The Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) has explained why the distribution of COVID-19 palliatives was delayed in some states.
The private sector-led organisation in reaction to the looting of COVID-19 palliatives from warehouses across Nigeria called for calm and revealed that most of the state governments did not receive complete delivery of items allotted to them early enough.
CACOVID explained that as at the time they embarked on the palliatives effort in April, they decided to procure the food directly from the manufacturers, to avoid a distortion of prices in the market.
They added that the food package was designed such that each of the nearly two million vulnerable families received: 10kg bag of rice, 5kg bag of garri/maize flour/semolina, 1 carton of pasta, 2 cartons of noodles, 5kg of sugar and 1kg of salt.
“Unfortunately, the very large size of the order, and the production cycle required to meet the demand, caused delays in delivering the food items to the states in an expeditious manner; hence the resulting delay in delivery of the food palliatives by the state governors.
“For instance, rice had to be milled, semolina and maize flour had to be processed, noodles and pasta had to be manufactured, and sugar had to be refined.
“As such, the first deliveries could not start until June. However, as of October 2020, a sizeable portion of the items had been delivered but yet to be distributed by the governors. Although various states and the FCT had commenced flag-off of the distribution of the food items since early August, some could not conclude the distribution as they were yet to receive complete deliveries of the items allotted to them,” the statement issued on Monday on behalf of CACOVID by Central Bank of Nigeria’s acting Director, Corporate Communications, Osita Nwanisobi explained.
The group said further that although various states and the FCT had commenced flag-off of the distribution of the food items since early August, some could not conclude the distribution as they were yet to receive complete deliveries of the items allotted to them.
“In the interest of transparency and accountability, CACOVID will, in due course, be providing the full delivery schedule and flag-off dates by each state,” Nwanisobi said further.
“Given that the states and local government authorities oversee all relief efforts in their jurisdictions and know their citizens best, we had worked with each governor and the Minister of the FCT, utilising a combination of our protocols and their existing structures and processes to ensure food items reach the intended beneficiaries. We also appointed an independent monitoring team to ensure that the items would be delivered as intended,” the group said.
The group noted that not every warehouse in Nigeria that contains palliatives is affiliated to the CACOVID donation, given that the states, the federal government, and other organisations also made donations.