By Stanley Onyekwere
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has commenced distribution of over 600,000 palliative items to the 62 political wards in the Territory, as part of measures to cushion the socio-economic effects of the Coronavirus otherwise known as COVID-19 pandemic.
Our correspondent reports that in this last phase of palliative distribution, the FCT Administration has approved 30,000 bags of 5kg rice and condiments for each of Abaji, Bwari, Gwagwalada, Kuje and Kwali Area Councils, while 36,000 bags of 5kg rice and condiments have been approved for Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC).
Performing the official flag off yesterday, the FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, tasked the committee members handling the distribution exercise on utmost transparency and accountability in the discharge of their duties.
Aliyu warned that posterity would judge them if they fail to be just and fair in the distribution of palliative items to the vulnerable members of the communities.
The Minister, who was represented by her Senior Special Assistant on Administration and Strategy, Prof. Muhammad Usman, revealed that the organisations identified by the FCT Administration to carry out the last phase of the palliative distribution include the Buhari Grassroots Movement and Osinbajo (BGM&O); National Council of Women Societies (NCWS); Original Inhabitants Youth Empowerment Organisation; District Heads at Ward level; and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs).
In her words: “It is our expectation that the committee at the Ward level must act to ensure only deserving beneficiaries are served and that they are properly enumerated. Committees shall be given forms to fill-out in continuation of this tradition of accountability.
“May I reiterate for emphasis, that I demand from the committees, utmost transparency and accountability in the discharge of their duties. As I have said during the flag-off of the first phase of this exercise, posterity will judge us if we fail to be just and fair in the distribution of palliative items to the vulnerable members of our communities.
“Irrespective of tribe or religion, every committee member represents her or his ward here and must know that she/he is the eye of the people. You must stand for your people and make sure that they are served. If you compromise, posterity will judge you.
“I want to state unequivocally that these palliative items are not for campaign and not for you to extend charity to your family members. The items are from the Federal Capital Territory Administration, as directed by President Muhammadu Buhari, to be distributed to the poor to cushion the socio-economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic”.
The minister, however, commended critical stakeholders, the media, dedicated team of staff and volunteers for their immense support and contributions, describing their contributions as purposeful partnership.
Earlier in his remarks, the Commander, Command and Control of Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) COVID-19 Monitoring, Mr. Ochigbo Edwin, stated that the Bureau would not accept any excuse for failure, noting that the FCT has set a pace for other states to follow in the previous exercises.
Other representatives of various groups that gave commitments include National Council of Women Societies (NCWC), Buhari Grassroots Movement and Osinbajo (BGM&O); Civil Society Organisations (CSOs); and Original Inhabitants Youth Empowerment Organisation.