jeopardized the economic fortune of workers and therefore called on the government at the federal and state levels to consider palliative measures to also cushion such difficulties
The Committee is made up of the Secretary to the State Government, Prince Enobong Uwah, as Chairman, Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr. Frank Archibong as Secretary, Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Sunny James and fifteen other members drawn from Government, Organized Labour and Civil Society Organisations as members.