By Rukayat Moisemhe
Lagos, Aug. 6, 2020 The Organised Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) says it has kicked off the palliative distribution exercise worth N23 billion targeted at 10 million people in Nigeria.
Mrs Zouera Youssoufou, the CACOVID Administrator and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Aliko Dangote Foundation (ADF), made this known at a press briefing on Thursday in Lagos.
Youssoufou said that the palliatives was to mitigate the effect of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
According to her, the palliatives were meant for 1.6 million households, amounting to about 10 million people across the 774 local government areas, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
She said that the distribution was part of the CACOVID’s efforts at augmenting the current administration’s efforts at reaching millions, disadvantaged by the effects of the pandemic.
Youssoufou said that CACOVID had also raised money to increase testing capacity within the country by procuring over N2 billion worth of testing equipment.
She added that isolation centres across the 36 states of the federation had also been equipped maximally to combat the pandemic.
“Today, we are talking about palliatives, and we are planning to spend over N23 billion in terms of palliatives for 10 million people in Nigeria, representing 1.6 million households in the country.
“CACOVID has, since the onset of Coronavirus pandemic, been committed to providing relief packages to the most vulnerable.
“The coalition’s primary focus was to aid the Federal Government in the fight against COVID-19.
“Having done this successfully, we are turning our attention to offering reprieve to households who have been adversely affected by the scourge of the virus.
“Through this food relief programme, we will be reducing the risk of a second viral wave by encouraging people to remain indoors rather than exposing themselves when seeking to provide food for themselves and their families.
“We worked with the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) to target the number of households based on the 2016 population survey,” she said.
Zouera said that with the announcement in Lagos, the coalition has divided the nation into the six geo-political zones.
She added that each family across the country would get a 10kg bag of rice, 5kg bag of garri or semolina depending on the location.
“They will also get 20 pieces of pasta, two cartons of noodles, 5kg of sugar and 1kg of salt. We have started doing the flag off across the country.
“We have so far flagged off Edo, Bayelsa, Kano, Yobe, Delta and today, we are doing it in FCT and Sokoto.
“We have also engaged a Monitoring Evaluation Partner (MEP) to make sure that we accompany the state to distribute the goods so that we can be accountable to our contributors on how the palliatives were distributed.
“The State Governors and FCT Minister, through the State Implementation Committee, will appoint a coordinator to diligently record and send an accurate and complete copy of the inventory tracker and goods delivery notes to the CACOVID Operations Centre daily.
“This will be done through the State CACOVID representative to ensure timely and efficient delivery and proper transparency and accountability,” she said.
Also, Ms Osayi Alile, CEO, AspireCoronation Trust (ACT) Foundation and CACOVID Operations Implementation Committee member, explained that the Coalition was not politically biased.
“But was discharging its mandates to all Nigerians as laid out in the CACOVID objectives and goals.
“The state government, through the State Implementation Committee, will organise for representatives of all the state Local Government Areas to collect the allocations for each LGA.
“It will also oversee the redistribution to each ward and to each eligible beneficiary at the grassroots, subsequently based on an agreed distribution schedule,” she explained.
In his remarks, the Group Chief Corporate Communication Officer, Mr Anthony Chiejina, said while the food distributions were ongoing across the nation, the Coalition would simultaneously intensify its grassroots awareness campaign on the virus.
“While the people are being fed, we are also telling them that the virus is real, and what should be done by way of hygiene to stay safe,” Chiejina said.