COVID-19: Niger Govt. distributes 8,220 bags of grains
The Niger Government has distributed 8,220 bags of grains worth N140 million across the 274 wards in the state to cushion the effect of the lockdown imposed to check the spread of coronavirus
Alhaji Ahmed Matane, Secretary to the State Government and Chairman of Task Force on COVID19, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Minna on Tuesday.
He explained that government earmarked N140 million for grains, and N80 million for the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC), to provide steady power supply during the lockdown.
He also said that about N200 million was also set aside for the rehabilitation of water works pipelines for adequate supply throughout the lockdown, adding that part of it would be used to obtain medical supplies to some facilities.
Matane added that each ward was allocated 10 bags of rice, maize and millet for distribution to the needy.
He said that the distribution process had been smooth except a report received from Katcha Local Government that a councilor of a ward disappeared with 30 bags of grains allocated to his ward, adding that efforts were ongoing for his arrest.
Meanwhile, Mr Emmanuel Umar, Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development, who received the grains on behalf of Shiroro Local Government, said the food items had been distributed to indigent and the needy across 11 wards of the council.
He explained that a committee was set up at ward level, consisting of councilor of each ward, youth and women leaders in the wards and religious leaders, to oversee the distribution process.
Umar said that it was unfortunate that while the distribution was ongoing, people were making mockery of the palliative given to them, saying that it was not enough to sustain them throughout the lockdown.
Also, Alhaji Suleiman Chukwuba, Chairman of Shiroro, confirmed that grains such as rice, maize and millet had been distributed across the wards, adding that no record of diversion was reported during the distribution.
Similarly, Mr Abubakar Gomna, Chairman of Bosso Local Government said, ” the palliative is not for people who have enough and those who can afford them, they are for people like widows, orphans and the needy, ” he said.
Gomna said that the council also purchased 150 bags of rice that was distributed across the 10 wards to complement government’s efforts.
NAN report that Niger Government received N28.5 million donation from the United Bank for Africa (UBA) to support the fight against the COVID-19.
It also received donations of food items and medical supplies from Dantata/Sawoe, El-Amin Foundation and Mainstream Energy Limited. (NAN)