From Peter Okore, Umuahia
Abia State Government says it has received a consignment of 3,000 50kg bags of rice from the federal government as palliative for distribution across the state.
It has also received N2 billion from the federal government, out of the N5billion share allocation for the state.
Speaking with newsmen at the warehouse site located within the Government House,Umuahia, Special Adviser to the governor on policies and intervention and the state chairman for the sharing of federal government palliatives, Reverend Father Christian Anokwuru hinted that the quantity is far beyond their expectation.
According to him, distribution is expected to start soon, stressing that they target the poor and vulnerable across the state.
On the modalities for the distribution, Father Anokwuru said each ward of the 184 wards in the state would receive 14 bags, adding that instructions have been given to the people in- charge, on the categories of people that would benefit from the palliative.
He named members of the committee to comprises representatives from the Nigeria Labour Congress, Pensioners, political appointees and selected members.
While expressing hope that more consignments would come to the state, the clergyman assured Abians of transparency in the sharing formula.
The Nigeria Labour Congress,NLC, representated by Comrade Okoro Ogbonnaya, however, expressed disappointment on the number quantity of rice received from federal government, saying that the state government is still expecting 14,000 bags more.
He said the NLC has already advised the government that Civil servants on salary Grade level 1 to 6 should be given special consideration in the distribution exercise.
In his own remarks a representative of the Nigerian Union of Pensioners, NUP, Elder Umar Kalu, said the distribution would be smooth , devoid of any shaddy practices or influences.
Also making his own contribution on the palliative, the Deputy chief of staff in the Government House, Umuahia, Mr. Chinedu Ekeke disclosed that the state government also received 2 billion naira from the federal government, out of the 5billion naira that was being expected. He, however, stated that part of the money is coming as loan while part of it is grant.
He said, they hope to receive the remaining money in a later date