The governor of Kwara State, Abdulrasaq AbdulRahman, on Tuesday inaugurated a 12-man committee on distribution of the N5bn federal government’s palliatives in the state, charging them to be transparent.
It would be recalled that the state government set up the committee at the weekend a day after the federal government announced the nationwide palliatives which include N4bn worth of rice and maize from the strategic maize reserve (SMR) valued at least N1bn.
Abdulrahman said that the palliative was only one of the many steps the government had taken to relief people of the difficulties arising from the fuel subsidy removal.
“It is important to clarify that food palliatives are only a stopgap measure to show empathy and reach out to the people, especially the most vulnerable ones among us. It is not the only step the government has taken since the removal of fuel subsidy. Government is committing huge resources to hasten mass production and use of gas and electricity-powered vehicles nationwide as well boost agricultural productivity, manufacturing, and small and medium scale enterprises. We are in this together, and I plead that we work together as one people bounded by one destiny to get over this current challenge,” AbdulRazaq told the committee.
“We have set up this committee to make the process of distributing the palliative as nonpartisan, transparent, participatory and credible as humanly possible. We trust your judgment and commitment to make the palliatives to reach the nearest and farthest corners of our state.”
The Governor commended members of the committee for accepting to serve the state, urging them to make Kwara a shining example and saying that other states are already adopting the modalities of the Kwara State Government.
The committee’s terms of reference include to reach out to different stakeholders and communities, including labour union and trade unions, marketers, to generate a list of beneficiaries that would be as representative as possible. The committee, among other things, will also coordinate and distribute the rice palliative in 10kg bags as well as advise the government on the best way to handle the maize component of the palliative.
The timeframe for the assignment would be determined by different factors, such as the receipt of the balance of N2bn to be given to the state, which would then be used to purchase new consignments of the food stuffs, according to the terms of reference.
Speaking on behalf of the committee, Commissioner of Police Ebunoluwa Rotimi Adelesi said: “We thank His Excellency for founding us worthy and for having the trust in us to be members of this committee. We promised to be transparent. We are not going to let the Governor and the state down.
“We will put into consideration the people who are supposed to be given the palliatives: the deserving people. We are going to abide by the terms of reference and we will come clean with the public to let them know what we are doing. We will not let you down.”
Members of the committee are CP Adelesi; His Royal Highness Dr. Haliru Yahaya (OON); Abdulrasheed Shafi (DSS); Prof Hamzah Abdulraheem (Secretary General of JNI, Kwara State); Bishop Sunday Timothy Adewole (CAN); Dr Lawal Olohungbebe (CSO); Mrs Grace Funke Bolaji (CSO); Dr. Saudat AbdulBaqi; Stephen Owoyale; Comrade Yusuf Bashir (people living with disabilities); Binta Abubakar Mora (NUJ); and Abdulrahman Babatunde Ameen (Secretary).