Gombe State Government has distributed palliative to 420,000 vulnerable persons to cushion effect of fuel subsidy removal.
Governor Inuwa Yahaya disclosed this while speaking at round-off of the first phase of statewide palliatives distribution exercise embarked upon by his administration.
The Governor used the opportunity to acknowledge receipt of N2billion out of the N5billion relief funds that the Federal Government allocated to states for the purchase of food items for distribution to vulnerable members of the public to cushion the effects of fuel subsidy removal.
He however stated that the government awaits the receipt of the balance as well as the 1 billion Naira worth of maize which the Central Bank of Nigeria is selling to each state from the national strategic reserve.
He applauded the Federal Government for providing the relief funds to each state of the federation out of which 48% is a loan that will be paid back over a period of 20 months at N120,000,000.00 monthly starting from November this year.
Assuring that his administration will ensure effective and judicious use of the funds, the Governor revealed that “We will set up a special committee under the Deputy Governor, Dr Manassah Daniel Jatau to ensure effective distribution of the FG’s palliatives to the deserving people of Gombe State”.
Governor Inuwa also assured of his administration’s continued commitment towards addressing the plights of the people. “This exercise will continue, we will not relent in our efforts untill our people are taken out of this difficult situation”, he stressed.
He said the palliative distribution exercise was the 8th in the series of interventions carried out by his administration, adding that he will not relent in attending to the plight of his people.
“I am not happy distributing palliatives to the people, I will rather be happy if every household in Gombe State would be able to meet their basic needs”, he added.
“Our intention is to make sure that the palliatives we have provided reach the most-deserving people at the grassroots. We have provided an effective and efficient framework to achieve this by taking the exercise to the polling unit level. In every polling unit, 10 beneficiaries have been selected from making up the 30 thousand beneficiaries for this phase”, he noted.
“Our ultimate target is to help not fewer than four hundred and twenty thousand (420,000) people in in this phase”, he added.
He decried the lingering food crisis in the country, describing the ugly trend as a complex problem that calls for comprehensive solutions from all stakeholders, cautioning that distribution of palliatives from the government will only provide a temporary relief.
“Despite series of palliatives distribution from the government, the problem of rising cost of food commodities persists, because that is not the way to go. Palliatives will not provide permanent solution to the problem. It is therefore pertinent on all stakeholders to find a permanent solution to the problem.
He enjoined the beneficiaries to use the items judiciously, cautioning them about selling the items as this will defeat the intent of the exercise.
“Use the fertilisers and insecticides on your farms to cultivate what can sustain your families and avoid selling them out. Look for potential places suitable for dry season farming and venture into irrigation agriculture. This is the way to go as we cannot continue to rely on handouts from the government”, he said.
He used the occasion to call on famers in the state to avoid selling their farm produce during harvest period as the practice afflicts more hardships to the farmers and their families in the near future.
Ealier in his welcome remarks, the Secretary to the Gombe State Government, Professor Ibrahim Abubakar Njodi thanked Governor Inuwa for his magnanimity in attending to the plight of his people at this difficult time.
“It is out of his sympathy and maganimity that Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya moved to rescue his people from the grab of economic difficulties”, he said, calling on people to continue supporting the polices and programmes of the government.
In his address, the Executive Secretary, Gombe State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, who is also the chairman state distribution committee, Abdullahi Haruna Abdullahi said the committee has succeeded in inaugurating the LG level teams and flagging off of the distribution exercise in all the 11 Local Governments Areas of the state.
Mr Haruna promised to uphold the trust and confidence reposed in them by ensuring judicious distribution of the item across the state, explaining that the exercise will commence in earnest in every LGA that finished setting up its ward level committees.
The chairman said, the Items distributed include bags of Fertilizer, insecticides, rice and spaghetti and and will draw 10 beneficiaries from each polling unit in the state.