Governor Adegboyega Oyetola
As part of his administration’s effort to cushion the impact of coronavirus pandemic on vulnerable residents of Osun State, Governor Adegboyega Oyetola, on Thursday flagged off Osun Food Support Scheme aimed at feeding 30,000 citizens.
The governor, while disclosing that the initiative is another way of keeping faith with the government’s promise to prioritise their welfare and general well-being, he said the scheme has become necessary because available statistics point to the fact that many jobs have been lost with many sources of livelihoods significantly threatened as a result of the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic.
Addressing the people at the flag-off ceremony held at the open field, Local Government Service Commission, Abere, Osogbo, Oyetola said the scheme was also in fulfilment of the administration’s avowed determination to provide a buffer for the vulnerable, especially those, who, on account of the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic, had been thrown off balance economically and emotionally.
“The scheme which begins from this month will run till the end of the life of this Administration and it is designed to cater for the critical needs of 30,000 poor and vulnerable citizens, including youths, widows, the aged and people living with disabilities across the state on a monthly basis.
“Today’s event, is, therefore, an eloquent affirmation that we are a responsible and compassionate administration that knows and feels your pains and silent struggles and we will not relent until we provide the needed relief required to support you to regaining your balance.
“Through this Scheme, in the first instance, 30,000 beneficiaries across our State will be reached and provided with 5kg of food bags as a token of support.
“To make the exercise hitch-free and transparent, we have constituted a committee made of relevant State functionaries and key stakeholders with representations from the various religious bodies, trade groups, youth groups, minority groups, among others.
“We are adopting the use of the World Bank-sponsored Social Register to cater for beneficiaries in a manner that is just and equitable across the various nook and crannies of our State.
“It should be noted that this programme is part of our overall strategic response to the challenges thrust on us by the pandemic. You will recall that during the lockdown, we embarked on massive distribution of palliatives to vulnerable households across our state”, he said.
In his remarks, the Commissioner for Regional Integration and Special Duties, Olalekan Badmus, said the gesture would serve as a good means to stem the negative tide of social vices, family breakdown, emotional disturbances and reduce the rate of destitution that might emanate from lack of food among the vulnerable.
He disclosed that the first phase of the initiative had been designed to cater for the needs of the 570,000 persons in the State which in turn would have a greater impact on the economy of the State as all food items would be sourced locally.
Speaking at the event, Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi; Ataoja of Osogbo, Oba Jimoh Olanipekun and Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdul-Rasheed Akanbi, lauded the government’s gesture and described it as timely and prompt.
They attributed the large presence of traditional rulers to the hands of fellowship extended to them by the government just as they implored the representatives of the beneficiaries to do justice in the distribution of the stimulus package.