A civil rights organisation has commended Governor Umo Eno of Akwa Ibom State for including the organized labour and civil society organizations in the Palliatives Committee that he inaugurated on Tuesday, August 8, 2023.
The commendation was made in a press statement issued by the Center for Human Rights & Accountability Network (CHRAN) which was signed by its Director, Otuekong Franklyn Isong and Deputy Director, Public Affairs, Comrade Vincent Aluu, on Wednesday, August 9, 2023, in Uyo.
The center stated that the inclusion of the representatives of the labour and civil society in the Committee is a clear demonstration of the governor’s determination to ensure the palliatives get to the vulnerable and poorest of the poor in the state.
The 18-member Committee is chaired by the Secretary to the State Government, Prince Enobong Uwah with the Commissioner for Local Government & Chieftaincy Affairs, Hon. Frank Archibong as secretary, while the Head of Service, Elder Effiong Essien is among the members.
The chairperson of the NLC, Comrade Sunny James and his Trade Union Congress (TUC’s), counterpart, Comrade Dominic Abang, and the Director of the Center for Human Rights & Accountability Network (CHRAN), Otuekong Franklyn Isong, are members.
Other members of the committee are Mr Aniefiok Nkom, Commissioner for Labour & Manpower; Gen. Koko Essien (rtd.), Commissioner for Internal Security; Dr Ini Adiakpan, Commissioner for Women Affairs; Sir Monday Uko, Commissioner for Youth & Sports; Hon. Orman Esin, Commissioner for Transport; Dr Offiong Offor, Commissioner for Agriculture & Rural Development; Mr Ofonmbuk Nelson, Director, Agriculture Investment.
The committee also has Hon. Iniobong Robson, ALGON Chairman; Pastor Ini Imah, SA to the Governor on Religious Matters; Comrade Alpha Marshall, Secretary of NLC; Comrade Kingsley Ekong, Secretary of TUC; and Comrade Etido Udoh, Chairman of Joint Public Negotiating Council.
The CHRAN’s statement asserted that the Terms of Reference of the Committee, which, according to the Governor, include: providing in detail, the measures of how the palliative items would be distributed to positively affect the target population of the poor across the State; creating awareness on measures taken by the state government; and ensuring success in the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of palliative measures, as well as recommending to the state government other measures, to add to the federal government’s palliatives, will go a long way to assuage and ameliorate the hardship being experienced by Akwa Ibom people as the aftermath of the fuel subsidy removal.
The center also lauded Eno for making good his promise during the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) organized a nationwide protest against the fuel subsidy removal in Uyo, on August 2, 2023, that he would set up a committee within 10 days of the protest. It also assured that the palliatives meant for the poor and vulnerable people in the state will definitely get to them promptly.