Governor Hope Uzodimma on Wednesday flagged off the distribution of palliatives in Imo State, reminding the citizens that the items for distribution are meant for all Imo citizens regardless of their political affiliation.
Governor Uzodimma spoke at the premises of the Imo State Ministry of Digital Economy and E-Government (formerly ICAPS Centre), on Egbu road, Owerri where he also inspected the warehouse containing thousands of bags of rice procured by the government for distribution.
“I can confirm, that Imo State has received her own. Out of the N4 billion, N2 billion has been released to Imo State,” the Governor said as he braved the heavy downpour in Owerri, Wednesday, to flag off the distribution with a template that is all inclusive and captures all segments of Imo society.
In his remarks, Governor Uzodimma thanked President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, for his thoughtfulness over the palliatives and determination to ensure that Nigerians, including Imo State citizens, are not subjected to much hardship following the removal of the fuel subsidy.
Governor Uzodimma’s remarks read in parts: “You recall the incident of the policy of the removal of fuel subsidy, and the temporary hardship that followed. That policy was one of the most cogent policies that this government has taken to be able to save our economy from collapse.
“The policy we observed; came with some initial challenges which include high cost of living and poverty in the land. The Federal Government deliberately brought out measures that will cushion the effects of those negative impacts occasioned by the policy. The Federal Government working with State governments have lined up a lot of measures and actions. The Federal Government of recent supported all the States with what they called fiscal support.
“I can confirm that Imo State has received her own.
“In addition to that, the Federal Government also worked out a programme to distribute food products to States, through the State government.
“Out of the N4 billion, N2 billion has been released to Imo State of which the remaining N2 billion will be released very soon.
“In addition to that, the Federal Government will deliver maize worth of N1billion to the 36 States of the federation which means that N1billion worth of maize will also be delivered to Imo State. We are waiting to take delivery of that maize.
“We have decided to buy rice with the N2 billion sent to us, which represents (working by their unit price) N50,000 per bag of rice. We have decided to buy the rice from our local markets so that we can patronise our local sellers. We want the money to go round, so that there will be a value chain.
“Today, I am flagging off the distribution under phase one, 65,000 bags of rice to all the indigenes and citizens of Imo State and I want you to join me in thanking the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Ahmed Bola Tinubu (GCFR) for this gesture of his.
“There will be some initial challenges and teething problems but on the overall, he has rolled out some policies that will recover our economy, reduce the foreign exchange rate in Nigeria, and also create prosperity for all.
“In the area of transportation, the Federal Government will soon be delivering CNG buses and electric buses to States. In addition to that arrangement, the Imo State government will float a brand new transport company that will be equipped with brand new vehicles to reduce the cost of transportation within and outside Imo State.
“Imo State workers and labour unions remain the most patriotic in the country. I salute their understanding and their willingness to continue to support the government.”
Governor Uzodimma who said the government constituted a palliatives distribution committee led by the Secretary to Government of Imo State, Chief Cosmos Iwu, and made up of Commissioners and other key persons in civil service and labour unions, noted that nobody would be left out in the process of the distribution.
He said that the first phase of the palliatives would see to the distribution of 65,000 bags of rice across the 305 Electoral Wards in Imo State regardless of political party leaning, trade unions, political appointees, civil/ public servants, teachers, religious bodies, security agencies, tertiary institutions, ethnic nationalities resident in Imo, among others.
Governor Uzodimma also assured that when the maize grains are released and received, the government will mandate the committee to also work out the modalities for the distribution do that everyone will get.
He appealed to the citizens to keep fate with the government of the day, both at the centre and in the State, as efforts are being made to ensure that the welfare of the citizens remains priority in the policy thrust of government.
Earlier, the Chairman of the Imo State Palliatives Implementation Committee, Chief Cosmos Iwu who is also the Secretary to Government of Imo State told the gathering that nobody would be short changed as far as the distribution of the palliatives is concerned.
He assured that the State Government has enough rice stashed in different warehouses across the State for distribution, hence there should be no need for worry.
Chief Iwu thanked Governor Uzodimma for all he has done to improve the well being of Imo citizens even before the fuel subsidy removal and after the removal, noting that the governor’s people oriented policies are second to none and will always be appreciated.
He added that today in Imo State, the least paid civil servant goes home with N40,000, courtesy of Governor Uzodimma’s raise of the salary of civil/ public servants and immediate implementation following the removal of fuel subsidy.