The Edo State governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has faulted the sharing formula for the Federal Government’s conditional cash transfer programme and the distribution of other social amenities.
He said this when he received the executive chairman of the Federal Character Commission, on a courtesy visit to the Government House, in Benin City, Edo State.
Obaseki said: “In terms of fair distribution of social services, the commission has not done much. It should focus on that area. You are focusing on these social services and amenities at a time when the economy of the nation is depressed and not growing at all.
The governor said: “Some of the things that happened in the recent past can’t be spoken about publicly. I urge the commission never to allow what happened during the sharing of conditional cash transfer from the Federal Government to happen again.
“Nigerians are not happy and are angry with the way the conditional cash transfer and sharing of social and economic amenities were handled. The commission needs to look at that and never allow it to happen again.”
Noting that the visit came at the right time as it was necessary to address the lingering issues troubling Nigerians, Obaseki said: “Our founding fathers thought it wise that, in order to preserve the unity of this country, they needed to create a commission that would complement the policy which ensured that every Nigerian will feel that they are part of the country. This was done so that whatever belongs to the country would be equitably and fairly distributed to all parts of the country.
“Thank you for keeping the spirit of the constitution alive and trying to enforce the constitution as many people feel marginalised in spite of the effort of the commission. Nigerians feel they are not getting what is due them.”
He continued: “The cake we are trying to share in this country is becoming too small as our focus is to build a bigger cake that will be equitably shared. Everybody should be made to contribute something to the national cake for it to be enough for us to share.
“You have done well as you go about to implement the first task of your mandate, which is ensuring equitable distribution of positions. In fairness, you have done well in that regard.”
Earlier, executive chairman, Federal Character Commission, Dr. Muheeba Dankaka, said the visit is in continuation of her engagements with critical stakeholders in the country, adding: “Upon assumption of office, I made it a matter of policy to consult widely and drink from the wealth of experiences of our leaders of thought like you to guide my actions in the course of my assignment.
“The Federal Character Commission was established with a primary focus of ensuring a strong, virile and indivisible nation, based on fairness, equity and justice, to promote national unity, foster national loyalty and give every citizen of Nigeria a sense of belonging to the nation, notwithstanding the diversities of ethnic origin, culture, language or religion, which may exist.”