The Osun State Government has flagged off the 16th edition of the food support scheme aimed at meeting the needs of the vulnerable citizens and bringing succour to the less privileged in the society.
The government reiterated its commitment to ensuring the continuation of the scheme as long as the incumbent Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola, remains in power.
Governor Oyetola disclosed that half a million households and vulnerable citizens and their dependents had benefitted tremendously since the inception of the programme last year April.
Flagging off the 16th edition at the open field of the Multipurpose Hall, Local Government Service Commission, State Government Secretariat, Abere, Osogbo, Governor Oyetola said his administration is irrevocably committed to ensuring the continuity of the initiative.
Governor Oyetola emphasised the determination of the administration to revolutionalise the economy, saying there are verifiable records to the fact that the administration has indelibly made its imprints in the sand of time towards the enthronement and sustainability of good governance in all the strata of the economy and human endeavours.
Oyetola, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Prince Wole Oyebamiji, said the administration was not in any way deterred by the outcome of the election as the implementation of the initiative was in fulfilment of the promises to make life meaningful and worthwhile for the citizens.
“You will recall that 16 months ago, we flagged off the food support scheme for the vulnerable citizens and we did say that as long as we are in power, we would continue this scheme. Election or no election can’t hinder the continuity of this programme and many others and the effect of the commitment is what you are seeing today.
“As of today, we are still in a Government and as long as we are in government, we shall continue to champion the cause of the masses of our people in line with the mandate. We must among other things ensure their welfare and security.
“We are in government and we shall continue to provide this welfare scheme. We have impacted about half a million households directly since the commencement. We are aware that agriculture is the mainstay of our economy. That is why we have been encouraging our youths to participate in the agriculture and go back to the farm.
“As a matter of fact, we have a responsibility to encourage them to do so. And those that are participating in the supply of this month’s food items are more than 24 groups of young, dynamic and hardworking local entrepreneurs.
“As you can see, we are distributing garri for this month edition and the purpose of this is to further encourage and promote local production and empower our entrepreneurs. This garri is produced by our people and that is the focus of our Administration. We expect our people to continue to support our Administration as we are committed to revolutionalising the economy of the State”, Oyetola added.
While elucidating on the impact of the scheme on the local production and advancement of the local entrepreneurs, the Commissioner for Regional Integration and Special Duties, Engr. Olalekan Badmus, said the state government through the scheme had been able to build entrepreneurs to expand the scope of their businesses.
“It is a thing of joy to see that the mandate and promises of Mr. Governor are fulfilled and sustained. Today is another day that is attesting to his promise at ensuring that, on a monthly basis, 30,000 vulnerable citizens are reached with food items.
“We went through all the local governments to look for those that can supply us, and today the scheme has really encouraged local production. We have been able to build many entrepreneurs as many of them have been able to increase their staff strength and local productions. The fund for this programme is the fund for the economy of the state because the money used to finance this is being expended locally”, he added.
In their separate remarks, some of the gari processors, Hammed Adekunle and Prince Wale Afolabi, affirmed the great impacts the scheme had made on their businesses.
“I want to say with all sense of pride that the present Administration of Governor Adegboyega Oyetola has made us and impacted greatly on our lives and businesses. Before I was incorporated into the list of government for the supply of garri, I was not known to anybody, but to the glory of God today, I have expanded the scope of my business.
“I was only in the streets of Ode-Omu where I was producing garri. But today, I have been made a garri contractor just as I have recruited a greater number of people in the production of garri. As I speak to you, more than 15 persons have been engaged for the processing while many women were equally engaged in the production process. I can’t thank Governor enough for seeing the potential in us and for uplifting us from nothing to something,” Adekunle added.