Mr Babatunde Johnson, Executive Chairman, Orile-Agege LCDA, says the council area has budgeted N50 million as palliatives to cushion the effect of fuel subsidy removal on residents.
Johnson disclosed this during a subsidized food price program taken to various Community Development Associations (CDAs), motors parks, schools and wards on Monday in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that over 10,000 residents, including the elderly, benefited from the opportunity to purchase essential food items such as rice, beans, ‘gari,’ and yam at a significantly reduced price of N4,400 per person.
The food items were estimated by the council to worth N10,000 per person, but was given out for N4,400.
According to him, the exercise will be carried out twice every month to ensure all interested residents benefit from the development.
“We will improve more on the exercise because this is the first stage of the palliatives and we will ensure all residents benefit from the the gesture.
“Actually the development cost us much. We budgeted N50 million for the palliatives as we have various community units where the food will be distributed to residents,” he said.
The council chairman said that 100 food packs was sent to 63 different units within the council area at the rate of N4,400 per pack.
“Some were allotted to CDAs, while some were distributed to teachers, to the motor parks for drivers and others for even distributions for purchase.
“We will continue the exercise in September, as we try to improve on the distributions so that many people will benefit from the palliative,” he said.
Meanwhile, some of the residents who benefited from the initiative, thanked the council chairman for the laudable palliative gesture.
Mrs Muibat Modile, a septuagenarian, from Ifako Ijaiye Community, said that the availability of these essential food items at affordable prices had relieved the financial burden on the individuals.
Modile said that she heard about the program and decided to benefit from it, despite not residing within the council area.
“Someone informed me about the program last night, I decided to locate the venue in Orile-Agege despite the fact that I am not residing within the council area.
“I got rice, beans gari and yam at the rate of N4,400 where if it were at the market the commodities will cost nothing less N10,000 because the yam alone can cost N3,000.
“I really thank the chairman for this palliatives program. May God bless him more,” she said.
Modile’s appreciation resonates with many other elderly residents in the area, who have also benefited from the program.
Mrs Adekemi Sofola, Community Development Association (CDA) Chairman at Omotoye Estate Orile-Agege, in her remarks, hailed the palliatives exercise.
They said the exercise had made it easier for them to meet their dietary needs without straining their limited resources.
Sofola, also a septuagenarian, said that 100 pack of of the food items sent to the CDA were not enough as the residents came out inmass to buy the subsidized packaged food.
She, however, urged ghe local council boss extend the exercise to allow more residents to benefit.
“We really appreciate the subsidised food exercise but the food is not enough in our CDA, we still more here in our community,” she said.
Mr Mathew Oginro, a teacher at Orile Agege Primary School, another beneficiary, said that the initiative would not only ease their financial burden but underscore the chairman’s commitment to the welfare of vulnerable individuals in the community.
According to him, the subsidised food items will sustaine him and his family for a week.
Oginro expressed his gratitude to the council chairman for allowing the school teachers to benefit from the subsidised food items.
Mrs Mufuliatu Oyekan, also a resident of Ilupeju Tutun in the area, commeded the chairman’s decision to implement the initiative.
According to her, it demonstrates his commitment to the welfare of the elderly residents in Orile-Agege LCDA.
“By offering food items at a greatly reduced price, he has taken a practical step towards alleviating the challenges faced by the elderly community due to the withdrawal of subsidies,” she noted.