The governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu, has expressed his administration readiness to partner with the private sector and individuals in mitigating the effects of COVID-19 on the less privileged in the state.
Akeredolu stated this in Akure, Ondo State capital, during the flag-off ceremony of the Private sector Coalition Against COVID-19 (CA-COVID) Palliative items distribution to the vulnerable in the state.
The governor lauded the initiative of the CACOVID team for deeming it necessary to pull resources together to ameliorating the plight of the downtrodden in the society especially at this critical period.
He disclosed that the state government has reached out to over 200,000 households since the outbreak of the pandemic
He said: “The committee members have reached out to those in the hospitals; the sick, pregnant women and nursing mothers.
“Special attention was paid to them in addressing their protein intake through the provision of eggs, chicken and beverages.”
Akeredolu said despite the lean resources “The government is doing the best possible within the available resources to ameliorate the effects of this pandemic on the people. Part of our mitigation strategies is the provision of food items as palliatives to our people.
“Our administration, has again, within the available resources gone the extra mile to make this a reality. We started by setting up a palliative committee to gather and distribute food items to the people through the local government distribution Committees.
“We ensured that the committees are truly representative in composition in terms of geographical, gender, professional and religious spread.
He, however, said the commodities donated to the state would be able to take care of about 50,000 households across the nook and cranny of the state while he charged the committees not to be politically biased and should target the most vulnerable in the society.
The governor noted that the donation was apt and timely as the coronavirus pandemic had negatively affected small and medium scale businesses.
According to him, the kind gesture from the private sector would go a long way in addressing the problem of hunger among the economically weak in the state.
“Let me specially thank the Coalition Against COVID-19 (CA-COVID), a Non-Governmental Organisation under the leadership of Alhaji Aliko Dangote and Mr Godwin Emefiele, the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria in their collaboration with the Federal Government of Nigeria in ameliorating the effect of the pandemic on the people.
We are proud of them. We are equally assuring them that as usual, we shall ensure a fair and equitable distribution of the items they have provided,” he said.
The Chairman of COVID-19 Palliative Committee in the state, Mr Akin Olotu, disclosed that no fewer than 80,000 households have benefitted from the palliative put in place by the state government.
He said: “In the first phase we are able to reach out through local government distribution committees to about 80,000 households.
“We visited hospitals and maternity homes and Federal Medical Center, reaching out to the sick with food items, drinks with the intention to boost their protein intake.
“We have been given the mandate to reach out to 40,000 households across the state and we want to assure you that we shall do accordingly and even surpass the expectations in delivery and choice of beneficiaries.”
The high points of the ceremony were the inspection of the food warehouse and the presentation of food items to some households by the governor.
By Hakeem Gbadamosi,