Abeokuta – Governor Dapo Abiodun, of Ogun State on Tuesday announced plans by his administration to re-activate the state ‘Bulk Purchase Program’ under the state’s owned Gateway Trading Company.
Abiodun, who made the disclosure during a press interview in Abeokuta, said his administration will also introduce an agric and food palliative measure aimed “at supporting our farmers so that we can boost food production.”
According to the governor, the Bulk Purchase Program will allow the state government to purchase food items at pre-deregulation prices.
“In terms of food palliatives, we are now going to reactivate our Bulk Purchase Program under the Gateway Trading and through different channels and warehouses in different parts of the state.
“We will be selling food items like rice and other grains that we will be purchasing from the Central Bank of Nigeria at pre-deregulation prices,” he said.
The governor also said that the introduction of an Energy Transition Plan, which was conceived some months back by his administration would allow the state to migrate from depending on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) or diesel to power public transportation , using Compressed Natural Gas (CNG).
Abiodun noted that the plan of his administration was to convert mini buses owned by individuals in the state to CNG at the expense of the state government because of the financial requirements.
He stated that the first set of CNG powered vehicles will be unveiled during the week.
“The Energy Transition Plan is something that we conceived six to eight months ago, and we have begun work in earnest on that.
“The Energy Transition Plan is a plan that allows us to migrate from depending on PMS or diesel to power public transportation and begin to migrate to using Compressed Natural Gas (CNG).
“I am proud to say that sometime this week, we will be unveiling the first set of vehicles that will be converted from using diesel to using Compressed Natural Gas. That process started some months back.
“The first set of vehicles that we will be unveiling are the state owned mass transit buses, staff buses, and then we will be converting our mini buses that are owned by different individuals in the state.
“Our plan is to convert these buses at our expense because of the financial requirements that may make it difficult for owners of public mass transit buses to do that conversion.
“So the state will convert those buses at our expense, and that itself is part of our intervention plan,” he said.
Abiodun also disclosed that an infrastructure initiative will be introduced by his administration that would allow community leaders, market women and religious bodies to identify three roads in their communities for immediate intervention such as reconstruction, repair or maintainance.
“We have what we call the Infrastructure Initiative. I have asked that each local government in unison with leaders in that locality, community leaders, market women, religious bodies identify three roads in each local government for us to immediately begin to either reconstruct, repair or maintain,” he said.
The governor further noted that the N10,000 allowance for civil servants and pensioners was to cushion the effect of the increased cost of transporting themselves to work.
He explained that hazard allowance, leave, peculiar allowances and promotion arrears would also be paid.
Abiodun also disclosed that civil servants have been asked to maintain about 80% presence in their various offices so that not everybody has to come to work every day.
He noted that his administration would be launching it’s E-mobility program, which he said would allow his administration to retrieve every petrol dependent motorcycle or tricycle and replace them with electricity operated motorcycles and tricycles.
“We announced that we will be paying a special allowance to all our civil servants, including our pensioner’s across board of N10,000.
“That was discussed, negotiated, and agreed by all, alongside with that are different payments of hazard allowance, peculiar allowances and promotion allowance.
“Some of these, particularly the N10,000 allowances, are allowances that we choose to pay that should be seen as a transport allowance to cushion the effect of the increased cost of transporting themselves to work.
“But, this is only an immediate term measure; we have a sustainable plan that we will be implementing that we believe will allow for transportation to revert back to the price before deregulation was introduced,” he said.
The state helmsman while commending President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for putting an end to the fuel subsidy regime in the country, added that the subsidy regime which took about N4 trillion from the coffers of the Federal Government was a payment which the country could no longer afford to continue with.
“We all know that the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration started with a bang.
“On the 29th of May, he reeled out a few initiatives, but one of the most laudable of those initiative was the decision to remove subsidy on petroleum products and as controversial as that initiative has been, no one can deny the fact that it was a very well thought initiative.
“That was a subsidy that Nigeria could no longer afford; it was subsidy that was not in the budget beyond June of 2023.
“It was costing Nigeria about N4 trillion per annum, four trillion that Nigeria didn’t have; that we’ve had to borrow.
“That could be better expended to other uses that the common man can feel. So, it was a very wise decision,” he said.