Subsidy Removal Palliative: Delta receives 13,800 bags of rice from FG

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By Anne Azuka

Delta State Government on Monday confirmed that it has received 13,800 out of the 17,400 bags being expected from the Federal Government.

Secretary to the State Government(SSG), Dr. Kingsley Emu confirmed this in Asaba during a meeting with state Steering Committee for Palliative Programme.

Emu who is the Chairman of the committee informed that the state government was taking full responsibility for the palliatives, adding that the Federal Government only acted as the facilitator by extending loan to the state which would be repaid in 20 months.

He said the bags of rice came in 50kg, noting that 16,500 bags of maize and fertilisers were also being expected, and explained that the maize would be a major buffer for poultry and fish farmers who are spending heavily on feeds at the moment.

On whether the balance bags of rice would be received, Emu hinted that the steering committee has concluded plans to commence distribution.

“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 has 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,” he stated.

Emu outlined the distribution mode, explaining that 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 contingency to local government areas.

According to the SSG, 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 pensions payment for local government workers, which will start this September.

“In 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.”

Other members of the state steering committee include 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.

Emu stated that there were sub-committees at the local government and ward levels to help with the exercise.

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