Economic Hardship: Sanwo-Olu Intervenes, Reduces Working Days for Civil Servants

Economic Hardship: Sanwo-Olu Intervenes, Reduces Working Days for Civil Servants

25% transport rebate returns, 100,000 trailers of rice for 300,000 residents  

*31 hospitals to deliver pregnant women for free

Segun James

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, yesterday, unveiled a package of palliatives for residents of the state to cushion the current economic hardship in the country.

Sanwo-Olu said as part of the measures to lessen the adverse effect of the federal government’s recent policies on the people, working hours for civil servants on Grade Level 1-14 had been reduced to three days a week, while those on Grade Level 15-17 will work four days per week.
The governor unveiled the package during a media interactive session, “Sanwo Speaks,” to intimate residents on steps being taken by his administration to reduce the effects of the harsh economic realities on residents.

He announced the re-introduction of 25 per cent transport rebate and subsidy on movements in government-owned transport system.
Part of the interventions, according to Sanwo-Olu, include: prompt payment of pensioners’ entitlements, re-introduction of Sunday Markets for subsidised goods at selected places, and subsidy on some drugs.

He also listed the suspension of certain registration requirements in public schools, like demand for tax clearance certificate, to accommodate more out-of-school children. He added that 100 trailers of rice would soon be made available to for 300,000 households.

The governor said his administration targeted to distribute combo food bags to over 3,000 households. He said the government had embarked on procurement of 100 trailers of rice and some other food items, which would be packed and distributed to the less-privileged, with adequate monitoring. He said the government had identified 42 Sunday markets for the exercise.

In the health sector, Sanwo-Olu said the 31 general hospitals across the state had been directed to take child deliveries for free. He announced that the six health districts in the state would embark on free health missions twice a week.
The governor said the re-introduction of 25 per cent reduction in all public transportation, will include: the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) as well as rail and ferries. He pledged to increase transport support for teachers in public schools across the state and exempt parents from showing evidence of tax payments to encourage enrolment of more students in schools.

Sanwo-Olu stated, “This administration is working towards putting interventions in place across different sectors to reduce and ameliorate the sufferings of Lagosians.
“We will open soup kitchens/bowls where identified caterers (mama put) at least 1,000, will be employed across local government areas to feed those who need it, once daily.

“Beneficiaries will get vouchers to be able to access the kitchens. We will also be having food purchase and redistribution to people who need it, especially as we are currently expecting about 100 trailer loads of rice and grains.
“Also, we will be having Sunday markets in 42 identified markets, where people can buy cheaply at discounted rates. Purchase will, however, be limited to N25, 000 to ensure that those who really need it benefit from the initiative.

“There will be free delivery in all general hospitals (normal and caesarean section), and a rebate on certain medications. Six health districts will be holding free health missions twice a week for the next three months.”
The governor restated the commitment of his administration to achieving its THEMES plus development agenda, disclosing that the ground-breaking ceremony of the 4th Mainland Bridge and unveiling of the Redline Rail System would take place on February 29, with President Bola Tinubu expected to attend.

On electricity supply, the governor said his administration awaited the passage of the Electricity Bill before the House of Assembly. He assured that once the bill was passed and signed into law, the government would ensure that the state witnessed new investment companies and on both generation and distributions.
Sanwo-Olu assured that the proposed law would grant investors the capacity to grow on their own and bring about the “Willing buyers and willing sellers concept”, where a lot more investments in alternative sources of energy would thrive.

He added, “It is for that law to be passed by the House of Assembly. Once that law comes out, you would see new investment companies and on both generation and distribution.
“And they would also have capacity to grow on their own. So willing buyers and willing sellers concept would work, there would be a lot more investments in alternative sources of energy.”

Stating that Lagos remained a strong enabler of independent power supply, Sanwo-Olu said the state currently had a running Independent Power Project (IPP). He stated that there was need to localise the law and regulations so that those investments could come in by making the environment “new entrants’ friendly.”
According to Sanwo-Olu, “We in Lagos State also have the IPP that we are running on our own. We are strong enablers on the independent power supply.  So we know what all of the terrains are because the environment was not that new entrants’ friendly, which has now been removed.

“We need to localise the law, regulations so that those investments can come in. The solution to electricity in Lagos State, we are fully aware. We are doing a lot on the deliverables, a lot of our streetlights now, we are turning them into solar, so that we can reduce consumption of diesel and the rest of it from our feeds.”
The governor commended residents of the state for their support over the years, and assured that his administration would continue to put infrastructure in place in order to make life better for residents.

He said his administration was not unmindful of the economic challenges faced by the citizens, but warned that the government would not tolerate contraventions of its environmental laws.

Sanwo-Olu sued for continued peace in the state, irrespective of ethnicity, tribe or religion, even as he reiterated his administration’s commitment to the integrated urban transportation system and development of all sectors in the state.
Sanwo-Olu stressed the need for residents to shun violence and work together with his administration to achieve a greater Lagos.

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