Delta State Government has received 13,800 out of the 17,400 bags of rice from the Federal Government as palliative to cushion the hardship occasioned by the removal of fuel subsidy.
At least, 16,500 bags of maize and fertilisers are also being expected, even as the maize would be a major buffer for poultry and fish farmers, Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Kingsley Emu has disclosed.
Dr Emu who is also the chairman of the state Steering Committee for Palliative Programme was speaking during a meeting with members in Asaba on Monday.
Other members of the committee include the Commissioner for Humanitarian Affairs; Senior Policy Adviser; Special Adviser (Transport); Special Adviser (Community Development); Director of Protocol; Principal Secretary to the Governor; Head of Service; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture; Mr. Isioma Okonta; Alfred Ebrenevin; representatives of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC); and representatives of civil society groups.
Addressing the committee members, Dr Emu said the state government was taking full responsibility for the palliatives, adding that the Federal Government only acted as the facilitator by extending a loan to the state which would be repaid in 20 months.
On how the palliatives would be shared, the secretary to the state government said, “The distribution of the palliatives will be through the DSIEC wards structure, i.e. 500 distribution points as each of the 25 local government areas has 20 wards.
“This is to ensure the vulnerable population, in every nook and cranny of the state is reached. Distribution sub-committees have been setup for each ward and local government area for effective distribution. In addition, all House of Assembly Members and Honourable Commissioners will also monitor the activities in their respective domains.
“40% is for general distribution (ward level); 20% for poor and vulnerable households; 25% as direct intervention by the state to the highly impacted including Persons Living With Disabilities and widows; 10% as reserve to shore up urban wards; and 5% as a contingency to local government areas.”
On what the state government had done so far, Emu explained: “The state has since commenced distribution of palliatives by “embarking on the payment of N5.522 billion promotion arrears which started in August for four months.
“N10,000 for over 50,000 public servants, which commenced in August for three months; recruitment of 2,000 primary school teachers and non-teaching staff across the state; commencement of three working days rotational scheme for civil servants on SGL 1 – 14, while staff on SGL 15 and above are to work out what is convenient for them in their respective MDAs. However essential duty staff must man their duty posts uninterrupted.
“Guaranteed N40 billion pension payment for local government workers, which will start this September.
“In the advanced stage of discussion on the purchase of tricycles (Keke) bi-fuel engine (petrol & gas), which will be distributed across the three senatorial districts; and in discussion with several organizations to provide inter and intra city commuter buses, exploring a Public Private Partnership (PPP) option.”
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