By Olamide Yinusa
Ogun State, Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun has revealed that over four Hundred Thousand households representing about 2.4 million residents of the State have benefitted from the distribution of its COVID- 19 palliatives.
Abiodun who stated this during a virtual town hall meeting held in Abeokuta, said no fewer than four to five individuals per household have been touched through the strategic distribution of its palliatives in phases across Local Governmenment Areas of the State.
The Governor also noted that part of the socio-economic palliative measures put in place to give life to businesses include giving reliefs to business owners include “6- month extension of the 2019 income tax returns deadline for self-employed residents from March 31, 2020 to September 30, 2020, 8-month extension of filing of 2019 annual PAYE returns by PAYE operators/tax agents from January 31, 2020 to September 30, as well as complete waiver of interest and penalty for late filing for the extension period”.
He said “in addition to businesses, our administration distributed palliative to over 400,000 vulnerable households to cushion the effect of the COVID-19. At an average of 6 per household, this translates to about 2.4 million individuals.
For us in Ogun State, we appreciated the fact that only healthy people could contribute to Development of the state.
Abiodun however assured that priority will continue to be given to road infrastructure and Agricultural revolution that will engender individual prosperity for all.
Giving the opening remarks, Commissioner for Budget and Planning, Mr Olaoluwa Olabimtan noted that “since the inception of the present administration , the invaluable support, cooperation as well as assistance by the people have fueled government’s aspirations with respect to moving the State forward, adding that it has experienced tremendous improvement in various sectors and ‘’this is an attestation to the fact that the administration is continually working at eliminating poverty and underdevelopment in line with best global practices’’ .
The Commissioner noted that the citizens’ engagement provides an opportunity for them to express their desires and opinions, ‘’as it has become our individual and collective responsibility to restore the status of our dear State beyond the setback experienced as a result of Covid-19’’.
Olabimtan said the engagement has become imperative as the state navigates the road-map of its fiscal horizon for the year 2021 and the outer years of its medium term plan.
Various participants at the meeting including Representatives of the Governor’s Advisory Council, Civil Societies, National Youth Council of Nigeria, Women Groups, Labour Unions among others advocated for increased vocational training and skills acquisition for youths, women empowerment with consideration for the widows, revitalization of Government Reserve Areas across the State, domestication of Anchor Borrowers’ Programme in the 20 LGAs while they also requested that emphasis be placed on road infrastructure and youth employment in the 2021 budget.