Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Friday charged corporate organizations and private individuals to complement the government’s efforts in curbing the spread of COVID-19 in the state and the country as a whole.
The governor, who made the call while unveiling the economic stimulus package for the indigent and the most vulnerable people in the state, described the move as a catalytic initiative of his administration with the hope the corporate organisations and public individuals would step up to complement the government’s efforts in the quest to halt the spread of the disease.
Sanwo-Olu, who spoke to journalists after an on-the-spot assessment of one of the state-owned food banks, located inside the premises of the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives in Agege, said the economic stimulus would reduce the burden of the temporary economic downturn on the citizens caused by the outbreak of the disease.
He said the food packs, which were put together by the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives would reach the most vulnerable communities and households across Lagos, adding that the indigents who rely on daily wages would be given priority in the arrangement.
He said: ‘‘We are here for an on-the-spot assessment, of our readiness, to see how we can fast track some of our stimulus package for our citizens. We are all aware that this is a trying time for our citizens and since the partial drop in economic activities, our government deemed it necessary to reach out to the vulnerable ones in the society.
“ These people are those that fall below the pyramid, the aged and the physically challenged who need to move from one part of the city to another for them to have a living. We felt that as a government, the least we can do is to identify them and give them these stimulus packages immediately.’’
According to the governor, the package that will touch, at least, 200,000 households in the first phase, saying the food packs are produced for a size of six people per household and would last for at least fourteen days.
“We have packaged dry food stimulus for about 200,000 families in the first instance for a household of husband, wife, and about four children. We would be giving bags of rice, bags of beans, garri, bread, dry pepper and we are trying to see if we can add water and some elements of vitamin C. Each ration, we believe, is going to be able to last them, at least, minimum 14 days just so our advocacy around a stay at home, stay with your loved ones will be respected.
“This is a catalytic initiative of our administration with the hope that well-meaning corporate organisations and private individuals can step up to complement the efforts of the government, “ he added.
The state Commissioner of Agriculture, Prince Gbolahan Lawal, earlier said the government would be working with the existing database of the state – using the Lagos State Social register and 4000 community development association register in 377 wards.
He said the economic stimulus is part of the administration’s initiatives tailored towards ensuring that food security is sustained in the state.