CACOVID calls for calm, reaffirms distribution of palliatives commenced in June
Private sector-led, Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID), has sued for calm and enjoined Nigerians to desist from ongoing destruction of public and private properties as well as looting of warehouses where palliative items are stored to aid the peaceful and fair distribution to the most vulnerable in the society.
The Coalition, while acknowledging that although palliative drive commenced in April, said the first set of deliveries could not start until June, to the states government.
“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 delivery of the items allotted to them,” the Coalition explained.
In a statement signed by Osita Nwasinobi, the CACOVID said about 10 million vulnerable Nigerians were targeted to benefit from the palliatives sent to the states across all the 774 local government councils in the country.
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.
The Coalition added that the private sector worked with state governors and the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory to ensure food items reached the beneficiaries.
The group pointed out 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.”
Recall that in the wake of the COVID-19 in Nigeria, the private sector assumed a leading role in the fight against the pandemic.
On March 27, CACOVID, spearheaded by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Aliko Dangote Foundation, and Access Bank, was established to mobilize private sector resources towards supporting the government’s response to the crisis.
CACOVID also helped to mobilize private sector thought leadership, raise public awareness and buy-in for COVID-19 prevention, and provided direct support to strengthen the healthcare sector’s capacity to respond to the crisis.
CACOVID, in a statement said: “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 looting took place.”
The Coalition assured that it would publish the full delivery schedule and flag-off date by each state, and 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.
“The Coalition disavows, and urges the public to disregard any unauthorized source of information regarding the current issue. CACOVID confirms this platform as the only one authorised to communicate on behalf of the group,” it stated.