Governors refuse to account for palliatives disbursement, FG laments

The Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development says it plans to involve the non-governmental organisations in the future distribution of palliatives because governors have refused to explain how they distributed the food items in their states.

During the EndSARS protests various food items designated as COVID-19 palliatives were uncovered in warehouses across the country with many Nigerians breaking in and carting away the items.

Sadiya Umar Farouq, humanitarian affairs minister, said this at a meeting with Senate Committee on Special Duties on Thursday in Abuja.

Ms Farouq, who lamented that the ministry had yet to receive reports from states on how the COVID-19 palliatives were shared, said the ministry planned to re-strategise for effective coordination.

“We have not received any report from the state governors on how they distributed these food items. This has made us have a rethink and re-strategise to see how we can engage other bodies, especially the NGOs, in subsequent interventions by the ministry.

“Since COVID-19 activities are still ongoing, the ministry is devising ways to ensure delivery of palliatives to the most vulnerable groups,” she disclosed.

Ms Farouq explained that N2,457,500,000 was released to the ministry regarding the COVID-19 rapid response, and it was part of the allocation of N32,457,000,000 allocated from which N30 billion has yet to be released.

“This sum is meant for the payment of N5,000 each to one million vulnerable urban individuals for six months,” she said.

On the school feeding programme during the lockdown, Ms Farouq said, “The government had directed that we continue the feeding programme even while they were at home. We had data of where these children live, and so the aim of the programme was realised.”

According to the minister, the pilot experiment was conducted in FCT, Lagos, and Ogun. However, because of some challenges, it had to be suspended pending review.

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