Governor Mbah Initiates Palliatives Distribution in Enugu

Governor Mbah Initiates Palliatives Distribution in Enugu
Governor Mbah Initiates Palliatives Distribution in Enugu

Governor of Enugu State, Barr Peter Mbah, initiated the distribution of palliatives in Enugu State on Wednesday.

He ordered the immediate delivery of 52,000 bags of rice and 52,000 bags of maize to benefit the urban and rural poor in the State.

These palliatives have been allocated in such a way that each of the 260 wards in the State will receive 200 bags of rice and 200 bags of maize. Governor Mbah emphasized that these palliatives are part of the short-term strategies aimed at combating poverty. He reiterated that the medium and long-term plans of his administration remain focused on eradicating poverty in the state, aligning with his manifesto.

Part of our vision is to eradicate poverty in Enugu State. And we knew that at the time we were saying that, there was a high rate of poverty in the state. But, a few days into our administration, we have had to contend with a number of policies initiated by the Federal Government such as the removal of the petrol subsidy, and also the unification of the foreign exchange rates. 

“What that meant was that the people we have in our poverty bracket suddenly expanded because their purchasing power declined drastically.

“As a government that is pro-people, we have the quick fix or short-term strategy to reduce the pressure on our people, while still bearing in mind the long-term goal of eradicating poverty, making sure that we introduce strategic programmes that would in the long run get our people constructively engaged, and make a living from such engagements.

“So, what we have simply come to do here today is to present palliatives to the people of Enugu State, particularly our rural poor, urban poor and our downtrodden.

“We have also put a structure in place to make that happen by decentralising the distribution, involving local council leaderships, the town unions, the religious institutions, among others such that once we leave here, these items will begin to get distributed across the 17 local governments from today,” he said. 

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The Governor also announced the procurement of buses to subsidize transportation and facilitate the ease of socio-economic activities for the people. He recalled that his administration had previously established committees to verify and clear all outstanding pensions and gratuities owed to public servants in the State. This measure aims to ensure that the elderly and most vulnerable citizens can lead meaningful lives despite economic challenges.

During the event, Chairman of the Enugu State Chapter of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria, Hon. Okechukwu Edeh, who is also a member of the State palliatives committee, expressed assurance that the distributed items would promptly reach those in need among the less fortunate members of the community.

As the ALGON Chairman, I promise you that I will work with my colleagues to make sure that these get to the downtrodden. It is not for everybody; it is for the poor, and it must get to them based on the expanded social register that has been compiled”, he said.

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In the meantime, various groups of beneficiaries have praised the Enugu State Government for its transparent and inclusive approach in administering the palliatives. 

Speaking, the Chairman of the Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities, Enugu State chapter, Onyebuchi Mbah, said: “I wish to say kudos to the current administration in Enugu State because they deemed it fit to practice inclusiveness, involving the most vulnerable groups, persons with disabilities in this exercise. I want them to continue in that direction.

“Let me also say that in the exercise so far, the State Governor has played his own role and we hope that the directives he has given will be followed so that these items will get to the most vulnerable population”

Also speaking, Mrs Chika Nwankwo, Councillor representing Awgu Ward I in Awgu LGA described the palliatives as “sweet news to the poor in the rural areas where I come from.”

“The poor, the sick, and many who cannot afford one square meal in a day are eargerly waiting for us to return with the goodies”, she stated.

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