Rivers Government has set aside N2billion for its Farmers/Fisherman Empowerment Programme targeted at mopping up and distributing food items to the people of the state.
Gov. Nyesom Wike, who made this known in a press conference on Monday in Port Harcourt, said that the committee would purchase all agricultural products produced in the state for distribution to the less privileged.
He said that the measure would ensure that the people of Rivers people did not suffer during this trying period.
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 N2billion 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.’’
Wike said that the committee set up by his administration would ensure effective implementation of the new policy.
“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 include Dr Tammy Danagogo, Secretary to the State Government (Chairman), Paulinus Nsirim, Commissioner for Information and Communication and Dr Fred Kpakol, Commissioner for Agriculture (Secretary).
“Others are Mrs Victoria Allison, Mrs Tina Woluchor, Mrs Meg Onumbu, Mrs Gloria Akor, Mr Erastus Awortu, Mrs Christiana Amadioha, Mrs Kate Mbanah, and Chairmen of the 23 Local Government Areas in Rivers.”
He said that the Committee would be inaugurated on April 7, at the Government House, Port Harcourt.
Wike said that funds for the State Government’s intervention in COVID-19 were captured in the 2020 budget under contingency funds.
The governor said that all states of the federation deserved grants from the Federal Government, adding that the release of the grants to states should not be tied to the number of confirmed cases since states like Rivers are working to curb its disease.