- Says state governors did not hoard palliatives
- Nigerian Governors Forum denies that governors hoarded palliatives
The Private Sector-led Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) has called for an end to the looting of COVID-19 palliatives donated by the coalition across the country, stating that it is “deeply concerned by the recent events.”
The coalition said this in an official statement signed by Osita Nwasinobi and made available to Business A.M.
CACOVID, the private sector’s support to the country’s effort against the COVID-19 pandemic is responsible for the donation of relief materials including food palliatives to state governments across the country.
In the wake of the #endsars protests, hoodlums have targeted warehouses across the country housing palliatives donated by CACOVID to state governments- a move that CACOVID is now condemning.
“The coalition is deeply concerned by the recent events and is urging those involved in the wanton destruction of public and private properties to immediately desist from these raids, in order to allow the states to proceed with peaceful and fair distribution of these palliative to the neediest and most vulnerable in our society.”
The coalition, in the statement, explained that the delay in the distribution of the palliatives came about as a result of the delay experienced in the procurement of food palliatives.
It said that due to the unforeseen circumstances, the coalition could not commence the distribution of palliatives until June.
“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 resulting delay in the delivery of the food palliatives by the state governors.
“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 of October 2020, a sizeable 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 food items since early August, some could not conclude the distribution as they were yet to receive complete deliveries of the items allowed to them,” the statement read.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) has come out to deny claims that governors hoarded food palliatives, in a statement signed by Abulrazaque Bello-Barkindo, the forum’s head of media and public affairs.
“The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) have since the EndSARS demonstrations started, held several meetings to address the underlying concerns and members have aligned themselves with the call for justice leading to the setting up of judicial panels in the states of the federation against police brutality,” the statement read.
“The NGF regrets the loss of lives and property occasioned by the violent protests that erupted, and calls for calm.
“A lot of the information circulating in the social media needs to be fact checked. The NGF pleads with members of the public to desist from spreading rumours which further creates panic and stampede,” it continued.
“For example, some of the properties stolen and vandalized, include palliatives set aside for vulnerable members of society.
“The NGF reemphasizes and corrects the impression that palliatives found in warehouses that were broken into in Lagos and some other states were kept in storage for members of the society especially our vulnerable citizens.
“The erroneous impression in the public domain that these palliatives were hoarded is not just inaccurate, entirely erroneous and untrue but also mischievous, to say the least.
“For the avoidance of doubt, some of the palliatives had the CACOVID stamp embossed on them, meaning that their source is unambiguous.
“As we know, CACOVID operations are mainly domiciled in Lagos, being the headquarters of most of the public-spirited organisations, corporate bodies and individuals that came together to form the Coalition Against COVID-19, CACOVID.
“Until mid-October, when the NGF had its last meeting, up to ten states had not participated in the flag-off ceremonies for the distribution of palliatives in their states. This was because the items meant for distribution in these states had not been completely received from CACOVID.
“Some other states that still had palliatives in their warehouses chose to keep a strategic reserve ahead of a projected second wave of Covid-19.
“Furthermore, as of a couple of weeks ago, some states were still receiving palliatives from the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.
“The NGF wishes to state categorically that no state has been involved in or has hoarded any palliatives.
“The NGF also assures all contributors to the palliatives that prior to the looting of these ware houses, States had kept full accounts of all the items received and distributed.
“NGF calls on members of the public to check their facts. While we all recognize the need for improved governance, we should be careful not to damage ourselves by pushing the wrong narrative.
“The State Governors are doing their very best under the circumstances to ameliorate the needs of the teeming population
“The Nigeria Governors’ Forum stands for justice, improved governance and a progressive Nigeria,” the statement concluded.
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Frontpage February 28, 2020