The Ondo State government, yesterday, rolled out palliatives to cushion the high cost of living and transportation brought about by the removal of fuel subsidy, to assuage the sufferings of residents of the state.
The state’s Commissioner for Finance, Wale Akinterinwa, who doubles as Chairman of the Palliative Strategy and Implementation Committee, disclosed this during a media briefing in Akure, the state capital.
He said that with the move, the state government is committed to providing essential food items to one million households statewide, adding that the distribution of the food items would be carried out through a well-coordinated system to ensure fairness and transparency.
Besides, he stressed that the government aimed to reach all corners of the state, including rural areas. Akinterinwa, flanked by Special Adviser to Governor Rotimi Akeredolu on Union Matters and Strategy, Dare Aragbaiye, and Commissioner for Information, Bamidele Ademola-Olateju, among other cabinet members, added that free shuttle buses and boats would be made available to students to facilitate their transportation to and from their educational institutions.
He maintained that pensioners would be equally supported with a monthly stipend of N10,000 for a period of five months. He said: “Given the current economic realities based on the removal of subsidies on petroleum products, the government of Ondo State wishes to announce these far-reaching palliative measures to address pocketbook issues affecting its citizens.
“The government will restore free shuttle buses for students starting from resumption in September until December 31. Thereafter, affordable rates will be charged starting in January 2024. In like manner, free shuttle boats equipped with life jackets will be available for students in riverine areas, starting from resumption in September until December 31. Thereafter, affordable rates will be charged starting January 2024.
“We will immediately deploy all existing buses to Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to serve as free shuttle buses to public servants until December 31. Additional CNG buses will be purchased to convey public servants to and from work at no cost until December 31.
“Unconditional cash transfer of N10,000 for three months will be given to selected vulnerable persons in every local council. All pensioners in the state, be they local council or state, will get N10,000 each starting this August until December 2023.”
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