Nigeria don’t have Budget for Palliatives – Shina Peller

A member of the House of Representatives from Iseyin/Itesiwaju/Kajola/Iwajowa Federal constituency, Oyo State, Hon. Shina Peller, says there’s a huge misinformation gap amongst the Nigerian populace, who mostly can’t properly differentiate between the role of the legislature and the executive arms of government.

The Iseyin-born federal legislator made this known on his social media platforms, Instagram and Facebook, where he described the FG cash transfer intervention as “Vague,” and went further to harp on the pressure been mounted on members of the House of Representatives by their constituents to dole out palliatives without considering that there is no budget made available for such.

The post reads in part:

“A member of the House of Representatives is a bridge between the FG and the people, but due to the failed system of our Nation, people are misinformed and frequently look up to lawmakers as “executives” believing there’s a budget for them to be used to cater for all their individual needs.”

Furthermore, he said many of his colleagues in the green chamber are facing undue pressure from their constituents, and Nigerians for cash interventions and palliatives during this COVID-19 pandemic, which is definitely a trying period for all.

In the same vein, Hon. Peller said there’s only little lawmakers can do, as their duty is to make laws that would cushion the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, and make life a little easier for Nigerians.

However, Peller added that lawmakers understand that these times are hard for everyone, and that’s why they have been sensitizing their constituents through all means available and providing hand sanitizers, face masks and gloves to ensure they keep safe.

He enjoined the Federal Government to carry all stakeholders along in its Cash intervention programme during the COViD-19 pandemic, as there is a public outcry as to who falls under the vulnerable Nigerian, and the yardstick used to ascertain this group of Nigerians.

In line with the method of disbursement, the Federal Lawmaker also proposed a more effective strategy that could be beneficial to the masses than what is currently being run by the Federal Government. He suggests that the intervention funds will trickle down to those below the pyramid if it’s distributed at the ward levels and supervised by lawmakers.

The post reads in part:

“For the sake of practicality, let’s break this down using this simple example, I represent 4 Local Government Areas in my Federal Constituency namely ISEYIN, ITESIWAJU, KAJOLA, IWAJOWA LG areas of Oyo State – If I supervise the distribution of N10 million to 500 people at N20k per head in a Local Government Area. It will be more cost-effective and the impact will trickle down. And for accountability, the list of all beneficiaries and their account numbers would be pasted on a notice board at the ward level”.

He said, there should be a synergy between the House of Representatives and the Ministry in charge of disbursing the COVID-19 cash intervention as the grassroots can be more reached by elected members who could supervise the distribution of the palliatives by the F.G.

Shina Peller made it clear that he’s not suggesting that the money be sent to Federal lawmakers for disbursement but rather advocating for better synergy for the effective distribution of such cash intervention to the vulnerable in our society.

In his words, “ that’s the only way 52 billion Naira for 2.6M households can be accounted for and verifiable”.

In emphasizing his argument, Hon. Shina Peller says he believes that the poorest of the poor have not been adequately captured in the National Social Register, as it’s outdated.
He told Newsviewpoint that he has been reliable informed by his sources that the COVID-19 palliative made available by the Government is been used to service existing structures.

“The funds is tagged “Covid19 palliatives” and shouldn’t interfere or be misconstrued with the already existing structures of the NSIP or the Household Upliftment Programme”.
“Nigeria is a country without accurate data system. And using data from 2016 for a 2020 programme cannot in anyway reflect the current realities of things, nor can it be encompassing”.

“How many of the 2016 beneficiaries are still alive?, How many of them are still poor?, What happens to the families that have become poor after 2016? These questions are gray areas begging for answers”.

Infact, many of the poor people do not have access to the internet, no bank accounts, no phone, and some are not even aware that the F.G has palliatives for them during the Covid-19 pandemic. They have been blinded by the already existing structure of N5,000 monthly that bearly gets to them.

He went on to advise the Federal Government to consider working closely with members of the House of Representatives to ensure that every constituency is properly captured in the COVID-19 cash intervention for accountability and transparency.

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