The Lagos State Government says it has distributed additional 100 bags of its Emergency Food Response Stimulus packages to residents of Ajewole Street, Ajegunle in Ikorodu Local Government Area of the state.
The State Commissioner for Information, Mr Gbenga Omotosho, who led the state delegation to distribute the stimulus packages, said the gesture followed the households’ pleas to the state government.
Omotosho explained that Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu had heard the pleas of the residents demanding for more stimulus packages to cover all the households in the area.
The commissioner said this was to complement the numbers already shared on the same street few days earlier.
According to him, Mr Governor ordered that 100 more packages be brought to the street and be shared to households who have not received anything during the first exercise.
“The stimulus package is something that started as soon as the Federal Government announced this lockdown.
“The governor said that the poor people in our society should not be left to their own devices.
“The governor had said the state government was going to package foods to give to the poor, the poorest of the poor, who are at the lowest rung of the ladder, and we have been doing that.
“But over the weekend, he saw in the news this particular street and a particular family that looked deprived and the governor felt that we should reach out to them as it is the responsibility of the government to reach out to such families at this time,” Omotosho said.
The commissioner said each of these packages contains 5kg of rice, 5kg of garri, 3kg of beans, seasoning, as well as tomatoes and pepper mix, adding that it was expected that the pack would feed a family of six for two weeks.
He said that the Lagos State COVID-19 Emergency Food Response Initiative was aimed at reaching out to households while giving preference to the aged, vulnerable and indigent.
“It is a palliative to control the shortage of food supply that they might be experiencing during the lockdown directive of President Muhammadu Buhari to flatten the curve of the spread of the Coronavirus.
He said apart from providing food to over 200, 000 households, the Lagos State Emergency Food Response Initiative has created jobs for over 350 people who were gainfully engaged in different sections of the food distribution chains.
“Many young Nigerians have been engaged by the COVID-19 Emergency Food Response Initiative coordinated by the Ministry of Agriculture to repack food items into smaller units for distribution.
“The first phase of this programme was supposed to cater for 200,000 households.
“We have crossed that and we have even moved on to specialised areas and groups such as the physically challenged whose data we have through our Office of Disability Affairs.
“We have moved to societies such as village groups, towns groups, ethnic groups all over the place; we have moved to artisans such as Carpenters Associations and even Transport Unions.
“We are reaching out to many people, apart from the old people whose data we have in our data bank with the Lagos State Residents Registration Agency (LASRRA),” Omotosho said.
Speaking on behalf of the residents, Mr Chukwunwe Okpa, thanked Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu for coming to the aid of people in the area.
“I am thanking our governor for the things he sent to my area. He watched our plights on the news and he answered our call, because there is nothing for us to eat in this area,” he said. (NAN)