Amid expectations surrounding the allocation of a ₦5 billion palliative fund from the Federal Government, Nyesom Wike, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory Administration, has revealed that no firm decision has been reached on its utilization. Speaking after a meeting with project contractors in Abuja, Wike indicated that potential avenues for the fund’s deployment include transportation and food support, both of which hold significant relevance in the capital’s context.
Addressing reporters, Wike emphasized the importance of easing the transportation burden on citizens, particularly in terms of urban mass transit. He articulated the necessity of providing convenient means for people to access their destinations, beyond temporary relief like food assistance.
“We are yet to decide on what to do with the ₦5 billion palliative. We have not chosen any area yet. Are we going to concentrate on food? We are thinking that the issue of transportation is very, very important, particularly the urban mass transit,” Wike stated.
The allocation of the ₦5 billion palliative fund was announced by the Federal Government on August 17 as a measure to counterbalance the effects of removing the petrol subsidy. Several states, including the FCT, were designated to receive this relief fund, with some states already acknowledging receipt of ₦2 billion and awaiting the remaining ₦3 billion.
Interestingly, Wike disclosed that the FCT had initially been excluded from the disbursement of the ₦5 billion palliative. However, he highlighted that the situation changed after he submitted a memo to President Bola Tinubu, which led to the FCT’s inclusion. He confirmed President Tinubu’s approval and expressed optimism that the FCTA would soon secure its portion of the fund.
As deliberations continue, the FCT remains at a crossroads, contemplating the most impactful ways to employ the allocated resources for the welfare of its residents.