Naira, fuel scarcity: Kwara Govt supports artisans with N265m palliative

Gov. Abdul Rahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara on Thursday in Ilorin presented cheques totalling N267m to different artisan groups in the state to ease the pangs of new Naira and fuel scarcity in the state.

This, according to AbdulRazaq, is a fulfilment of the administration’s pledge to give palliatives to various vulnerable groups that have been hit by the Naira redesign crisis and fuel scarcity.

The Governor said the support for the artisans should translate to ease on the people who enjoy the services of the different economic groups.

Some of the beneficiaries of the fund were the Association of Master Bakers and Caterers of Nigeria (AMBCN); Tricycle Owners Association of Nigeria (TOAN); Okada Riders Association of Nigeria (ORAN); Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN); National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW); and Nigeria Union of Tailors in the state.

Presenting the palliatives to the informal sector, AbdulRazaq appreciated their different roles to serve the public and assist the local economy.

He said the state government was aware of the difficult time that bakers were going through, adding that the palliatives is to keep them afloat and prevent job losses, which might hurt the economy and social stability.

“This is a challenging period for everyone, particularly the transporters and artisans as a whole.

“There is scarcity of cash in the country. You also face the high cost of spare parts. How do you survive this? We know there is a light at the end of the tunnel. We know your challenges and hope everything will be over soon.

“Everyone who consumes bread knows how important the product is. Bakers ensure people get the best bread to eat, even though the prices of the ingredients being used are not stable. Sometimes, they run at a loss.

“We are aware of this challenge and felt we needed to support you in our own little way,” he said.

The Chairman, Kwara NURTW, Alhaji AbdulRazaq Ariwoola, appreciated the Governor for his serial support for transporters in the state after the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic.

“We appreciate Your Excellency for this intervention. This is not the first time you are supporting us, and we know it will not be the end. You have satisfied us, and we will equally repay your kind gesture,” Ariwoola said.

The Chairman of Kwara AMBCN, Alhaji Abdulfatai Alaba, said, “We bakers are happy with what His Excellency has done. It has never happened before.

“You can count on our support, because doing so will give us an opportunity to enjoy more dividends from your government and serve the general public”.

Alaba acknowledged the giant strides of AbdulRazaq’s government, especially in the areas of road, health and education infrastructure.

“We have never had it so good in Kwara, so good in terms of governance and inclusion. For the short time you have become the Governor of this state, a lot of things have changed.

“In those days, everything was in shambles: the roads, water, payment of salaries and pension, and education, but you have changed all these positively,” he said.

On February 9, AbdulRazaq promised to give palliatives, including cash transfers, to different vulnerable groups to reduce hardships associated with the recent naira redesign policy and fuel scarcity in the country.

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