In his efforts to cushion the effect of the hardship caused by the fuel subsidy, Oyo State Governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde has declared that the state is more concerned about the long term sustainability of its action plan towards fight against the ongoing economic hardship and not palliatives.
Governor Makinde made this declaration on Wednesday while delivering his address at the mini stadium, Oyo town, during the official flag off and symbolic presentation of food items to residents of Oyo administrative zone.
The symbolism takes place across all the administrative zones simultaneously with the Deputy Governor, Speaker, Chief of Staff to the Governor, and other top government functionaries leading the exercise in Oke-ogun, Ibarapa, Ogbomoso and Ibadan zones respectively.
Makinde said, “Oyo state adopts the Sustainable Action for Economic Recovery (SAfER) because it is better compared to palliatives noting that household finances will be positively impacted in the long run through SAfER.”
He explained further that Oyo state has committed more resources to the provisions made for distribution because the 3000 bags of rice given to the state by federal government was insufficient to circulate the projected number of poorest of the poor given the prevailing economic situation.
While highlighting other framework covered under SAfER to include ‘Agropreneurs (food security), health, transportation, Makinde, also used the occasion to express his gratitude to the people of Oyo for their overwhelming support during the 2023 governorship election while assuring that his administration will continue to prioritize the welfare and well-being of the people.
He added that Oyo state went further to procure additional 37,000 bags of rice as well as beans, gari, cassava flour, and vegetable oil from local markets across the various administrative zones including Oyo, Ogbomoso, Oke-ogun, Ibarapa, and Ibadan as a way of ploughing back state funds into its local economy.
“We’re here to deliver your SAfER package to you. When I checked the dictionary meaning of palliatives, it focus on symptoms, we want to attack the roots but one thing about sustainable action is that it takes proper planning and strategy.”
“Some people have been going round on radio and social media asking where is the 3,000 bags of rice that the federal government gave to Oyo state, others are saying federal government gave them 5 billion naira, they’ve embezzled our money. Some other people even said they’s no trust, there’s trust deficit between the government and the people, is that how it is in Oyo state?
“The government of Oyo state, your government will never lie or deceive you about anything going on. We are one of the first states to announce that federal government gave us 3000 bag of rice. I stated this in my newsletter on the 10th of August because we plan to distribute this food relief package to 200,000 household.”
“If it were only the 3000 bag of rice the federal government gave to us that would be distributed to 200,000 household, maybe one person may not get more than a tin cup of rice.”
“So, we took our time to plan because both in the short and long term we’re thinking about securing our economy. We bought an additional 37,000 bag of rice to add to the 3000 bag the federal government gave to us making a total of 40,000 bag of rice. That is why each of the 200,000 household will be getting 10kg bag of rice.
“We didn’t stop there, we also procured for each household, 5kg bag of beans, 5kg bag of gari, 5kg bag of cassava flour, and one bottle of vegetable oil. But one thing I want you to know about what we’re distributing is that we’re distributing what we produced locally apart from the rice.”
It was earlier reported that the state government disclosed N8.63 billion as total cost for the implementation of its SAfER program.
Consequently, state government shoulders the sum of N5.6 billion while the 33 local governments shoulder the sum of N2.6 billion of the total cost.
The flag off event was witnessed by top government functionaries, traditional leaders led by the ‘Adele Alaafin of Oyo, Bashorun of Oyo kingdom, religious, community, political leaders among others.