Kudos to Kebbi’s palliative initiative

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One of the strongest points of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and Comrade Dr. Nasir Idris, Kauran Gwandu’s campaign was to pursue welfarist policies that would better the lives of the common man in Kebbi state. It is, therefore, heartwarming that the governor’s leadership approach since he was sworn in typifies his campaign promise.

Hardly a week passes by without Governor Idris rolling out one new welfare intervention or the other just to better the lives of the common people of the state. This has attracted praise and commendation from people from within and without. It is very hard to keep count of the governor’s welfare interventions since May 29 last year. However, to do justice to this piece, it is pertinent to trace some of them, spread across several areas, even just for the sake of context.

As a worker in the state’s civil service, it is only natural that I begin with the governor’s well-celebrated decision to pay all civil servants in Kebbi State, including local government employees, leave grants amounting to 10% of their net annual pay as Ramadan bonus. This decision has been hailed as a very thoughtful and timely initiative.

Without mincing words, the gesture has helped the state’s workforce to observe the Ramadan fast with a great deal of dignity, helping them to focus on maximising the importance of the holy month. But that is not all; Governor Idris also extended a kind gesture to workers by reducing work hours.

However, the workers’ Ramadan welfare package pales in comparison to other Ramadan welfare initiatives focused on the common people. These include the distribution of assorted grains to mostly indigent people as palliatives as well as the opening of Ramadan feeding hubs.

As a public declaration of intent and commitment to help those in need and provide relief to those affected by the present socio-economic problems, it doesn’t come any better than this. This initiative has shown that the governor is resolute in his decision to always stand in solidarity with the common people and such a symbolic gesture of communality deserves all the accolades it has received.

The Ramadan palliatives, which gulped over N12 billion of the state’s resources, were made up of 9,900 bags of rice and 9,500 bags of grain for teachers, 4,000 bags of rice, and 3,400 bags of grains for ministries, departments, and agencies while 1,000 bags of rice and 1,000 bags of grains for Islamic scholars, among others.

Because of the significance of the Ramadan palliatives and to head off any unforeseen issue of fraud in the distribution process, Governor Idris utilised mosques for the distribution exercise.

Governor Idris has been on this trail of welfarism since taking over office on May 29, 2023. This was demonstrated by his decision to transact in action where many others were wasting so much time punching holes on the premise on which President Bola Tinubu ended the subsidy regime.

Nothing screams action than the governor’s flagging-off of palliative distribution in the Maiyama local government area of the state in October. At the end of the exercise, over 720,000 families from across all 21 local government areas of the state were reached by the transparent distribution of economic relief items.

Like Oliver Twist, however, we, the people of Kebbi State, continue to ask for more and the reason is simple; we have a governor who is equal to all our expectations.

Musa Kabir wrote from Birnin Kebbi, Kebbi State

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