Delta State Governor, Mr Sheriff Oborevwori,
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By Ifeanyi Olannye

Delta Government says it has taken delivery of 13, 800 bags of rice out of the the 17,400 bags being expected from the Federal Government as palliatives to cushion the impact of petrol subsidy removal in the state.

The Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Dr Kingsley Emu, disclosed this on Monday during a meeting with State Steering Committee for Palliative Programme in Asaba.
He said that the entire burden of the palliatives was born by the state  government, adding that the federal government was only a facilitator of the debt which would be paid over 20 months period by the state government.
Emu, who doubles as the committee chairman, said, “the state government was taking full responsibility for the palliatives, the Federal Government only acted as the facilitator by extending loan to the state which will be repaid in 20 months.”
He said that the bags of rice came in 50kgs, adding that 16,500 bags of maize and fertilisers are also being expected.
He said that the maize would be a major buffer for poultry and fish farmers who are spending heavily on feeds at the moment.
He said though the remaining bags of rice were being expected, but the committee had concluded plans to commence distribution of the items received.
“The distribution of the palliatives will be through the Delta State Independent Electoral Commission (DSIEC) wards structure.
” That is the DSIEC 500 distribution points as each of the 25 Local Government Areas has 20 wards.
“This is to ensure that the vulnerable population, in every nook and cranny of the state is reached.
“Distribution sub-committees has been setup for each ward and local government area for effective distribution.
” In addition, all House of Assembly Members and Honourable Commissioners will also monitor the activities in their respective domains,” Emu said.
The SSG said that the distribution mode is that 40 per cent would be for everyone at the ward level.
“While 20 per cent will go for the poor and vulnerable households, 25 per cent for direct intervention by the state to the highly impacted including Persons Living With Disabilities and widows.
“Then 10 per cent is  reserved to shore up urban wards and 5 per cent of the palliatives as contingency to local government areas,” he said.
In addition, Emu said distribution of palliatives through the payment of N5.5 billion promotion arrears to state workers  had started in August and will run for four months.
“Again, N10,000 monthly approved for no fewer than 50,000 state public servants, which also began in August for three months.
” Government also approved the  recruitment of 2,000 primary school teaching and non-teaching staff across the state.
“The governor approved commencement of three working days rotational scheme for civil servants on SGL 1 – 14, while staff on SGL 15 and above are to work out what is convenient for them in their respective MDAs.
“However essential duty staff must man their duty posts uninterrupted.
“Gov. Sheriff Oborevwori approved N40 billion pensions payment for local government workers, which will start this September,” Emu said.
He said that discussion is in advanced stage on the purchase of tricycles (keke) bi-fuel engine (petrol & gas) which would be distributed across the three senatorial districts.
He noted that government was engaging several organisations to provide inter and intra city commuter buses, exploring a Public Private Partnership (PPP) option.
NAN reports that other members of the state steering committee include Commissioner for Humanitarian Affairs; Senior Policy Adviser; Special Adviser (Transport); Special Adviser (Community Development) and Director of Protocol.
Others are: the Principal Secretary to the Governor; Head of Service; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture; Mr. Isioma Okonta; Alfred Ebrenevin; representatives of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC); and representatives of civil society groups.
The SSG said that there are sub-committees at the LGAs and ward levels to help with the exercise.(NAN) (www.nannews.ng).
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Edited by Julius Toba-Jegede

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