Governor of Kaduna State, Uba Sani, has revealed a three-stage plan to soften the impact of the removal of fuel subsidy for the residents of the state.
First in priority is the distribution of food items to one million and fifty thousand people in the state drawn from two hundred and ten thousand households.
Speaking to the media at a press conference on Tuesday, Governor Sani revealed that the Federal Government had given N2 billion to the Kaduna State Government as part of its plan to provide all Nigerian states with assistance to cushion the effect of fuel subsidy in Nigeria.
He said his plan for the state is distributed into short term, medium term, and long-term.
“To ensure effective implementation, I convened a Stakeholder Meeting comprising government officials, representatives of trade unions, representatives of faith-based organizations, persons with disabilities, market and transport unions, and the private sector, amongst others,” he said.
The meeting was convened to agree on the methodology for the utilization of the palliative funds received from the Federal Government and made recommendations.
According to Sani, “The first phase (short term) will be devoted to distribution of food items to households. The second phase (medium term) will take care of transportation and assistance to small holder farmers, micro, small and medium scale enterprises, while the third phase (long term) will be devoted to the resuscitation of the locomotive train from Zaria to Kaduna, Sabon Tasha and Kafanchan, all in a bid to ease transportation for citizens.”
Sani explained that the short-term solution, will be the distribution of food items to one million and fifty thousand people in the state drawn from two hundred and ten thousand households.
He noted that families headed by people with disabilities, widows and the elderly will be considered first, and other vulnerable households, orphanages and Internally Displaced Persons Camps will also be given special attention.
To this effect, 43,000 50kg bags of rice will be purchased and a committee set up to ensure smooth distribution.
The second phase will consist of the Kaduna State Government introducing subsidized road transportation on major routes.
“This would be after the procurement of buses by the State Government,” he said.
He also said, “a sub-committee comprising representatives of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN), Keke Nape Association and Kaduna Line has been mandated to work out modalities for implementation, including designated routes, operation times of the scheme, and number of buses needed.”
Also, in the second phase, the state will provide financial support for Micro, Small and Medium businesses.
Sani said, “Government will liaise with the various traders and market associations through the Kaduna Markets Development and Management Company (KMDMC) and Kaduna Enterprise Development Agency (KADEDA) to draw up a list of these small-scale traders/ enterprises.”
The government will also be distributing fertilizer to small holder farmers in the state.
Finally, for the third phase, Sani said, “We shall make efforts to resuscitate the locomotive train from Zaria to Kaduna, and from Sabon Tasha to Kafanchan. The aim is to provide citizens with affordable means of transportation.
“To this end, the General Manager, Kaduna Line has been mandated to seek partnership with the Nigeria Railway Corporation through the Federal Ministry of Transport.”
Sani asked for the support of Kaduna citizens saying, “We call on our citizens to give maximum support and cooperation to the Implementation Committee to ensure a seamless exercise. The full weight of the law will be visited on anyone who attempts to divert the palliatives meant for the people or tries to disrupt the exercise.”
This announcement comes after Sani, on Monday, reduced the tuition of state-owned universities by up to 50% in an attempt to provide palliatives for students in Kaduna State.