How Oyebanji’s N12b relief programme will alleviate hardship

By Nudoiba Ojen

Ekiti State Governor, Mr Biodun Oyebanji, on Monday unveiled series of programmes totalling N12b under the Economic Relief Programme to alleviate the hardship being experienced by people of the state in the face of the current global economic downturn.

Oyebanji, who assured Ekiti people of commitment to their welfare and wellbeing, urged them to cooperate with government at the local, state and federal levels.

The governor, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Olayinka Oyebode, said, “Concerted efforts are being made not only to cushion the effect of the economic situation, but to grow the economy in line with the shared prosperity agenda of the administration and the renewed hope agenda of President Bola Tinubu.

According to Oyebode, the set of programmes under the ERP include “the payment of one month salary arrears to state and local government workers totalling over N2.7 billion. With this payment, the government has cleared the salary arrears owed to state government workers and will ensure the arrears owed local government workers are cleared this year”.

He stated, “The governor also approved an increase of N600m per month in the subvention of autonomous institutions including the Judiciary and all tertiary institutions to allow the institutions implement the wage award being implemented for state and local government workers.

“The governor also approved the payment of two months pension arrears owed state and local government workers totalling N1.5b, as well as N100m monthly gratuity payment to state pensioners and an increment of the current N50m monthly gratuity to local government pensioners to N100m”.

He stated that the state government had also committed N1b to improve food production, especially to embark on land preparation, driven by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security’s tractorization subsidy scheme, and an input supply programme to support small scale farmers.

According to him, the state government is also committing N1.2b it recently got as first tranche of the World Bank-financed Livestock Productivity and Resilience Support ( L-PRES) Project to transform the livestock subsector.

Oyebode stated, “Additionally, the state is also launching a N500m loan programme in partnership with Access Bank to support medium and small scale businesses. This is in addition to N1b cooperative fund to provide low interest working capital for cooperatives and members”.

He said that the ERP also included N3.5b earmarked for continuation of the conditional cash transfer to low income households as well as the CARES programme which among other focuses on livelihood support, labour-intensive support, technology support for small businesses and support for agric produce.

He said, “It also include the free bus service for students and workers within Ado-Ekiti and Ikere-Ekiti, which will now be extended to Ekiti State University and other major towns; and the distribution of food items to the 177 wards of the State being coordinated by the local government councils and LCDAs.

“All these are in addition to ongoing infrastructure projects across the state, boosting power supply to critical areas including connecting the EKSU Campus to the IPP; which will also help lower the cost of logistics – a big driver of commodity prices; the free malaria treatment for elderly citizens and children as well as free delivery for pregnant women at all primary health care centres across the state.

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