A former Kwara State Governorship aspirant, Pastor Engineer Sunday Adebayo Babalola, has commended the Federal Government for having a rethink over its initial plan to provide 12 million poor Nigerians with monthly N8,000 cash gifts as palliative.
Following public criticism against the FG’s initial plan to give out N8,000 to some households, President Bola Tinubu, had a rethink and directed that directed that the plan should be reviewed.
Babalola in an interview with journalists on Friday said rather make the people to become productive and creative than dishing out cash gifts to them.
He urged the govenrment to provide a favourable environment that will make businesses to thrive.
He said, “It is good that the FG had a rethink and decided not to implement the N8,000 cash gift plan. They should not give out cash gifts at all. They should think about what they can do to actually reduce the suffering of the people. Make the business environment friendly.
In the President’s broadcast, he actually said some things that are good like making the fund to be for people to collect loan and not grant and that while they collect the loan, they will use it and pay it back. That is one step forward. Other things should also be done.
“The government should concern itself with how Nigeria’s situation should be improved o or how can we change where they are bad.
“The moment people have money to do their own thing, they will not be depending on subsidies. But if it is now by giving palliative money, it is like giving a man fish to eat. You have to teach him how to fish. If you give him fish, he will always be dependent on you. That is what those palliatives are about. The government should sit down with labour and explain what they are doing, and how it can bring down the pains the people are feeling over time. People should be willing to listen and make their own suggestions.
“I am afraid, both parties may be thinking in that direction because giving out money to people is the easy way they are thinking. They are thinking of increasing salaries. What percentage of Nigerians are actually public-paid officials? What per cent age of Nigerians are on salary? In my opinion, it is less than 20% if it is up to that.
“If you are giving palliative to those people, it will not change what happens to the generality of the people. We should be thinking of what is good for the generality of Nigerians. That is what government should be thinking of. That is why they are in govenrment. I am praying for them that they succeed because their failure is not comfortable to me or to anybody that is a Nigerian. We are not going anywhere. We pray that they succeed.”