In a move to ensure that Rivers people don’t suffer during this trying period, the Rivers State Government has set aside N2 billion for the launch of the State Farmer/Fisherman Empowerment Programme to purchase and distribute foodstuffs to Rivers people.
In a press conference on Monday, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike said that the committee will purchase all agricultural products produced in the state for distribution to the less privileged.
He said: “We are going a step further to ensure that no one complains of hunger in our State during this trying period.
The State Government has therefore set aside the sum of N2 billion to buy off all agricultural products produced in the State from farmers and fishermen.
“Our goal is to ensure that no agricultural product like yam, garri, plantain, palm oil and fish leaves our State during this period.
“While the farmers and fishermen will make their profits, the less privileged will have enough food supply for their families.”
Governor Wike said that the committee set up by his administration is to ensure effective implementation of the new policy.
He said: “To ensure that the appropriate logistics for effective implementation of this policy is carried out to the letter, government will set up a 33-man Committee.
Members of the Committee are:
Dr. Tammy Danagogo, Secretary to the State Government (Chairman)
Paulinus Nsirim, Commissioner for Information and Communication
Dr. Fred Kpakol, Commissioner for Agriculture (Secretary)
Mrs Victoria Allison
Mrs Tina Woluchor
Mrs Meg Onumbu
Mrs Gloria Akor
Mr Erastus Awortu
Mrs Christiana Lawrence Amadioha
Mrs Kate Mbanah and
Chairmen of the 23 Local Government Areas.
“This Committee will be inaugurated tomorrow, Tuesday, April 7, 2020 at 12 noon at Government House, Port Harcourt.”
He said that the State Government will always take measures to protect Rivers people.
“As a responsive government, we did not wait to record any index case before we set out proactive measures that helped us to contain the virus in our state.
“The diligence exhibited by our health professionals and security agencies have made us to record one index case.
“Our strategies of shutting down markets and our borders have, no doubt, brought hardship to our citizens,” he said.
While lamenting the politicisation of the fight against coronavirus by the Federal Government, Governor Wike said that all states of the federation deserve grants from the Federal Government.
He said the release of grants to states should not be tied to the number of confirmed cases, since states like Rivers are working to prevent the spread of the disease.
Governor Wike said that funds for the State Government’s intervention in COVID-19 are captured in the 2020 budget under contingency funds.