Chijioke Agwu, Abakaliki
The Ebonyi State Executive Council has approved the sum of 1 billion naira for the procurement of relief materials and palliative packages to be distributed across the state to help residents ease the hardship of the lockdown occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic.
The state’s Commissioner for information and State Orientation, Uchenna Orji, disclosed this at a joint press briefing with the Senior Special Assistant(SSA) on Religious and Welfare Matters, Abraham Nwali, on the outcome of the extraordinary state executive council meeting.
Orji said the fund will be used to buy 400,000 bags of 5kg rice, production of over 400,000 pieces of medical face masks and other food and essential items as may be needed in the course of the fight against the virus in Ebonyi State.
He stated that the Ebonyi State Rice Production Company has been directed to ensure the speedy production of rice for onward distribution to vulnerable and the less privileged persons in the state.
Orji also announced that the council has approved the lifting of the ban on burials for a period of one week.
He added, however, that those intending to conduct burials must obtain permission from the ministry and must not have more than 20 family members in attendance.
Speaking on the EXCO decision on public religious gatherings, the SSA on Religious and Welfare Matters, Abraham Nwali, announced that the state executive council has also lifted the ban on religious gatherings.
Nwali disclosed that the lifting of the ban followed an appeal made by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in the state to allow Christians to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday.
He, however, said that going forward, Sunday services must always start by 8 am and end by 12 noon, warning that any church that exceeds the stipulated time will be sealed by the government.
Nwali added that every member of the church must wear a face mask and that every church must have sanitisers and hand washing equipment in their premises.