22.7 C
May 29, 2024

A’Ibom Govt to Support 600,000 Vulnerable Households With Food Palliatives 

The Akwa Ibom state government has announced its adoption of a comprehensive strategy to address hunger, especially among the most vulnerable populations in the state by providing free food to 600,000 households.

Dr. Offiong Offor, the commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, revealed this initiative, highlighting Governor Umo Eno’s focus on boosting food production through agricultural investments.

During a media session titled ARISE Scorecard with the theme ‘Food Sufficiency and Security,’ Offor outlined the government’s strategies for ensuring food access for the populace.

Joining her were Mr. Ini Ememobong, the commissioner of Information and Strategy, Emem Bob, the Commissioner of Economic Development, and Mr. Dan Akpan, the chairman of the Akwa Ibom Bulk Purchase Agency.

She disclosed that 7 local government areas in the state have provided lands to support food production.

“Government is funding agricultural cooperative societies, providing lands, fertilizers, improved seedlings, cassava stems, loans and grants and constructing rural roads all in a bid to increase food production.

“Food sustainability remains the priority of Governor Umo Eno’s administration. The first thing is that the Ministry of Agriculture merged with the Ministry of Rural Development which also has a component of cooperatives.

“He was deliberate in doing this because the cooperatives system is the system that is driving food productivity anywhere in the world.

“The state government has a database of farmers and is working with farmers associations such as the All Farmers Association of Nigeria, Rice Farmers Association, Aquaculture Associations in the 31 local government areas of the state.

“The government is also working with market unions to supply staple foods at subsidized prices. It has provided cold rooms, fishing nets and boats to artisanal fishermen.”

Also speaking, the commissioner of economic development, Mr Emem Bob said that the government was targeting about 600 households captured in its social register for its various intervention programmes aimed at ameliorating economic hardship in the state.

Emem said though the state social register has increased to 2.3 million people, the government is reaching out to the vulnerable poor through 600,000 households captured in the social register.

“The social register is well-structured, it’s structured in such a way that we have broken the villages, wards and local governments, these make up the state social register. The total number of people we have in the social register is 2.3m as individuals

“When you talk about households we have about 600,000 households in the social register and that is what we have been using for various interventions in the state,” Bob said.

He explained that the process for selection into the social register is very clear and transparent, adding that the social register has been there for the past 8 years but Governor Umo Eno, only ordered that it should be expanded to accommodate those who have fallen under the poverty line.

He said “How people are selected for the social register is very clear, it is a very transparent process in the sense that there is what we call community-based targeting.

“Don’t forget that anything that involves the World Bank is very transparent; they are thorough. Community-based targeting is what was used for social registration and we have state-organizing coordinating units which work with the national social safety nets coordinator unit in Abuja, they work together and they have staff across the local government. They go to villages, meet with village heads to pick these people” she explained.

The information commissioner, while setting the tone for the briefing, expressed appreciation to Governor Umo Eno for the various intervention programmes of the government to address the current hardship in the state.

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