Gov. AbdulRazaq’s Example: Making Palliatives Work for the People by Babajide FADOJU

The removal of fuel subsidies in Nigeria has undoubtedly presented significant challenges for citizens across the country.

However, Kwara State, under the leadership of Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, stands out as a beacon of proactive governance and effective social safety nets.

Governor AbdulRazaq’s commitment to his people was evident from the start.

He recognized the immediate financial strain subsidy removal would place on public sector workers and acted swiftly.

The N10,000 wage award to civil servants serve as a lifeline, easing the burden of rising transportation costs.

This initiative not only provided immediate relief but also stood as a testament to the Governor’s understanding of the challenges faced by ordinary citizens.

Governor AbdulRazaq’s multi-pronged approach to mitigating the economic shock is a testament to his commitment to the well-being of his people.

The immediate and ongoing cash support of N10,000 for public sector workers provided a vital buffer against rising costs. Kwara was the first state to begin the payment before the federal government introduced it and other states followed suit.

Furthermore, the Governor’s recognition of the strain on healthcare workers is commendable.

His approval of new hazard and skipping allowances, and full CONMESS/CONHESS for medical personnel, not only incentivizes them to remain within the state’s healthcare system but also sends a strong message about valuing their vital contributions.

The staggered work schedule, a creative strategy championed by Kwara and now adopted by other states, effectively addressed transportation expenses, a major concern during the subsidy removal.

The work schedule, an action pointer from the Covid era was immediately initiated by the Governor.

With workers of the state government coming into the office three days in the week, the cost incurred on transportation is severely reduced.

Essential workforce were also rotated allowing more rest time for personnel.

This initiative highlights Governor AbdulRazaq’s willingness to explore unconventional solutions for the benefit of citizens.

His prompt intervention to combat fuel hoarding through a dedicated task force ensured residents wouldn’t face the additional burden of long queues and inflated prices.

This decisive action exemplifies the Governor’s commitment to protecting consumers and maintaining a fair market.

The Kwara State Social Investment Programmes (KWASSIP) played a crucial role in supporting vulnerable households and stimulating the informal economy.

Reaching over 124,000 households through targeted grants for petty traders, unemployed youth, and farmers is a commendable effort. Governor AbdulRazaq’s focus on both immediate relief and long-term economic growth is commendable.
Students were not forgotten either.

The one-time payment of N10,000 to all students in public tertiary institutions, along with the free bus initiative, demonstrates a clear understanding of the challenges faced by this demographic.

The transparent distribution of the N2 billion federal rice palliative, overseen by a non-partisan committee, and the additional state-funded rice distribution reaching over 500,000 households, underscore Governor AbdulRazaq’s commitment to ensuring equitable distribution of resources.

These initiatives not only provided much-needed food assistance but also helped maintain social stability during a difficult period.

Governor AbdulRazaq’s leadership during the subsidy removal serves as a model for other states. His multi-faceted approach, encompassing direct financial support, workforce incentives, consumer protection, economic stimulus, and transparent distribution of resources, effectively mitigated hardship and fostered a sense of security among Kwara residents.

As Nigeria navigates a complex economic landscape, Kwara State’s success story offers valuable lessons in effective governance and prioritizing the well-being of citizens.

Governor AbdulRazaq’s actions demonstrated a commitment to the well-being of all Kwara residents. His leadership provides valuable lessons for other states as Nigeria navigates the evolving economic landscape.

Several other states have since followed the footpath of Kwara State in prioritizing citizen welfare, a nod in the right direction for their policy.

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