Members of the private sector-led coalition against COVID-19, CACOVID, have called for calm and enjoined Nigerians to desist from looting warehouses where the palliatives items are kept to allow the States to proceed with a peaceful and fair distribution of the palliatives to the neediest and most vulnerable in the society.
The Coalition in a statement signed by Osita Nwasinobi, explained that, though it embarked on the palliatives effort in April, the first deliveries could not start until June 2020 to the state governments.
The statement added that 10 million vulnerable Nigerians were targeted to benefit from the Palliatives sent to the State governments across all the 774 local governments in the country.
“However, as of October 2020, a sizable 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 statement said.
According to CACOVID, each household was supposed to receive 10kg bag of rice, 5kg bag of garri/semolina, one carton of pasta, two cartons of noodles, 5kg of sugar, and 1kg of salt.
It added that it worked with state governors and the Minister of Federal Capital Territory, FCT, to ensure food items reached the beneficiaries.
The group said that the timing and delivery of the nationwide food programme coincided with lockdowns and reduced movement across the country, compelling the CACOVID to roll out distribution in a staggered manner, with states classified in three-timed phases, to enable orderly delivery to the needy.
“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 resultant delay in the delivery of the food palliatives by the state governors.
“It is very unfortunate that various states that have concluded the distribution of their allocations are seeing their warehouses and other premises being raided. It must also be noted that not every warehouse in Nigeria that contains palliatives is affiliated with the CACOVID donation, given that the states themselves, the Federal Government and other organisations have also made donations.”
The statement further read, “As of today, October 26, 2020, some states have confirmed completion of their distribution while others were in the process of proceeding with the distribution before these lootings took place.
“The coalition assured that it would publish the full delivery schedule and flag-off date by each state.
“It also assured that KPMG, its external auditor, is on the verge of completing the audit of all donations as well as food and medical items procured.”