By Precious Oluwole
Ondo State Government has announced the return of free shuttle buses for students starting from September, 2023.
Mr Wale Akintetinwa, the chairman, palliative committee and commissoner for finance revealed this while announcing measures put in place by the state government to cushion the effects of subsidy removal on residents of the state.
According to him, the government will restore free shuttle buses for students starting from resumption in September, till December 31st, 2023. Thereafter, affordable rates will be charged from January, 2024.
In like manner, free shuttle boats equipped with life jackets for students in riverine areas starting at resumption in September, till December 31st, 2023. Thereafter, affordable rates will be charged from January, 2024.
“We will immediately deploy all existing buses in all MDA’S to serve as free shuttle buses to public servants till December 31st, 2023. Additional CNG BUSES will be purchased to convey of public servants, to and from work at no cost to them, till December 31st, 2023”.
In addition to the provision of free shuttle buses, there will be immediate payment of 2020 leave bonus to public servants. It should be noted that the state government has already paid leave bonuses for 2021, 2022 and 2023.
On social intervention, unconditional Cash Transfer – For three months, ten thousand Naira (N10,000) will be given to selected vulnerable persons in every local government.
“All pensioners in the state, be they local government or state, will get ten thousand Naira (N10,000) each starting this August till December 2023”.
“Free food packages will be distributed to 1 million households across the 18 local government the state”.
“Farm inputs at subsidized rates will be made available to farmers. Our poultry and fish farmers will be given free drugs, maize, and feeds for their birds and fishes. In addition, training on local feed formulation and production will be given to them, to help them look inwards”.
“Agrochemicals, seeds, drip lines, farm tools and power tillers will be given at subsidized rates. In riverine areas, free fishing nets and subsidized kilns will be made available”.
“To ease the movement of farm produce, tricycles will be given free to farming communities. This will be supervised by officially recognized, community-based stakeholder groups. The state government has authorized immediate suspension of haulage fee collection on all non-graded agricultural produce. These are produce that are consumed locally and not for export”.
“We announce the immediate suspension of hospital registration and consultation fees. Government will reimburse the hospitals directly based on existing data”.
He stressed that various categories of small and medium enterprises will benefit from the state government’s financial assistance which will be disbursed through existing government channels.
He added that students who engaged in nano businesses on campus are not excluded, they will also get government’s financial assistance.