By our reporter
Facts have emerged how Kogi State Government received palliatives worth N531 million from the Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) as at July, 2020.
CACOVID is a committee of major private sector players in Nigeria who pooled resources together to ameliorate the negative impacts of the pandemic on poor families.
Documents obtained from sources within the Kogi State Government by Newspeakonline showed that the state had received 90 per cent of the palliatives promised by COCAVID as at July. The items, which were 238,000 packages in total, include rice, sugar, salt, semolina, pasta, noodles, gari and maize. The palliatives were meant to cushion the negative impacts of COVID-19 pandemic on families across the 774 local governments in Nigeria.
Due to failure to distribute the palliatives to targeted beneficiaries, however, most of the items were reportedly looted by angry residents shortly after the #EndSARS protest which crippled economic activities in several states of the country in the last three weeks.
But Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello denied looting of the palliatives. He also said on a popular television programme that the state had been distributing palliatives before CACOVID’s intervention. But the claims have been denied by some sources in the state.
Judging by the facts of distribution as confirmed by the documents obtained, the items were looted because they were left in the warehouse instead of onward distribution to targeted beneficiaries.
According to CACOVID plan, each family is to get a palliative bundle containing 10kg bag of rice, two cartons of noodles, 5kg bag of garri or semolina, 5kg of sugar, one carton of pasta and 1kg of salt.
Newspeakonline also observed that CACOVID commenced distribution of palliatives to state governments in June with a target of 10 million poor families across the country.