Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole on Thursday showed an example of how the subsidy gains can be seen and felt by the people of the state, when, in a statewide broadcast, he announced sets of palliatives that should cushion the hardship being experienced by the people arising from the recent increase in the price of petrol, even when he has not exactly known what will accrue to the state as a result of the “partial subsidy” now removed. As previously planned, the state was billed to receive annual subsidy income of N9.4 billion. He declared that he was determined to utilise the proceeds from subsidy removal to the benefit of the people.
According to him, “We are determined to ensure that the pains arising from the partial removal of subsidy translate to concrete gains for the generality of our people.” In the broadcast, Governor Oshiomhole said the measures included abolishment of all fees and levies as well as PTA (levy) in all secondary schools for both indigenes and non-indigenes in the state. According to him, the measure was in addition to the sustenance of free education at both primary and junior secondary schools.
Additionally, he also announced a reduction in school fees at the state-owned Ambrose Ali University (AAU), Ekpoma, for regular undergraduates by N15,000 per student across board, while part-time students’ fees was reduced by N5,000 per student. The governor explained that the university would not lose any revenue as a result of the reduction, as the state government would pay the bulk difference to the university along with the monthly subvention of N210 million. Besides, he further announced a 50-per-cent subsidy on transport for primary and secondary school students in the state, provided such pupils and students were in their schools uniforms, just as he promised that the state government would increase the fleet of buses of the Edo City Transport Service (ECTS).
On health, Oshiomhole announced free health care for senior citizens from age 70 and above in all state-owned hospitals; while those from 60 years and above are entitled to free eye test and eye glasses. “In addition to our existing free ante-natal care and delivery and the free treatment for children under the age of five, I have decided to introduce free medical treatment for pensioners and senior citizens, indigenes and non-indigenes who are resident in Edo State, who are 70 years and above in all state government hospitals. “In addition, we have concluded plans for free eye test and free eye glasses for those aged 60 and above in public hospitals,” he added.