Osun Food Support Scheme: We‘II not allow initiative to die – Oyetola
The Osun State Government has reiterated its commitment to sustaining its social intervention programmes aimed at raising the standard of living of the people, stimulating the economy and making life meaningful and worthwhile.
The administration expressed its determination to continue the programme for the betterment of the people, particularly the most vulnerable, saying nothing would make the lofty initiative die.
This is even as garri processors in the state lauded the programme, saying it has particularly dignified and elevated them to the rank of government contractors’ through garri production.
Recall that the administration of Governor Gboyega Oyetola had in April 2021 inaugurated the monthly distribution of food items to vulnerable citizens as part of efforts to cushion the adverse effects of COVID-19 and meet the most essential basic food needs of the beneficiaries.
To this end, 30,000 households have been benefiting directly from the scheme monthly with attendant multiplier effects on the socioeconomic fortunes and commercial activities of the state.
Flagging off the 20th edition at the Weeknd, at the Multipurpose Hall, Local Government Service Commission, State Government Secretariat, Abere, Osogbo, Governor Oyetola expressed satisfaction with the huge success the scheme had recorded since its introduction.
Represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Prince Wole Oyebamiji, the governor said the positive feedback has been the source of encouragement for the government to continue.
“We thank God that in the last 20 months, this administration has not failed on the promise made to the people of the state. Just like we said a few months ago, we will continue this programme as long as we remain in government and we are glad that this is the 20th edition which over 600,000 households have directly benefitted. You can imagine the number of persons that made up a household; some are three, four, five, six and so on.
“This has a great impact on the people of the state and it shows that the government is passionate about their welfare and security.
“It is the feedback we are getting that has been a source of great encouragement to the government. When government does a thing and people are appreciative, it encourages the government to continue for the benefit of the people,” he added.
Addressing the journalists shortly after the flag-off, the Commissioner for Regional Integration and Special Duties, Engr. Olalekan Badmus said the scheme has impacted greatly on the economy of the state.
Badmus noted that the introduction of the Osun food support scheme has really helped to mitigate untold hardship on the part of the vulnerable segment of the population.
He added: “This scheme has been a great success and we have been able to build more entrepreneurs as months went by. It has been very encouraging. If you look at the socioeconomic value chain of this programme, one will not but appreciates the impact it has made in people’s lives. We have direct and indirect beneficiaries; we have the suppliers, farmers, the garri processors, artisans, and entrepreneurs among others.
“It is our hope and firm belief that it is a programme that we are going to continue and as we are finishing our first term, Mr. Governor will continue with the scheme when he comes back for his second term because it is a scheme that needs to be continued.”
Also speaking, some of the young entrepreneurs that supplied garri to the state for distribution acknowledged the great impact the intervention has had on their businesses.
Mr. Raji Adekunle noted that the introduction of garri into the scheme has helped to dignify his personality and elevated his business.
“Through this scheme, we the young entrepreneurs, particularly those that are into garri production have been elevated. This intervention has dignified garri processors and elevated us to the rank of government contractors, whereas the norm in the past was about civil engineers working on the road and other professionals being on the contract list of the government.
“But today, due to the magnanimity of the present administration of Governor Oyetola, garri processors have been elevated to the rank of contractors, I can say it boldly that I am a contractor now,” he asserted.
Also, Mr. Tajudeen Azeez described the scheme as life-changing for him as it has helped him to scale up his business from meagre to mega.
“The impact of this scheme on our business is very huge. It has helped to scale up our business from meager to mega. The production of garri touches every life at the grassroots, from cassava farmers, to garri processors, and transporters among others. So we thank Mr. Governor for patronising us,” he added.