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Abia receives FG palliatives, distribution to commence soon

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Abia state has received part of the second batch of federal government sponsored palliatives to the state. This time, they will be shared among the various categories of civil servants to cushion the effects of the harsh economic realities in the state, just as the first batch was shared among the most vulnerable in various communities and villages to reduce the pains of the removal of oil subsidies in the country.

The state Commissioner for Information and Culture, Prince Okey Kanu who disclosed this while briefing newsmen in Umuahia, Monday, said out of the sixty thousand bags of 25kg rice expected to be received in state from the federal government, twenty four thousand bags have already been received.

He said about twelve thousand and seventy one bags would be distributed to civil servants from Salary Grade Levels one to seven (GL. 01 – 07) in the first phase.

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According to him, when the expected balance of thirty six thousand bags arrive the state, they would be distributed to civil servants of Salary Grade Level eight to ten (SGL. 08 – 10).

The information Commissioner expressed the hope that the rest of the palliatives being awaited from the federal government would soon arrive.

His words: “We have about six hundred and sixty three thousand metric tons of maize which translates to about thirteen thousand, two hundred and sixty bags of 25kg each. There’s also 79.9 metric tons of garri which translates to about three thousand one hundred and ninety six bags of 25kg each.

“Before now, we focused on the vulnerable ones in the society. At every turn , we try to give the palliatives to those who need them most”.

The commissioner stressed the efforts being made by the state government to tackle the perennial flooding in Aba, pointing out that the government is currently disilting drainages to avoid flooding during this raining season in parts of the state.

According to him, the state government has disilted about 40 kilometres of roads in Aba to prevent the perennial flooding being experienced there each year.

He recalled that the state recently received officials of the UN Habitat group, charged with the responsibility of preparing the Aba Master- plan.

He explained that the Master- plan, when completed would address the issue of flooding in Aba. He used the occasion to call on Aba residents to ensure they dispose their refuse in designated places to complement government’s efforts in keeping the environment clean.

The Commissioner further announced that the state government has commenced the second phase of the ‘Light Up Abia Initiative’ , saying that such roads and streets as Georges Street, Park Road, Aba Owerri road – from Osisioma to MCC road junction among others in Aba and Orie Ugba – Post office, Afara technical to Okpara avenue ,State secretariat and Ministry of Women Affairs all in Umuahia are affected.

On getting touts off the roads and parks and avoid the incessant harassments and illegal collection of revenues, the commissioner hinted that the Harmonized Taskforce has swung into action at Aba and Umuahia, stressing that designated telephone numbers will be made available for people to report culprits, anywhere in the state.

Answering a question raised about the Light- up Abia initiative, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Publicity, Mr Ferdinand Ekeoma explained that the government has noted the places where the lights are not glowing as expected and assured that they are being fixed to meet the standard expected of them.

Contributing also, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Policy and Interventions, Rev Father Christian Anokwuru said although, the state is yet to receive the palliatives from Dangote Foundation as promised, the state is hopeful to receive same as it has received official mails to that effect.

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