The Secretary to Delta State Government, (SSG), Dr. Kingsley Emu, has said the state government would be transparent and fair in the distribution of palliatives to farmers and other Deltans to ameliorate their plight occasioned by the removal of fuel subsidy by the Federal Government.
Dr. Emu, who said this at a meeting with the Delta State Farmers Association held at the Government House, Asaba on Monday, October, 23, 2023, said the palliatives would be distributed without ethnic colouration and political party affiliation.
He said 696 bags of rice had been shared in the state to cushion the effects of the fuel subsidy removal in the country, adding that the palliatives were distributed along the DSIEC wards which comprise 20 wards in each of the 25 local government areas of the state.
The SSG said the physically- challenged, vulnerable groups and the absolutely poor families were considered in the distribution of palliatives meant to bring succour to them (beneficiaries of the palliatives).
To farmers who would benefit from the maize and fertiliser distribution, Dr. Emu said that genuine farmers would benefit from the gesture, just as he advised them not to pay money to anybody under any guise.
He disclosed that the committee put in place by the state government to handle the distribution of the palliatives was irrevocably committed to ensuring that palliatives from the federal and state governments got to the right people.
“We have a template where we categorised those who should benefit. The problem is that maize only constitutes just a small percentage of your total cost. So, that is what the committee will work on; to look at the percentage.
“So, if we are giving you 20 per cent or 30 per cent, we expect you to transfer 10 per cent or 20 per cent to end users. Even if it is possible for us to attach end users to a big miller, we will do that.
“We can’t sit down here and start talking about pricing because pricing will involve how we got it and working out what percentage cost maize constitutes in your overall input.
“It is very important, and you will agree with me, that you can’t work it out here. So, that sub-committee must engage people who can also work on cost and prices so that we are able to deliver on that.
“Entrepreneurs don’t talk about brands; they talk about availability and the enabling environment. We understand the peculiarity of what you are doing. So, we are going to look at palliating what is on ground.
“If we have facilities for preservation over the period, we will not have those harvest waste. Which is what we experience today. We will get your team to work with them. The state is interested in doing what is enduring that can mitigate this challenge that we see today.
“We have started this programme with a rice distribution exercise which was very successful in Delta State. We are working with a template where we categorised those who should benefit,” the SSG added.
In his remarks, the Commissioner for Agriculture, Hon. Perez Omoun, thanked the federal and state governments for the proactive steps taken to cushion the devastating effects of fuel subsidy removal on Deltans, especially farmers in different fields.
In separate remarks, some of the farmers said that they were impressed with the foresight of the government and pledged to put the items to maximum use.