FG orders payment of February salaries to curb voter disenfranchisement

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Amidst fears of a poor turnout for the upcoming elections, the Federal Government has ordered the immediate payment of February salaries.

This is to support workers wishing to travel to vote during the rescheduled February 23, Presidential and National Assembly elections.

During a briefing of State House correspondents, held shortly after the meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC), the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, disclosed that the payment of February salaries to federal workers began on Tuesday.

In his words, the early payment is “to ease the burden off civil servants planning to travel for the elections.”

Following the postponement of last Saturdays election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), many Nigerians who had traveled  long distance to their polling units were left with no other choice but to return.

Many have expressed that they are not likely to return to their voting centers for the election for reasons bordering majorly on finances.

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During the press briefing, the minister also spoke about plans by the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) to from Thursday reduce the pump price of fuel from N145.00 per litre to N140.00.

The reduction is to further lessen the effects of financial challenges on prospective voters as well as forestall the possible disenfranchisement of many voters as a result of the postponement.

The offer however, will be valid only from Thursday, February 21, to Monday, February 25.

This is even as another executive of the association denied the reports that IPMAN would reduce the pump price of fuel.

Lai Mohammed has also revealed that the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in the same vein, has offered to reduce transport fares within the same period to encourage voters who want to travel to cast their votes at a reduced transport fare.

Arik Airline and Aero Contractors similarly offered to fly intending voters who can show their permanent voter cards to any part of the country from February 18 to March 11 at relatively reduced rates.

By Precious Akpadaka…

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