Coronavirus: Nigerian govt to release 70,000 metric tons of grains to masses — SGF Mustapha

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As part of the measures to ameliorate the sufferings of Nigerians during coronavirus pandemic, the federal government has approved the release of 70,000 metric tons of grains from the strategic grains reserve to the masses.

Boss Mustapha, the chairperson of the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19, said this on Tuesday during a press briefing in Lagos.

Seventy thousand metric tons of grain is about 70 million kilogrammes or 1.4 million units of 50kg bags of different grains.

Mr Mustapha said about 6,800 of the 70,000 metric tons of grains will 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 chairperson, alongside members of the taskforce inspected the isolation facilities at Onikan Stadium, Mainland Infectious Disease Hospital, Lagos University Teaching Hospital and Gbagada General Hospital.

“On behalf of Mr. President, I wish to commend the government of Lagos State for magnificently controlling the pandemic and for putting in place isolation centres, ICU facilities as well as establishing a wide network of contact tracing,” Mr Mustapha said.

“In recognition of the impact of the lockdown order on the poor, physically-challenged, the elderly and the vulnerable, Mr. President approved the release of 70,000 metric tons of grains from the strategic grains reserve.

“Out of this, about 6,800 will be distributed in Lagos, Ogun and FCT while the rest will be distributed to the 13 frontline states that have recorded cases of the COVID-19 disease. I assure you that the distribution of the Lagos State share will commence shortly.”

Mr Mustapha said COVID-19 being a global pandemic has disrupted healthcare system in low and middle-income countries, and Nigeria’s economy has also been adversely affected.

He stressed that the relief material will be distributed to the most vulnerable in the society such as the poor, elderly and physically-challenged persons.

“In appreciation of all the efforts of the Lagos State Government and the burden the state is carrying, Mr. President approved the sum of N10 billion as support for fighting the virus.

“The Federal Government in addition to the donation above, allocated to Lagos the lion-share of the PPEs (facemask, face shield and overall gowns) donated to Nigeria by a Chinese philanthropist, Mr. Jac Ma. A few days ago, my office authorised the deployment on loan, of 25 Hilux vehicles from INEC, to Lagos State to support contact tracing,” he said.

Mr Mustapha said the nation is at war with an unseen but very potent enemy, which requires participation from all citizens to defeat the enemy.

“To win the war, we must abide by instructions to stay-at-home, maintain social distancing, personal hygiene and report all suspected cases to the designated health authorities,” he said.



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