Benin, March 18, 2019 (NAN) The Edo State Government says it has spent over N200 million to assist indigent people to take care of the various challenges confronting them.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Mr Taiwo Akerele, the Chief of Staff to Gov. Godwin Obaseki, made the disclosure while fielding questions from newsmen in Benin, South South Nigeria on Monday.
Akerele said that the talks about his boss being « stingy » were untrue.
He said Obaseki released over N200million through the Empathy Fund to provide financial assistance to different residents in the state without meeting them physically.
Akerele described Obaseki as the most generous governor in terms of attending to citizens’ need.
Akerele added that Obaseki had adopted a two-prong approach to addressing the issue of poverty in Edo.
According to him, it is based on lack of information on the part of those who believe that the governor is not open-handed, that he is not very free with resources.
« He has adopted a two-prong approach to addressing the issue of poverty in Edo, where he is investing in infrastructure which has direct impact on the people.
« Then the second approach is what people generally call stomach infrastructure, the governor has spent millions of naira in addressing directly key challenges being faced by individuals in Edo.
« People write from all the local government areas. People who are in hospitals and are stranded, people who need to pay school fees of children and several others.
« They write every now and then and I have thousands of such letters that the governor has asked us to handle.
« Last year alone, we spent over N200 million to assist indigent people in Edo.
« If the people who have not been directly impacted are not patient enough to wait for their turn, they should not accuse the governor of tight handedness, » he said.
The governor’s aide said that it was not just investing in infrastructure, government had also agreed that stomach infrastructure was important in sustaining social life.
According to him, there is nothing wrong in that because if people are not alive they will not be able to use the infrastructure being provided by the government.
« In fact, this is our eighth file in such interventions, »Akerele added.