As a way of ameliorating the sufferings of Nigerians during the lock down in some parts of the nation due to the novel coronavirus, President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered that 70,000 metric tons of grains from the strategic grains reserve be released to the masses.
During a press briefing in Lagos, Boss Mustapha, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, made the announcement that the distribution would be done in phases.
According to Mustapha , the first batch of the distribution, about 6,800 metric tons of grains, is to be distributed in Lagos, Ogun and Abuja, while the rest will be distributed to the 13 frontline states that have recorded cases of the COVID-19 disease .
The 70,000 metric tons of grain released is equivalent to roughly 70 million kilograms, or 1.4 million 50-kilogram bags of grains, which will be allocated to the poor, the vulnerable and those whose livelihoods have been affected by the lockdown.
Mustapha and other members of the taskforce toured the state to inspect the isolation facilities at Onikan Stadium, Mainland Infectious Disease Hospital, Lagos University Teaching Hospital and Gbagada General Hospital.
He commended the government of Lagos State on its efforts to contain the pandemic and stressed that the relief materials would be distributed to those in society who were most vulnerable such as the poor, elderly and physically-challenged.
The chairman also noted that the federal government has allocated to Lagos the lion’s share of the items donated to Nigeria by a Chinese philanthropist, Jac Ma, while the president has approved sum of N10 billion to the state to support fighting the virus.