Since the removal of fuel subsidy, the Tinubu-led federal government has disclosed the surge in the revenue available for sharing among the three tiers of government: FG, State and Local Government.
Following the monthly revenue increase, all states in the South Western region except Osun have disclosed measures they would be taking to cushion the effects of the subsidy removal. Notable among measures by Lagos state are 50% reduction in the cost of BRT, 25% reduction in the cost of Danfo (yellow) buses, sales of food items at LCDAs at augmented rates, one year free health care especially natal care including deliveries that involve Caesarean Sections(CS) etc.
Oyo state, an equally PDP governed state like Osun, has facilitated inter & intra city buses for the public at discounted rate while students would enjoy free transportation. The state government has further plans of supports to farmers, training/empowerment for the youths, etc.
In the case of Ogun state, as well, palliatives have been initiated to ameliorate the subsidy removal shock. Worthy of note among the 14 points measures is the mandate on Gateway Trading Company to establish outlets where food items would be supplied at reduced rate, #10k cash transfer to civil servants and pensioners, provision of soft loans to farmers and SMEs etc.
Notwithstanding that Ondo state is under the leadership of an acting governor, the state government has similarly announced the conversion of all government buses to shuttle buses to ease transportation. Payment of #10k to pensioners and vulnerable, free ferry and life jacket service to those in riverine areas have also been provided.
Even Ekiti state that is less economically viable than Osun announced her palliative on Wednesday to include payment of 2020 and 2021 promotion arreas to civil servants, free mass transit buses, free health and medical attention under the state’s health insurance scheme, soft loans support to farmers and SMEs, #5k transfer to 10,000 households etc.
As five (5) out of six (6) states in the South West region have outlined the direction they are going in cushioning the effect of the subsidy removal, Osun being the only state remaining sadly appears clueless and don’t know the way to go. We are not unaware that Osun monthly allocation has increased in recent time. But strangely, the state governor is yet to roll out his own palliatives. What could be responsible for this non-challant attitude of Sen. Adeleke and his men? Is it that they derive pleasure in seeing Osun citizens run berserk on account of economic hardship occasioned by the subsidy removal?
Sen. Ademola Nurudeen Adeleke, which way, sir?
A Public/Political Affairs Analyst.
Osogbo, Osun State.