The private sector-led Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) has explained the delay in distribution of palliatives to about two million most vulnerable families (and about 10 million Nigerians) across the 774 council areas.
It noted that one of the factors responsible for the development was how to purchase the items worth some N15 billion without driving inflation.
The clarification was captured in a document signed by Dr. Sola Adeduntan, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of First Bank Plc.
Adeduntan, who is member of the coalition’s steering committee alongside Aliko Dangote, John Coumatorous, Jim Ovia, Tony Elumelu, Abdulsamad Rabiu Segun Agbaje, Herbert Wigwe and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Godwin Emefiele, disclosed that CACOVID had “successfully provided health facilities, diagnostic kits and medication to all the states and Abuja.”
He went on: “We set up the coalition to pool resources together to support government to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We decided to provide food to 1.7 million most vulnerable families across the country, and we put substantial resources behind the initiative.
“The food items we intend to purchase included rice, pasta, noodles, garri, sugar and salt.
“The challenge was how to purchase those items worth about N15 billion without driving inflation.
“We had to contract this out to various manufacturers, and that took time for them to deliver the goods to us.
“It was only in September and early October that we handed the goods over to the various state governments and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Adeduntan further said: “It’s therefore a fallacy that the state governments or Dangote hoarded those foodstuffs.”
CACOVID spokesperson, Osita Nwasinobi, had also advised those involved in the wanton destruction of public and private properties to “desist from these raids, in order to allow the states proceed with peaceful and fair distribution of these palliatives to the neediest and most vulnerable in our society.”
By Matthew Ogune,