A member representing Ogun East Senatorial District at the National Assembly, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, has revealed that the monthly allocations to states in June, 2023 almost doubled what it used to be before the fuel subsidy was removed.
The former governor made this revelation during an interview he granted TVC News when accessing the quick pace of work done so far by the president 30days after his inauguration into office.
“As a person, I’m not surprised because from my very deep knowledge of the president, I’m quite happy and excited. And I know that he is a man of ideas.
“One of the things I’ve found out is that even the best of his critics agree that if there is one man who can turn around this country in terms of know-how, in terms of selecting people who know what to do, how to do it, bringing innovations into government, it is our president.
“Of course, ideas rule the world. So I’m at ease and I must confess that in recent times, I’ve become quite excited and hopeful and I know that President Tinubu will deliver,” he said.
Recall that a PDP chieftain and an known critic of President Tinubu, Chief Bode George, also agreed that the president has started well but claimed it might be too early to review his performance in office.
“I’m quite excited because those of us who know Chief Bode George quite well appreciate his consistency about the personage of our president and for him to turn around and accept that indeed he has started well, it is something that excites me,” the former Ogun State governor responded.
On the importance of his new role and that of his colleagues as senators of the 10th National Assembly to the success of President Tinubu’s administration, especially as the president recently expressed his excitement at working with him, Otunba Gbenga Daniel revealed that he is very happy that he would be working close to him.
“You know that with the president, we come quite a long way. He’s been our leader, especially in this part of the country, we’ve related with him and we know what he’s capable of doing, he knows what to do with the economy. He has started well and everybody agrees that some of the steps he’s taking are well thought out.
“I know that he is just waiting to present his ministers because all he could do now is to use few special advisers to get things going. But I’m sure by the time the senate resumes in few days, and the ministerial people are presented and confirmed, you’ll see the speed of action and a lot of things happening simultaneously.
“I’m very happy that I will be working close to him this time at the upper chamber and we would do our best to make sure that we don’t slow things down. Because in the past, part of what has happened is that when the executive is moving and the legislature is not moving at the same speed, things don’t get done very quickly.
“I have no doubt about the senate president (Sen. Godswill Akpabio) that has emerged; it is a team that I see would complement the works of Mr. President and things will start happening in our country,” he said.
Recall that earlier in the day, President Tinubu visited Ogun State where the Emilokan mantra was birthed. While answering questions on when and what Nigerians should expect from what the mantra represents, OGD, as he is fondly called, confirmed that the spirit of freedom has commenced.
“I think it has started happening already; the bold decision that was taken to withdraw the (fuel) subsidy has major implications. As an example, I was informed that the allocation that went to the states this month is nearly double what it used to be.
“Which means that indirectly, those dividends of democracy being talked about have started happening and then if the governors at the state level can also try very hard to ensure that some of these resources that are coming to the states are also allowed to percolate down, those are the way and means that we can start feeling that the removal of this subsidy is having a direct impact on what is happening generally,” he stated.
Otunba Gbenga Daniel agreed that there are downsides to the removal but assured that efforts are being made to provide all forms of palliatives that can step aside some of the expected downside.
“But by and large, I have no doubt that in a few weeks and months, we will acclamatise with the new environment and things will start to happen,” he assured.
OGD, who believed the constitution of the ministerial list would be a mix grill, said that it is when technocrats and politicians work together the nation can move forward.
“From the little appointments we’ve seen, we know that we’re going to have quality people; people who know their onions, people who are tested.
“And I’ve seen a mixture of what you can call the new breed with the appointment of a young lady (Olu Verheijen) as special adviser on Energy; that is giving the young people opportunity and also a gender balance thing.
“So I’m full of hope that when the list is eventually delivered to the national assembly, we’ll be excited and have people who can do the job ,” he concluded.