By Adekola Afolabi
Ondo State Government, under its palliative programme has confirmed that it has taken delivery of three out of the five INNOSON CNG buses while the remaining two would be delivered this week.
The State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mrs Bamidele Ademola-Olateju, disclosed this while briefing journalists after the second briefing of the State Executive Council and the House of Assembly members by the Palliative Strategy and Implementation Committee, in Akure, the Ondo State capital.
She explained that distribution of food packs of 4kg consisting of different 1kg of food item would soon commence in the state on local government basis, adding that the state government has acquired 10,000 packs of indomie noodles to be given to primary school students in the state.
Ademola-Olateju equally revealed that government has cleared the backlog of salaries arrears owed all local government staff, primary school teachers and pensioners between 2016 and 2017.
The administration of Dr. Olusegun Mimiko owed these categories of staff seven months arrears of salaries, which the present administration of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu has now cleared. The months are; July – December 2016 and January 2017.
She added that government is already making arrangement to also off set all arrears of gratuities of retired local government staff and primary school teachers which dates back to 2012..
On the palliative rice distribution, the state image maker hinted that a total of 23,900 bags of rice had so far been distributed across the state, noting that more rice would be distributed before the end of the year.
The Commissioner further explained that the distribution of the 10,000 packs of indomie noodles to primary school students in the state would be done by a separate committee in each LGA with membership comprising LG Education Secretary, NUT chairman, PTA chairman, Association of Primary School Head Teachers, Area Education Officer, Executive Council and House of Assembly members in each LGAs as coordinator.
She hinted that 1,000 persons are to benefit in each local government area from Cash Transfer of N10,000 to vulnerable, and that the list of the beneficiaries would be generated by the existing Local Government Committees in conjunction with the representatives of Market Women Association, Park Management Committee and United Artisan groups.
According to her, the vulnerable people that benefited from the rice distribution can also get the N10,000 cash transfer, with a special focus on widows with young children, critically ill individuals, aged people (80+) and physical disability.
On Small and Medium Enterprises (NANO), Ademola-Olateju stated that 400 NANO businesses in each LGA would also be given grants of N25,000 each as palliatives.
She noted that some farm inputs and equipment have been acquired including Tricycle and Power Tiller, saying the Tricycles would be given free to each LGA and not to individuals, just as the Power Tiller would only be given to areas where they would be useful but not to individuals.
“The management of the Tricycles and Power Tiller in each Local Government shall be under a committee constituted as follows: EXCO and House of Assembly members as co-chairmen, Representatives of the Traditional Rulers, Representatives of OSACA, Representatives of ADP staff, Representatives of Ministry of Agric and Representatives of Civil Society.
“Shuttle buses and boats. The shuttle buses for our students have commenced operation since September 18, 2023. The buses would now operate in all the local government areas across the state. The shuttle boats have also commenced operation in the Riverine local government areas of Ilaje and Ese-Odo. The shuttle boats is purely a new introduction.
“Also shuttle buses for public servants in Akure metropolis had commenced operation since August 2023. The operations of this free transportation would end by December,2023. As from January 2024, a token would be paid by beneficiaries.
“Hospital Reimbursement. Patients attending hospitals in the state have stopped paying registrations and consultation fees since September 2023. We have commenced reimbursement to hospitals in the state for registration and consultation fees since September 2023. This programme would last till December 2023.
“10k Cash Transfer to State Pensioners. The N10,000 cash transfer to state pensioners had commenced since August 2023. We have paid up to September,2023. The payment would last till December, 2023,” the commissioner added.