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Edo State Govt commits N6b Annually to alleviate the Plight of vulnerable Residents

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By Aichienede Akhabue Goodluck

The Edo State Commissioner for Communication and Orientation, Mr. Chris Nehikhare, has revealed the State Government’s plan to expend the sum of N500 million monthly on payment of stipends from its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) to the poorest of the poor in the State, as part of measures aimed at alleviating the sufferings of residents, occasioned by the fuel subsidy removal policy of the Federal Government, which has caused untold hardships for the populace.

Mr. Nehikhare made the disclosure during a press briefing in his office in Benin City, noting that the gesture is in fulfillment of the promise made by the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led Administration to cushion the effects of the subsidy removal, especially on the vulnerable residents.

He said, “In line with the assurance Governor Obaseki gave to the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) during its warning strikes the previous week, the State Government announced the sum of N500 million to be given to the vulnerable citizens of the State at N20,000 per household, beginning from September, as palliative to cushion the biting effects of the removal of fuel subsidy and the rise in the cost of living.

“The N500 million would be taken from the State’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR). We have a reliable database of 314,000 households and over a million citizens which we compiled between 2019 and 2021 in conjunction with the world bank.”

According to him, “Exco resolved that we should revalidate and review the data. We have an effective and efficient database that will enable us to identify the very vulnerable in the State. During the period of revalidation and review, officers of Edo State Residency Cards Office will, in the company of the officials of NIN, capture and issue cards and identification numbers to these categories of persons. The State Residency Cards will have the data of all the potential recipients, and it will be the instrument through which they are credited, and they withdraw their stipends.”

Furthermore, the Commissioner explained that the security situation of the State has improved considerably, in view of the efforts of the State Government in training and retraining of the officers of the Edo State Security Network and as well the deployment of technology in taming crimes and criminality in the State.

“On security, the Government is retraining 1,500 Vigilantes at the Police Training College in Ogida Barracks for vigilante assignment. We are recommissioning them to make sure that they think like law enforcement agents and improve their efficiency and effectiveness for the security of Edo people. We want Edo State to be one of the safest states in the Country. That’s why we have regular training of vigilantes to make sure that we have a strong and properly motivated vigilante network,” Mr. Nehikhare added.

Similarly, the Commissioner, while speaking on the alleged impeachment saga of the Deputy Governor, noted “Exco condemned the action of the State Deputy Governor, H.E. Rt. Hon. Philip Shaibu, who last week dragged H.E. Governor Godwin Obaseki and four others to an Abuja Federal High Court over an alleged plan to impeach him as the Deputy Governor of the State. Exco was saddened by the action of the Deputy Governor, and condemned such in strong terms, as his impeachment claim was not a thing before he went to court.”

Also speaking, the Special Adviser to the State Governor on Media Projects, Mr. Crusoe Osagie, advised journalists to be wary of fake news, and that they should always validate their information before publishing, noting that some persons who are bent on sabotaging the progressive efforts of the State Government often go about with cheap blackmail and fake news.

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