By Sunday Oguntuyi, Osogbo
As part its efforts to turn around the socioeconomic fortunes of the state and continuously guarantee the welfare and well-being of the generality of the masses, particularly the vulnerable citizens, the government of Osun, under the leadership of Governor Adegboyega Oyetola, has continued the distribution of the monthly food items to vulnerable citizens across the state.
This 13th edition of the food distribution marked the first month of the second year anniversary of the laudable initiative that had fed over one million mouths in various categories.
Governor Oyetola had in last year April flagged off the Osun Food Support Scheme, which was targeted at banishing hunger, poverty and related vices as part of its social security intervention designed to scale-up the welfare and general well-being of the citizenry.
Addressing journalists during the flag-off ceremony at the Multi-purpose Hall, Local Government Service Commission, State Government Secretariat, Abere, Osogbo, Governor Oyetola said the scheme had become a model of social investment programmes of any responsible government.
Represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Prince Wole Oyebamiji, Governor Oyetola stressed at the 13th edition of the scheme, that it had recorded huge success as it had helped to further brought the government closer to the people, most importantly the masses.
Oyetola who described the initiative as a veritable tool for meeting the masses at the point of their needs, said on no account would his government renege on its pledge to continue the programme as long as he remains in government.
“When Governor Oyetola started this scheme, he said he will continue as long as he remains in government, some ‘Doubting Thomases’ said he couldn’t make it. But we are glad to inform the generality of our people that last month was the 12th edition and today is the commencement of the second year of feeding the generality of the masses of our people,” he said.
“What gladdens our hearts is the fact that we are getting feedback from the beneficiaries and this shows the extent at which we have reached out to the people who actually need this. As a matter of fact, we went to the extent that, apart from the distribution pattern, we went to the markets to ensure that it gets to our people.
“As you can see, the items are well packaged and customized, making it to be more unique. And for the distribution, we have our chart and the template encompasses the interest of the various vulnerable groups to ensure smooth distribution exercise. At no point did any group complain because what we do is to ensure that if the groups are fifty, the first ten will be given at a particularly month while the others receive subsequently.
“As it is, if you look at the distribution pattern, you will agree with me that it has been going round effectively. We put in place a mechanism that ensures that the items get to the right people at the right time.
“Our mechanism is the welfare of the people. That is why we have been working hard to ensure that no stone is left unturned in the various developmental programmes of the government. And this has been a very strong motivation that gave birth to this programme after we had ensured prompt payment of salaries, execution of people-oriented policies, guaranteeing security of lives and property of the citizens and welfare of the citizens.”
In his remarks, the Commissioner for Regional Integration and Special Duties, Engr. Olalekan Badmus, said the government was committed to jerking up the number of entrepreneurs in the second year.
Badmus who expressed delight at the successful implementation of the Scheme since its introduction, said, “So far so good, this scheme has been a success. We have been able to engage 50 entrepreneurs in the last one year and we are also looking at doubling this figure for the second year”.
“Presently, we have different entrepreneurs that have reached us to partake in the programme on the production of different foods, most especially cassava flakes. It is so interesting that the former AIG approached us to partner the government on the production of staple foods.
“You will agree with me that this programme has been a success when you see the number of people that want to partner. It is a programme that is working. That is why similar gesture is being copied by Borno State Government as part of its social security intervention, among other positive impacts recorded”, he added.
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