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Group Seeks Transparent Implementation Of N5bn Palliatives To States

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The Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA Resource Center) has emphasized the need for transparency and accountability in the allocation and utilisation of the five billion Naira relief funds provided to states by the Federal Government.

In a statement released on Sunday, Mr. Olanrewaju Suraju, the Chairman of HEDA, called for greater openness and responsibility in handling the distribution and utilisation of the financial support.

This call comes in response to the announcement made by the federal government on August 17th, stating that each state of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) would receive five billion naira as relief to mitigate the impact of the removal of fuel subsidy on the populace.

Suraju pointed out that the decision to eliminate petrol subsidy has underscored the importance of having comprehensive and well-defined plans to ensure the effective allocation of resources for the welfare of the citizens.

HEDA firmly believes that a clearly outlined roadmap detailing the disbursement and oversight of these funds is crucial to prevent any potential misuse, mismanagement, diversion, or corruption, which have been observed in the past with similar initiatives like SURE-P, among others.

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The Chairman urged all state governments to present detailed implementation strategies that showcase their dedication to responsible resource allocation.

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HEDA also directed its attention to President Bola Tinubu, urging proactive measures to guarantee the efficiency and transparency of the financial support program, as administered by the fund’s managers.

“Transparent budgeting and regular updates on the utilisation of the funds will foster public trust but also provide a mechanism for citizens to actively participate in overseeing the progress of projects aimed at easing the impact of the subsidy removal.”

“We propose the involvement of institutions like the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to serve as a monitoring and evaluation team for the execution of these projects.”

“We charge all stakeholders, community associations, professional groups, religious institutions and artisan/labour unions to actively engage the process and demand transparent and accountable administration of the funds.

“This approach will undoubtedly enhance accountability, curb corruption, and enhance the overall impact of the support initiative.

“We call upon all stakeholders, including government agencies, Civil Society Organisations, and the general public, to collectively ensure that the allocated funds are utilised judiciously and in alignment with the intended goals.

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