Two members of the Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) have explained the delay in the distribution of palliatives by state governments.
CACOVID is a private sector-led organisation established to assist the government in combating the Coronavirus disease in the Nigeria.
CACOVID members, Mr Osita Nwasinobi and Dr Sola Adeduntan, in two separate documents made available to the media in Abuja, called for calm among members of the public.
Nwasinobi, in a document he authored for CACOVID members, said that the coalition had been working with the minister of the FCT and the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), to procure and distribute food items to Nigerians.
He said that they were working to distribute the food items for about two million, mostly vulnerable families across the 774 local government areas in the country, explaining that CACOVID members decided to procure the food directly from the manufacturers, to avoid a distortion of prices in the market.
Nwasinobi stressed: “The sheer scale of this nationwide food programme and the timing of the orders and deliveries, coincided with the lockdowns and reduced movement across the country.
“This compelled CACOVID to roll out distribution in a staggered manner, with states classified in three timed phases, to enable orderly delivery to the needy.
“The food package was designed such that each of the nearly two million vulnerable families received 10kg bag of rice, five-kilogram bag of garri/maize flour/semolina, one carton of pasta, two cartons of noodles, five kilograms of sugar and one kilogram of salt.”
He added that due to the large size of the order and the production cycle required to meet the demand, there was delay in delivering the food items and thus delays in distribution by state governments
“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 at October 2020, a sizable portion of the items had been delivered but yet to be distributed by the governors,” Nwasinobi said.
He said that while 28 states and the FCT had commenced distribution since early August, some could not as they were yet to receive complete deliveries of the items allotted to them and so state governments had been distributing the items at various paces.(NAN)