GOVERNOR Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State on Tuesday distributed no fewer than 7,000 free medicated eye glasses to the people of the state in a scheme that was tagged “Ojú Ayò”.
At the flag-off of the scheme held at the Government House in Ado Ekiti, some of the beneficiaries drawn from the 16 local government areas of the state were given the glasses, and Governor Fayose explained that the scheme was meant “to benefit poor and visually impaired people who cannot afford eyeglasses and whose bad eyesight has affected their performance at work or trade.”
He said: “We have done this before and these are the benefits that can get to the common people. The benefits are for those with impaired sight for a long time and couldn’t get solution. We have tested them and diagnosed them and arrived at the recommended glasses.
“And today we are giving the glasses to them. You cannot imagine that people can wake up without a N100 in their pockets, not to talk of affording a eyeglass of N7,000. The project is targeted at 7,000 people and it is costing government about N59 million.
“This project continues and we’ve already included it in next year’s budget.”
Mrs Teniola Oso, who spoke on behalf of the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, who managed the scheme, said “the Oju Ayo programme is a form of poverty alleviation programme directed at the poorly poor in our communities who, out of poor vision and near blindness, have lost all means of survival resulting into poverty and its associated challenges.”
She said the programme was for all people living in Ekiti State without racial or political colouration, and added that “our team visited all the local governments in the state to test people in need of reading glasses within a period of 16 days, where those in need were identified diagnosed and processed.”
Answering reporters’ questions after the distribution of glasses, took yet another swipe at the Federal Government for planning to finance the 2017 budget through borrowing.
Fayose said: “If we borrow this much to finance 2017 budget, it means we will continue to borrow even till 2019 and the rate at which this government is borrowing money, I hope they will not plunge Nigeria into eternal debt, enslavement and misery.
“This has been the fear of many who are against borrowing of $30 billion loan. And they will continue to borrow without attempting to concretely tackle the dwindling rate of our currency.
“What the Federal Government is doing is in the wrong direction. You see, one sad thing is that once the head is right, the whole body would not be right. The FG under President Buhari does not have what it takes to lead this country economically and beyond. They themselves confirmed that the 2016 budget performed at about 40 per cent or below. So that is to tell you that they lack the vision, and don’t know what they are doing and are only deceiving Nigerians.”
Fayose said the admittance by the Federal Government that 2016 budget of over N6 trillion, had performed at only about 40 per cent, was a pointer to the expected ills in the running of the economy by the Federal Government.