• Tuesday, July 16, 2024
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Subsidy removal: Ondo unveils palliatives for residents

Subsidy removal: Ondo unveils palliatives for residents

The Ondo State government on Thursday announced a palliative package to alleviate the harsh effect of petrol subsidy removal on residents of the state.

Wale Akinterinwa, the commissioner for finance and chairman, Palliative Strategy and Implementation Committee, announced the measures at a news conference in Akure.

Akinterinwa said that the government would restore free shuttle buses for students, starting from their resumption in September to December 31.

“Thereafter, affordable rates would be charged from Jan. 2024.

“In like manner, free shuttle boats, equipped with life jackets for students in riverine areas, would be provided, starting at resumption in September to December 31.

“Thereafter, affordable rates would be charged from January 2024. We will immediately deploy all the existing buses in all the MDAs to serve as free shuttle buses to public servants until December 31.

“Additional Compressed Natural Gas would be purchased to convey public servants to and from work at no cost to them, until December 31,” he said.

He also announced that an unconditional cash transfer of N10,000 would be made to 1,000 vulnerable persons per local government in the 18 local government areas, totalling 18,000 people.

Akinterinwa further announced that all the state and local government pensioners would also receive N10,000 each from August to December. He said that one million households would be fed across the entire local government areas of the state.

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“Farm inputs at subsidised rates will be made available to farmers. Our poultry and fish farmers will be given free drugs, maize and feeds.

“In addition, training on local feed formulation and production will be given to interested poultry and fish farmers to help them look inwards.

The commissioner said that the palliatives also included agrochemicals, seeds, drip lines, farm tools and power tillers.

He said: “In riverine areas, fishing nets and kilns will be on offer.

“To ease the movement of farm produce, tricycles will be given free to communities. This will be supervised by officially recognised, community-based stakeholder groups.”

The state government also announced the immediate suspension of hospital registration and consultation fees.

“Government will reimburse the hospitals directly based on existing data,” the commissioner said.

According to him, all the provisions are to complement Federal Government’s planned palliatives. He said that the government also approved the immediate payment of the 2020 leave bonus to public servants.

“Also, various categories of small and medium enterprises in the state will benefit from the palliatives. Students who are engaged in nano businesses on campus are not excluded.

“They will also get financial support. The money to nano, small, and medium enterprises will be disbursed through existing government channels,” Akinterinwa said.