The Kaduna State Government has unveiled a comprehensive palliative support programme designed to help cushion the negative impact of the removal of petrol subsidies on residents of the state.
Governor Uba Sani made the disclosure on Tuesday during a joint media briefing, where the initiative was unveiled with the state Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Suleiman, and other members of the palliative committee comprising representatives of organised labour and civil society organisations.
According to Sani, 210,000 indigent households, totalling 1,050,000 vulnerable persons will benefit from the N2 billion palliative fund so far released by the Federal Government to the state.
The governor also announced that the implementation of the palliatives intervention would be executed in three phases, starting with the distribution of food items to poor and vulnerable households.
The second and third phases will include the procurement of free buses to ease transportation challenges, supporting farmers and micro, small and medium enterprises with fertilisers and incentives to boost their businesses.
According to Governor Sani, the remaining two phases of the palliative intervention will take care of transportation and assistance to smallholder farmers; micro, small and medium-scale enterprises; as well as the resuscitation of train services across the three senatorial districts of Kaduna State, which he believes are key to cushion the sufferings of the people.
While commending the state government for its inclusive approach of engaging with key stakeholders in palliative intervention and prioritising the most vulnerable and impoverished groups, members of the committee also made a case for other categories of persons.
In the final preparation for the commencement of the distribution of palliatives to the people of the state, Sani said the government was committed to the effective implementation of measures lined up in the three phases and had, therefore, put all necessary machinery in place to ensure the exercise is hitch-free, transparent and equitable.
One of the key outcomes of the National Economic Council (NEC) Meeting held on August 17 was the decision to give support to state governments to cushion the effects of the removal of subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).
And so far, the sum of N2 billion out of the N5 billion palliative support fund has been released to the Kaduna State Government.
A joint committee, led by the state Deputy Governor, Dr Hadiza Balarabe, has been established to oversee the implementation of the palliative support programme. This committee comprises representatives from organized labour, civil society organizations, faith-based organizations, market unions, and people living with disabilities. It has made recommendations that have been accepted by the state government to ensure transparency and effectiveness in the program’s implementation