Seyi Makinde, the governor of Oyo State, has introduced a series of relief measures aimed at mitigating the impact of petrol subsidy removal and the increasing cost of living on the state’s residents.

In a statewide address on Saturday evening, Makinde unveiled what he termed “short-term strategies designed to significantly alleviate the consequences of fuel subsidy removal and the resulting economic challenges faced by our populace.”

He explained that he has issued instructions to increase the number of government buses operating along various routes in the state capital, Ibadan. This move will lead to reduced commuting fares for passengers.

Makinde highlighted that after extensive consultations, the state government had taken decisions to promote the welfare of its citizens, aiming to employ “economic packages to invigorate our economy and foster sustainable growth.”

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The governor outlined a set of actions known as “Sustainable Actions for Economic Recovery (SAfER)” which will provide relief to the most vulnerable members of society and aid in food security by offering direct assistance to farmers. Furthermore, the state plans to address transportation difficulties faced by civil servants and other residents.

Under the SAfER initiative, the state government has expanded its social register to encompass 200,000 of the “most destitute” individuals, who will receive immediate food relief packages.

Makinde revealed, “We are instituting health insurance coverage for 100,000 of our most economically disadvantaged households. The Oyo State Health Insurance Agency (OYSHIA) will cover their health insurance premiums for a year, ensuring they have access to quality healthcare without financial burden.”

To enhance transportation options, the existing Omituntun bus service will extend its coverage to inter-city routes connecting Ibadan to various other zones within Oyo State. Fares will be maintained at affordable rates, and senior citizens and students will benefit from half-priced fares.

Makinde also announced specific assistance for farmers and youth agropreneurs. Ten thousand farmers will receive agricultural inputs in addition to support provided through the OYS-CARES program, which is backed by the World Bank. Youth agropreneurs who have completed the Youth Entrepreneurship in Agribusiness Project (YEAP) and have established enterprises will receive support under the SAfER scheme.

In a bid to bolster small businesses, the governor earmarked N500 million to provide low-interest-rate loans. Traders, artisans, and other small-scale operators can access these loans through designated microfinance banks.

Makinde emphasized that students from tertiary institutions within the state will enjoy a 50% fare discount when using government buses upon displaying their school identification cards. He also pledged to collaborate with student leaders to formulate additional measures to be incorporated into the SAfER package for students.


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