Gbolahan Balogun 

KWARA State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has presented cheques totalling N267m to different artisan groups within the state.

He said the benefaction was a fulfilment of the administration’s pledge to give palliatives to various vulnerable groups that have been hard hit by the naira redesign crisis and fuel scarcity.

The Governor said the support for the artisans should translate to ease on the people who enjoy the services of the different economic groups.

The benefitting groups were the Association of Master Bakers and Caterers of Nigeria (AMBCN) which got N100m; Tricycle Owners Association of Nigeria (TOAN) (N30m); Okada Riders Association of Nigeria – ORAN (N30m); Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) (N50m); National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) (N50m); and Nigeria Union of Tailors, Kwara State branch (N7m).

Presenting the palliatives to the important players in the informal sector, AbdulRazaq appreciated their different crucial roles to serve the public and assist the local economy.

"This is a challenging period for everyone, particularly the transporters and artisans as a whole. There is scarcity of cash in the country. You also face the high cost of spare parts. How do you survive this? We know there is a light at the end of the tunnel. We know your challenges and hope everything will be over soon," the Governor told the transporters' associations in Ilorin on Wednesday evening.

AbdulRazaq also said the government is aware of the difficult time that bakers are going through, thereby presenting them the palliatives to keep them afloat and prevent job losses, which might hurt the economy and social stability.

"Everyone who consumes bread knows how important your product is. You make sure people get the best bread to eat, even though the prices of the ingredients you are using are not stable. Sometimes, you run at a loss. We are aware of this challenge and felt we needed to support you in our own little way," he added, applauding their commitment to meeting the expectations of their customers without compromising standards.

State Chairman for NURTW, AbdulRazaq Ariwoola, for his part, thanked the Governor for his government's serial support for transporters in the state which he said started since 2020 after the outbreak of covid-19 pandemic.

"We appreciate Your Excellency for this intervention. This is not the first time you are supporting us, and we know it will not be the end. You have satisfied us, and we will equally repay your kind gesture," he said.

AMBCN's State Chairman and owner of Alaba Bread, Alhaji Abdulfatai Alaba, said: "We master bakers are happy with what His Excellency has done. It has never happened before. You can count on our support, because doing so will give us an opportunity to enjoy more dividends from your government and serve the general public."

The associations acknowledged the giant strides of AbdulRazaq's government, especially in the areas of road, health, and education infrastructure.

Comrade Babalola Oladimeji, AMBCN's Secretary, in his remarks, said: "We have never had it so good in Kwara State so good in terms of governance and inclusion. For the short time you have become the Governor of this state, a lot of things have changed. In those days, everything was in shambles. Talk of road, water, payment of salaries and pension, and education. You have changed all these positively".

The Governor had on February 9, 2023, promised to give palliatives, including cash transfers, to different vulnerable groups to reduce hardships associated with the recent naira redesign policy and fuel scarcity in the country.





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