Economic Downturn : Kogi commences distribution of rice as palliatives


…says saboteurs to face the law

By Idris Ahmed

Kogi State Government has commenced distribution of rice as part of palliative, with a stern warning to government officials who may be tempted to divert or sell the commodity to desist or face the wrath the law.

The state Governor, Alhaji Ahmed Usman Ododo, who gave the warning during the flag off of first quarter 2024 food palliative distribution on Friday in Lokoja, said the commodity is meant for the indigent people of Kogi State.

Alhaji Ododo stated that his administration is committed to serve the people with transparency and the fear of God.

According to him, the time for politics is over and as such the palliatives will not be distributed along party, ethnic or religious lines, but only targeted at the vulnerable as well as the poorest of the poor in the State.

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He disclosed that the government has set up a special charged with the responsibility of ensuring transparent distribution of the commodity and a watertight distribution modality has been put in place to checkmate infringes and abuses in the exercise.

“My administration is will not allow any unpatriotic element to cheat on the people. The Government has put mechanism in place to track and apprehend those who plan to hoard the distribution of the commodity.

“The palliative is not for APC alone, religious group or ethnic agenda. It is for the people of Kogi State. I want to beg all of us to allow the poor breath. I am part of them. I was being raised from them. I am committed to serve them, not as a leader but their servant. Political appointees will not benefit from this palliatives. They should also contribute to the society that made them

“I will not condone any act of indiscipline as I will personally monitor the distribution of the rice to ensure that it reaches the downtrodden that gave us the mandate to serve them”, the governor emphasized.

Commissioner for Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Hajia Rabiatu Okute , in her goodwill message, said the distribution of the palliative in Kogi was aimed at alleviating the suffering of citizens as a result of the of economic downturn occasioned by several forces mitigating against growth and development.

She stated that the palliative which is the first and will be on quarterly basis will push hunger to the zero level in the state.

“This palliative is part of the electioneering campaign promises and I am assuring the people that more dividend of democracy will be delivered by Governor Ododo led administration” she said.

Also in his goodwill message, the Speaker Kogi State House of Assembly, Honourable Aliyu Umar Yusuf,stated that famine has been part of human existence, usually God and authorities provided succour and palliatives as read in the holly books.

He commented the Governor on fulfilling some of his promises one of which is the provision of food for poor and the vulnerable in the state, assuring of cooperation of the Legislature.

The Speaker, however, urged the state government not to only provide palliative, but put in place measures to prevent massive movement of food items from Kogi to other states, which usually leave the producers hungry, just as also call for the serious checks on Lokoja market middlemen and women, whom he accused of deliberate hiking of prices of food.

State Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Gabriel Amari, thanked the Governor for the palliative and assured that the Congress will ensure that the bags of rice reach every worker in the state.

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