Oyo State governor, ‘Seyi Makinde, has set up a committee for the Sustainable Action for Economic Recovery (SAfER), which is meant to mitigate the effects of the removal of fuel subsidies and the resultant economic difficulties on citizens of the state.
The 15-man committee is headed by the Chief of Staff, Hon. Segun Ogunwuyi, while Professor Musibau Babatunde, Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, will serve as its Secretary.
Other members of the committee include Mr Akinola Ojo, Finance Commissioner; Barrister Olasunkanmi Olaleye, Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development; Mr Segun Olayiwola, Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters; Prince Dotun Oyelade, Commissioner for Information; and Comrade Bayo Titilola-Sodo, Special Adviser, Labour Matters.
Others are Chief Bayo Lawal, Senior Executive Assistant, General Duties; Alhaji Kolawole Gafar, Executive Assistant, Finance, Budget & Economic Planning; CP Sunday Odukoya (Retired), Executive Assistant, Security; Miss Ololade Ajibola, Senior Special Assistant, Special Duties; Bishop Daniel Oluwajimade, representative of the Christian Association of Nigeria; Alhaji Muniru Ogundipe, representative of the Muslim Community; Mr Ademola Babalola, representative of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) and Mr Jide Bamgbose, representative of the Civil Society Organisations.
The governor had, during a broadcast on Saturday, announced the multi-pronged SAfER intervention to ease the economic burden foisted on the people by the subsidy removal.
According to him, “after wide consultations, we have arrived at decisions that we believe will be of the most benefit to the good people of Oyo State. Our SAfER package will ensure a softer landing for the poorest of the poor and the most vulnerable. It will also address the need for food security through direct intervention to our farmers.”
Governor Makinde added that in coming up with the interventions, “we considered the importance of using these economic packages to stimulate our economy and bring about sustainable development.”
The SAfER package comes under six major headings viz;
Transportation – This includes the extension of bus routes, the introduction of inter-city Omituntun buses to link geo-political zones and fare reduction for students as well as the aged.
Food Relief Package – This focuses on providing over 200,000 poorest of the poor households in the state with food items.
Food Security – This intervention is aimed at providing input support for 10,000 farmers in the state.
Agropreneurial support – Through this, young agropreneurs under the Youth Entrepreneurship in Agribusiness Project (YEAP), who have established businesses, would have access to N500 million loan to improve their agricultural enterprises.
SMEs Stimulation Package – There will be provision of N500 million low interest rate loan for Small and Micro-Enterprises (SMEs), including traders, artisans and other small business operators, in the state through microfinance banks.
Healthcare support – Under this scheme, the government will be providing health insurance for 100,000 of the most vulnerable citizens. It will also pay their one-year health insurance premium under the Oyo State Health Insurance Agency (OYSHIA) scheme. In the same vein, the government will pay the health insurance premium for all pensioners under OYSHIA scheme. Any pensioner who has already made payment will be refunded.