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Naira Scarcity: El-Rufai provides free transport, medical services Kaduna residents

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Kaduna State Government under the administration of Governor Nasiru El-Rufai has said medical and transport services will be introduced to alleviate the impact of the naira note scarcity on residents.

This was contained in a statement by the special adviser to the governor on media and communication, Muyiwa Adekeye, on Tuesday, after a meeting held at the Sir Kashim Ibrahim House with Nasir el-Rufai, governor of Kaduna, the state security council, and other stakeholders in attendance.

Adekeye said during the meeting, the state security council deliberated on the measures to ensure violence-free elections and the impact of the naira scarcity on residents.

“The meeting discussed the cash crunch, and its severe impact on citizen welfare, trade and economic activities. It noted reports that managing the situation has necessitated the diversion of some security personnel from vital field operations to guarding key financial assets,” he said.

“The council commended the security agencies for strengthening the state government’s efforts to ensure that citizens remain calm, peaceful and of lawful conduct amidst the challenges.

“The security council made recommendations on ways of mitigating the impact of the cash shortage on citizens. These measures are designed to provide a measure of immediate relief to the problems caused by the lack of cash by citizens to pay for services like transportation and health care, and necessities like food.

“The council, therefore, adopted these three emergency palliative measures to last for a week, starting from Wednesday, 22nd of February 2023.

“The Kaduna state government will provide free transport services along designated routes in Kaduna, Kafanchan and Zaria, the three biggest cities in the state. This will be done in partnership with the transport unions, who will provide the buses and tricycles.

“The Kaduna state public health system will offer free routine care in government hospitals for common illnesses like malaria and typhoid. This is in addition to the free care for pregnant women and children younger than five years that has been government policy since 2015.

“Prescriptions will be given, and the health facility visited will administer drugs, if available. To access this service, citizens will be required to present their National Identity Number or the Kaduna State Residency Card, issued by the Kaduna State Residents Identity Management Agency (KADRIMA).”

Amid the expectation of the supreme court’s decision regarding a suit filed by Kaduna and other states challenging the naira redesign policy, Adekeye said the intervention is part of efforts to provide temporary relief pending the time a lasting solution is achieved.

“KDSG went public with its concerns about the suffering associated with the naira scarcity on 1st February 2023. Since then, it has continued to seek lawful and peaceful means of resolving the matter. While awaiting a resolution, it is important to seek ways of relieving human suffering,” the statement reads.

“The measures above represent a limited intervention for a severe problem. But every act of relief for citizens is welcome in a crisis, even if the crisis was needlessly unleashed by those who ought to know better.”

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