April 19, 2024

CACOVID Breaks Silence, Reveals Why State Govts Didn’t Distribute Palliative Before Looting

CACOVID Breaks Silence, Reveals Why State Govts Didn’t Distribute Palliative Before Looting

Following looting of COVID-19 palliatives from warehouses in several states across the country, the Coalition Against COVID-19 says distribution to members of the public was delayed due to late delivery of complete items allotted to them.

This was contained in a statement issued on behalf of the private sector-led organisation, by the Central Bank of Nigeria’s acting Director, Corporate Communications, Osita Nwanisobi.

While calling for calm, CACOVID explained that when it embarked on the initiative in April, a decision was reached to have food items procured directly from manufacturers in order to avoid distortion or manipulation of prices in the market.

The body further explained that the food package was designed in a way to ensure that nearly two million vulnerable families, each, received – 10kg bag of rice, 5kg bag of garri/maize flour/semolina, 1 carton of pasta, 2 cartons of noodles, 5kg of sugar and 1kg of salt.

CACOVID said however, due to the large order, there were delays.

“Unfortunately, the very large size of the order, and the production cycle required to meet the demand, caused delays in delivering the food items to the states in an expeditious manner; hence the resulting delay in delivery of the food palliatives by the state governors.

“For instance, rice had to be milled, semolina and maize flour had to be processed, noodles and pasta had to be manufactured, and sugar had to be refined.

“As such, the first deliveries could not start until June. However, as of October 2020, a sizeable portion of the items had been delivered, but yet to be distributed by the governors.

“Although various states and the FCT had commenced flag-off of the distribution of the food items since early August, some could not conclude the distribution as they were yet to receive complete deliveries of the items allotted to them,” the group stated.

CACOVID noted that not every warehouse in Nigeria that contains palliatives is affiliated to the CACOVID donation, adding that states, the federal government, and other organisations also made donations.

It, however, assured that in the interest of transparency and accountability, it would, in due course, provide the full delivery schedule and flag-off dates by each state.

“Given that the states and local government authorities oversee all relief efforts in their jurisdictions and know their citizens best, we had worked with each governor and the Minister of the FCT, utilising a combination of our protocols and their existing structures and processes to ensure food items reach the intended beneficiaries.

“We also appointed an independent monitoring team to ensure that the items would be delivered as intended,” the group said.

It may be recalled that following the spread of COVID-19 to Nigeria, CACOVID was formed by concerned organisations and bodies, to raise funds to help ameliorate the economic hardships resulting from the pandemic

The coalition, led by the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, pooled together billions of naira to support the World Health Organization, the federal government, and the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control in the fight against the pandemic.

Aside from pulling resources together, CACOVID also supported the federal government’s efforts in providing and equipping medical facilities in the six geopolitical zones in Nigeria.


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