Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State on Monday said that his administration had given palliatives to over 200,000 households since the outbreak of the Coronavirus in the state.
Akeredolu stated this during the inauguration ceremony of Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) palliatives distribution in Akure.
He noted that apart from the vulnerable that could move around, his administration had also reached out to the sick, pregnant women and nursing mothers to minimise the impact of COVID-19 on them.
According to him, the pandemic has adversely affected both the lives and means of livelihood of the people.
“To us, it can be likened to a state of warfare. We are fighting an invisible enemy.
“Many are carrying the ‘bullet wound’ without knowing and many are already sent to early graves and many more may still go unless we brace up and do what is right as individuals and communities,” he said.
Akeredolu explained that his administration was doing the best possible within the available resources to ameliorate the effects of the pandemic on the people.
The governor maintained that part of ameliorating strategies was the provision of food items as palliatives to the people.
He said that the items the coalition donated to the state would take care of at least 50,000 households across the nooks and crannies of the state.
Akeredolu noted that the delay in the inauguration of the ceremony was occasioned by the need for the exercise to be carried out in all the states of the federation at about the same time.
The governor, however, assured that he would ensure fair and equitable distribution of the items provided.
“Let me specially thank CACOVID), an NGO under the leadership of Alhaji Aliko Dangote and Mr Godwin Emefiele, Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), in their collaboration with the Federal Government of Nigeria in ameliorating the effect of the pandemic on the people.
“This is not just for us, but for the good people of Ondo State. What we have achieved in the past three years can only be possible with God’s intervention and your support.
“We have been in the office for about 42 months and have paid salaries and allowances for 48 months.
” The six months extra being the carry-over debt from the immediate past administration, despite our lean purse since we took over.
“We have been forced by COVID-19 outbreak to review downward, our budget just like every other state and the federal government, but nevertheless God Almighty has made it possible for us to continue to pay salaries and the implementation of our various programmes across the state.
“Let us not be in doubt that a new foundation has shone for a preferred Ondo state, where the sun shines brightly,” he stated.
Earlier, Mr Akinola Olotu, Chairman, Ondo State Palliative Committee, said that distribution of palliatives did not just start in the state, recalling that over 200,000 families had benefitted directly and indirectly.
” In the first phase, which was funded fully by the state government, we were about to reach out to 80,000 households in the state through the local council committees.
“In the second phase with additional funds from the state and donations from various organisations within and outside the state, we were able to reach out to more people, groups, religious organisations and others,” Olotu said.
He added that the committee also distributed the palliative to hospitals, maternity homes, the sick ones, with food items and drinks with the intention of boosting their protein intake.
The chairman, therefore, appreciated the governor for allowing the committee to carry out its assignment without any interference nor imposing anyone on the committee to stage-manage the programme.
Olotu extended the committee’s appreciation to CACOVID for the special food support that could reach out to 40,000 households, especially to those that could not be reached in the previous phases.
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