*Says next phase will be better implemented.
By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
Oyo State Government is to stop desperate and violent-minded people from hijacking food distribution exercise under the Sustainable Action for Economic Recovery (SAfER) from the organisers.
The state Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Prince Dotun Oyelade made this known in a statement at the weekend on the SAfER exercise.
Prince Oyelade in the statement, described the food distribution exercise as a testing ground that has thrown up its own challenges and success.
According to the commissioner, ” in spite of the challenges, the exercise was able to reach most vulnerables in all the 33 local government areas in the state and therefore, a success”.
He stressed that the food distribution exercise which is the first phase of SAfER consists of only 25% of the food to be distributed to identified poorest of the poor in the state.
Emphasizing that the items distribution went according to plan in other areas of the state aside some parts of Ibadan, Prince Oyelade assured that the next phase which will begin in due course will be better implemented, saying, food items distribution is only an aspect of SAfER.
The Commissioner pointed out that other areas of SAfER such as ” Transportation, Health care Insurance, Food Security and Agriculture are also very active”, saying, ” on transportation, 46 buses have been provided out of which 31 of them ply intra-city routes in Ibadan, while the others ply other key towns in Oyo state at a very reduced cost”.
” This transportation project has been so successful that private transport owners have had to complain about the reduction in government buses fares. The plan of government to provide N500m as loans to small and micro entrepreneurs is also afoot and has reached advanced stage with the signing of memorandum of understanding (MOU) with seven micro finance banks across the state”, he said.
Prince Oyelade added, ” On Health, the SAfER Initiative has identified 50,000 pensioners as qualified to be enrolled in the Oyo State Health Insurance Agency (OYSHIA) free of charge, while 100,000 vulnerable residents will be enrolled for free treatment under the same scheme’.
” Under food security, the State Government earmarked N1bn as loans for Small scale farmers, and Youths Entrepreneurs and Agiculture businesses (YEAP) at N500m each. The loans are being midwifed by financial institutions and the Agricultural Credit Corporation of Oyo state.
Prince Oyelade maintained that these are long poverty alleviation plans of the state government that take immediate effect and that is why Governor Seyi Makinde has said that in Oyo state, we do not operate a Palliative plan, but SAfER plan, which is more enduring.
The Commissioner stressed further that On the phase 2 of the Food distribution project, Governor Makinde has assured the people that the little anomalies identified in a few areas will be corrected.