Oborevwori Flags Off  Palliative Distribution of Rice and Maize in Delta

The third phase of palliative distribution of rice and maize for people of Delta State was on Thursday flagged-off by the State Governor, Rt Hon Sheriff Oborevwori.

Delta State Governor, Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori, has flagged-off phase three of the state’s grains palliative distribution exercise with a charge on civil servants and other workers in the state to engage in small scale farming to mitigate rising hunger across the country.

Oborevwori gave the charge at the Delta Agricultural Procurement Agency, (DAPA) Warehouse, Ibusa, Oshimili North Local Government Area of the state.

The Governor, who said food security was very important in the light of the rising incidence of hunger in the country, charged the subsidy palliative distribution committee to ensure that all farmers were carried along, insisting that not all farmers were members of the farmers’ association.

According to him “We have done the first and second phases. But we decided to do this very one in a grand style because, if you don’t announce yourself, nobody will announce you.

“All the things we have been doing for the past one year, we don’t even showcase them. Some people will not know that we are doing a lot. On the issue of palliatives, Delta State was the first in Nigeria to consider the civil servants.

“When the issue of fuel subsidy removal came, we looked at it, it was real hard time for our civil servants; we discussed and the first thing we did was to pay all the outstanding promotion arrears amounting to over N5.6 billion. We didn’t even know how the future was going to be then.

“That wasn’t enough;  at the critical time of the fuel subsidy removal, we also sat down and even with a lot of workers of 50,193 strength. We also agreed that for the 50, 193 workers, we will be giving them small stipends of N10,000 for three months. We did it and it cost the state over N1.5 billion.

“As for the issue of this palliative, we shared it last year; we are here today to say we are grateful to God for what He has been doing for us. Today, we are going to flag off  distribution of the rice and maize that we have received.

“We received 24,000 units of 25kg bags of rice from Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria RIFAN; we received 4,700 units of 25kg bags of Garri and 18,770  units of 50kg bags of maize from the National Emergency Management Agency and the National Security Adviser’s Office.

“This palliative was received last month, which is May, 2024 and we are grateful to all the donor agencies for their support.

“You may also recall that between August and September 2023,  we received 17,400 units of 50kg bags of rice and 40,000 units of 50kg bags of maize in a joint venture with the Federal Government.

“The items were distributed across the state in the first and second phases of this programme to take care of most especially, the  most vulnerable in our state.

“I have told the SSG to ensure that this phase of distribution should get to even some notable farmers who do not belong to the different farmers’ associations. The committees at the Local Government Areas comprise the NLC, faith- based organisations, community Presidents- General, the traditional institutions and NGOs.

“We also took a decision that the Civil Servants from levels 1-14 should run shift. Monday to Wednesday, others Thursday and Friday. We have not even cancelled it and we feel it’s an opportunity  for them to go into farming.

“There is no farming that is too small. We did that so that the money they would have used to buy fuel and come to work, they can save it and invest it in their farms. If everybody, the fifty thousand and something workers we have in this state, 60 per cent of them are engaged in farming, there will be food sufficiency.

“I want to thank that lecturer who is a farmer. She has encouraged people to go into farming. Food is very important. We have fertile lands in Delta State.

“As an administration that prioritises the welfare of citizens, we shall continue to explore ways and means to expand our coverage and mitigate the current hardship thereby bringing succour to our people.”

Earlier in his speech, Chairman of the State Subsidy Palliative Committee and Secretary to the State Government, Dr Kingsley Emu, commended Governor Oborevwori for the ongoing 317 road projects across the state with 76 of them spanning 170km length initiated by the Governor in the last one year.

He said road projects in the state had contributed immensely to the ease of  evacuation of farm produce and the economy of the state.

Emu lauded the donors- the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria, National Emergency Management Agency, and the National Security Adviser’s Office, for the various donations.

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