Ogun State Governor Prince Dapo Abiodun has flagged off the distribution of 300,000 bags of 10kg rice palliatives to citizens of the state.
The event, which took place on Friday, was in line with the promise made by Prince Abiodun to ensure the immediate distribution of the palliatives.
The governor acknowledged that the palliatives were sent to states by the federal government and has been domesticated by the state government.
“This is a federal government initiative under the leadership of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu that is being domesticated right here in Ogun State.
“Our desire in the first instance is to distribute about 300,000 bags of 10kg rice across our 5,400 polling units.
“We have decided to use the polling units as a reference of distribution, not wards, because we realized that using wards won’t be equitable.
“You can imagine taking a ward in Sagamu, for example, like the Ogijo ward and compare it with a ward in Ikenne. If we use the ward as the yardstick for distributing the palliatives, it is very unfair and not equitable.
“But because we know that the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) has done a very detailed arrangement of our polling units to the point where all of us belong to a polling unit and that has allowed us to determine the number of people that are in our different wards.
“So you find out that a ward in Ogijo, for example, will have by far more polling units than a ward in Ikenne or Remo North. So we decided that we will use the polling units as a point of reference,” he said.
Abiodun noted that a committee made up of eminent men and women of distinguished character has been set up to oversee the distribution of the palliatives.
He said that the committee, chaired by his deputy, would ensure that the palliative distribution is effectively implemented, while the 20 local governments will also have similar committees.
“This committee is made up of very eminent, dependable, and distinguished men and women across the state.
“The committee will be chaired by my Deputy Governor and she will be supported by our former deputy governors that are here present, two members of the National Assembly, one representing the House of Representatives, and the other representing the Senate.
“Members of the state’s Assembly, namely the Deputy Speaker and the Minority Leader, our Iyalojas, our CDCs, CDAs, members of our youth community, our inter-ethnic representatives, our community leaders and other distinguished eminent personalities that we believe will ensure that the palliative distribution is effectively, efficiently and transparently implemented,” he said.
According to him, the Central Working Committee (CWC) will be saddled with the authority to inaugurate committees in each of the 20 local government areas of the state.
The committees in each local government will comprise the council chairman, Governor’s Liaison Officers (GLO), a member of the state House of Assembly in each local government, religious leaders, community leaders, youths, students, Iyalojas and the traditional institution.
Abiodun while commending President Tinubu for conceptualizing the programme to cushion the effect of the removal of the fuel subsidy, said that his administration has classified the various interventions of the president, which his administration has domesticated into the immediate, medium and long terms.
The state’s helmsman said that his administration has commenced the payment of N10,000 transport allowance to public servants in the state, and also added that the payment of various allowances, ranging from hazard and gratuities has begun.
“We started as you recall by paying N10,000 transportation allowances to all our public servants, including pensioners and teachers across the board.
“We also decided that not more than 80 per cent of our workforce need to come to the office at any point in time.
“We have begun paying different allowances, including hazard allowances. We began offsetting backlog of different payments, be it pensions, gratuities, deductions, and all other payments as we see them as part of the cushioning effect of the removal of subsidy,” he said.
Abiodun also disclosed that his administration would be providing health insurance coverage for pregnant women across the state.
He added that the health insurance coverage would allow them to either visit the primary, secondary, or tertiary health care centres.
“We will also be providing for all our pregnant women across the board in Ogun State with our Ogun State Health Insurance Cover called ‘Ibi Dero’.
“This will cover their pre-natal engagements and also post-natal consultations for up to six months, meaning that, you can go to a Primary Health Care Center, Secondary Health Care or a Tertiary and consult Pre-natal, give birth for free because the state government is bearing the cost of all that,” he said.
The governor also disclosed that his administration would be extending the palliatives to indigent students across the state.
While also disclosing that his administration would soon commence its energy transition programme which would allow state-owned buses, to use Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), Prince Abiodun added that the commencement of its E-mobility programme would allow his administration to replace petrol-powered motorcycles with electric motorcycles at the expense of the state.
Earlier in their separate remarks, the representatives of the Community Development Associations (CDAs), Usman Olamilekan, and the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP); Comrade Bola Lawal commended Governor Abiodun for his open-door policy.
Also, the Iyaloja General of Ogun State, who is also a member of the committee, Alhaja Yemisi Abass, commended the governor for providing more rice to complement the ones sent by the Federal Government.
He thanked the governor for picking members of the committee from all parts of the state.
In an interview, Mrs. Ileyemi Olayinka representing people with special needs and Comrade Segun Obadimu, representing the Nigeria Union of Pensioners appreciated Governor Dapo Abiodun for the rice palliative given to them, noting that such programs would help the people of the state to continue to persevere.