The Government of Osun State has reiterated commitment to sustaining its social intervention programmes aimed to raising the standard of living of the people, stimulate the economy and to make life meaningful and worthwhile for the generality of the people.
The government noted that it was resolute to continue the programme for the betterment of the people particularly the most vulnerable, saying nothing would make the lofty initiative to die.
This is even as the gari processors lauded the Oyetola’s social investment programmes saying it has particularly dignified and elevated them to the rank of government contractors’ list through gari production.
Recall that the administration of Governor Oyetola had in April, 2021 inaugurated the monthly distribution of food items to the 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 on monthly basis with attendant multiplier effect on the socio-economic fortunes and commercial activities of the State.
Flagging off the 20th edition on Friday, 18 November, 2022, at the multipurpose hall, Local Government Service Commission, State Government Secretariat, Abere, Osogbo, Governor Oyetola expressed satisfaction on the huge success the scheme had recorded since its introduction.
Oyetola who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Prince Wole Oyebamiji, 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 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 where over 600,000 households have directly benefitted. You can imagine the number of persons that make 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 government to continue for the benefit of the people”, he added.
Addressing the journalists shortly after the flag off, 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 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 appreciate the impact it has made in people’s lives. We have direct and indirect beneficiaries, we have the suppliers, farmers, the gari 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 gari to the State for distribution acknowledged the great impact the intervention has had on their businesses.
Mr. Raji Adekunle noted that the introduction of gari 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 gari production have been elevated. This intervention has dignified gari 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 government. But today, due to the magnanimity of the present administration of Governor Oyetola, gari 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 a 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 meagre to mega. The production of gari touches every life at the grassroots, from cassava farmers, to gari processors, transporters among others. So we thank Mr Governor for patronising us”, he added.