In a recent interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today show, Joe Ajero, the President of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), expressed concern over the Federal Government’s N5 billion palliative package per state, emphasizing that its impact would be minimal considering the dire circumstances faced by over 133 million multi-dimensionally poor Nigerians.
Ajero pointed out that when divided among the vast population of impoverished individuals, the N185 billion allocated for the palliative package would barely make a significant difference. Drawing from statistics provided by the National Bureau of Statistics, he argued that even if the funds were converted into six trailers of rice, the share for each person would amount to nothing more than a mere cup of rice.
The Labour Union leader further highlighted the exacerbating poverty situation in the country. He attributed the ongoing trend of people slipping into extreme poverty to the successive increments in the price of petroleum. Ajero expressed his skepticism about the proposed palliative, suggesting that its impact would be difficult to discern, particularly when juxtaposed with the alarming data that showcases the extent of multi-dimensional poverty in Nigeria.
Referring to the figures from the Bureau of Statistics, Ajero questioned the effectiveness of allocating N185 billion to over 133 million individuals who are already classified as multi-dimensionally poor. He lamented that despite the transition from the initial rise in fuel prices to the latest escalation, a significant number of Nigerians had regressed from the edge of poverty to a state of profound deprivation.
In conclusion, Ajero underlined that even if the N185 billion were to be considered a palliative rather than a loan, the impact it would have during such a critical period, when a large portion of the population faces multi-dimensional poverty, would be nominal at best. The NLC President encouraged a deeper evaluation of the allocation’s effectiveness, questioning whether N1500 per person truly reflects the impactful change that is required.