Following the several attacks on warehouses where COVID-19 palliatives were stored by angry youths, Private sector-led Coalition Against Coronavirus (CACOVID) on Monday revealed why the distribution of palliatives to poor families to cushion the effect of COVID-19 lockdown was delayed.
According to the coalition, the relief items were for 2 million “most vulnerable families” in the 774 local government areas across the country.
This was contained in a statement released by the spokesperson of the coalition, Nwanosiobi Osita.
“CACOVID has been working with governors, the FCT Minister, and the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) to procure, deliver and distribute these food relief items to almost 2 million most vulnerable families (over 10 million Nigerians) across the 774 local government areas of the country, as part of the private sector’s support to the national response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Explaining why it took so long to distribute the food items, the coalition said:
“The sheer scale of this nationwide food programme and the timing of the orders and deliveries, which coincided with the lockdowns and reduced movement across the country, compelled CACOVID to roll out distribution in a staggered manner.
“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 resultant delay in delivery of the food palliatives by the state governors.”
CACOVID warned that some intended beneficiaries for palliatives will not get the relief food items due to looting by hoodlums.
The coalition said it worked with all governors and the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to share the food items to over 10 million poor Nigerians.
“By these looting incidents, it, therefore, means that some intended beneficiaries have been deprived the opportunity of benefitting from CACOVID’s good intentions,” the statement said.
It explained that “not every warehouse in Nigeria that contains palliatives is affiliated to the CACOVID donation, given that the states themselves, the Federal Government and other organisations have also made donations”.