Benue State Governor Hyacinth Alia, on Tuesday, cleared the air on the amount of money and other palliatives the state received from the Federal Government to cushion the impact of subsidy removal on citizens.
The state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party had accused Governor Alia of maintaining silence over the N5billion and food items sent to each states of the federation by the Federal Government.
Some government officials, including the acting Executive Secretary of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Sir James Iorpuu, had earlier told journalists in Makurdi, the state capital, that the state had yet to receive the Federal Government package.
But while inaugurating the distribution of Federal Government relief materials to 2022 flood victims in the state, on Tuesday, Alia announced that out of the N5bn promised by the Federal Government as palliatives for each state, Benue had so far received N2bn.
He, however, note that the balance was still underway.
Governor Alia explained that the N5bn palliatives was divided into two components, N2.4bn was an interest free loan while N2.6bn was a grant.
He said his administration would ensure the judicious use of the funds and that the transport, food, agriculture, education and human capital sectors would all benefit.
Alia further said that the state government would pay the registration fees of all students writing West African Examinations Council (WAEC) and National Examination Council (NECO) for the 2023/24 session.
He also disclosed that a total of 5,000 women would receive grants through their various cooperatives while 2,000 youths would be trained in six ICT programmes.
The governor added that part of the money would be used to pay one month pension for state and local government pensioners while the government would supply 100 buses to the state-owned transport Company, Benue Links to cushion the effect of transportation as well as lunch township shuttles in Makurdi, Gboko and Otukpo towns respectively.
Alia said the state government actually received five trucks of rice from the federal government totaling 3,000 bags and that each local government would receive 100 bags.