By Francis Sardauna
The federal government has expended a whooping sum of over N45 billion on various social intervention programmes in Katsina State to assuage the plight of vulnerable people in the state.
The state Governor, Aminu Bello Masari, disclosed this Tuesday while commissioning the Katsina Health Workers’ Plaza and Guest House built by the state Medical and Health Workers’ Union of Nigeria (MHWUN).
He explained that the social intervention programmes introduced by President Muhammadu Buhari had significantly tackled vulnerability and supported the most vulnerable families in the northern region of the country.
He said: “Going by our culture and tradition here in this northern part of the country, the older you become the more responsibilities you shoulder because we have no social security system.
“The extended family system is the only social security net we have until recently when President Muhammadu Buhari started introducing social interventions which is the foundation for social security where there is direct support to most vulnerable people of at least N5,000 per month.
“In those social interventions alone, the federal government as of July this year, spent over N45 billion in Katsina State. I want you to imagine what would have been with COVID-19, insecurity and the fall in the price of oil, what the situation would have been.”
He added that the state government is spending N1.2 billion monthly on the payment of pension for local governments and state retirees, vowing to clear all backlog of pensions and gratuities before he leaves office in 2023.
In his address, the National President of MHWUN, Biobelemoye Josiah, urged the government to work towards curtailing the challenges of climate change in order to preserve the lives of Nigerians.
Josiah, represented by the Deputy National President of the Union, Kabir Minjibir, said climate change if unchecked, would degenerate to unprepared labour migration, food shortages and dilapidated health conditions.
The national president of the union, however, donated the sum of N1.5 million to the Katsina State council on behalf of the national body of the union, to support its milestone development.
Earlier, the state Chairman of the Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria, Mannir Seleiman, said the plaza has nine shops, rooms and parlour with self-contained toilet each, while the guest house consists of five self-contained rooms.
He stated that the union has provided foodstuffs and drugs to internally displaced persons in Batsari and other frontline local government areas of the state, among other social interventions.