By Charles Kalu
The Lagos State Government on 22nd September 2020 commenced distribution of 107,546 food palliative packs donated by the Coalition Against COVID (CA-COVID) for distribution to Lagosians, especially the vulnerable and less privileged in the State.
The food items were received on behalf of the State Government by the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu at the Lagos House, Alausa in company of the Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, Chief of Staff, Mr. Tayo Ayinde and the Acting Commissioner of Agriculture, Ms. Abisola Olusanya, among other state officials and representatives of CA-COVID
Speaking on behalf of the State Government, the acting Commissioner of Agriculture, Ms Abisola Olusanya said the food items were meant for the indigent residents of the state and the elderly.
According to Olusanya, a single beneficiary will get each pack containing Ten kilograms of rice, five kilograms of garri, Five kilograms of sugar, One kilogram of salt, Two cartons of noodles and one carton of pasta, for his or her family.
“According to the CA-COVID team, Lagos State is supposed to receive 107,546 beneficiary packs for our citizens – for the indigents, the elderly, for those that do not have the wherewithal or the capacity to have food on their tables on a daily basis.”
Speaking on the items received so far, the commissioner said the food items are being repackaged by the Ministry of Agriculture to ensure that each beneficiary gets the right quantity of items.
Olusanya said that in terms of the distribution modality, the state would borrow a leaf from the experience garnered during the lockdown period when it pioneered the distribution of over 50,000 food beneficiary packs.
She said: “We have this food items at a location, where our team from the Ministry of Agriculture is doing the repackaging, to ensure that a single beneficiary pack gets to the right people and also with the right quantity. We do not want a situation where they receive the items and they claim that they have not received garri or they have not received rice.
Also speaking at the handing over event, the State Coordinator of CA-COVID, Mr. Amaechi Okobi, commended Governor Sanwo-Olu for his leadership role in managing COVID-19 pandemic in Lagos State.
He said: ‘’The idea here is to take care of our fellow men. One million, six hundred and sixty six thousand, six hundred and sixty-seven Nigerians need our help. All Nigerians need our help but we are focused on the lowest five per cent to ensure that in this extremely tough time, they are at least fed. We have lockdown that prevented them from working. So, they need help. But this is a start and we are just basically saying that Nigerians for Nigeria are fighting this fight.”
Governor Sanwo-Olu later distributed part of the items to some of the beneficiaries who were present at the ceremonial handover of the food palliatives.