By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
As lockdown order by President Muhammadu Buhari, enters day two, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Santuscom Agro-Hub Investment Nigeria Limited, Chief Paul Santus Ofana, Wednesday, distributed 500 bags of 10kilogram rice and 500 of four liters palm oil to vulnerable Nigerians in Abuja and Cross River State.
This was made known in a statement signed by Media Consultant, Santuscom Agro-Hub Investment, Comrade Ebriku John Friday, where Ofana said it became necessary for him to donate and distribute the food items to households most affected and also cushion the effect of the stay-at-home order.
Santuscom Agro-Hub is the producer of the popular Ogoja Rice and other allied food products and has been a support to less privileged Nigerians, which also has empowered young people with agribusiness training and establishment.
He said: “We are all concerned about the plight of Nigerians, particularly those who do not have enough at this time. This gesture is to support the Federal Government and to ameliorate the sufferings of people while they stay at home.
“I have to come in with this intervention as you can see with 500 bags of 10kilogram rice and 500 of four liters palm oil to vulnerable Nigerians in Abuja and Cross River State.
“People need foodstuff to withstand the lockdown and stay-at-home order. We will continue to distribute food when and where necessary. We have been doing this and we will sustain it.”
He also added that hand sanitizers, hand gloves, and face masks provided by various philanthropists is a welcomed development.
However, said people also need food to eat for survival for the period being and also as a way to reduce hunger in the land while staying at home.
“I appreciate others who are distributing and donating hand sanitizers, hand gloves and face masks to help stop the spread of the virus, but a well-fed family will have improved immunity to fight any kind of ailment.
“Well-meaning Nigerians should come out and join hands by giving support to less privileged Nigerians by way of providing basic food items to keep them away from the challenge of hunger”, he said.
Also speaking was the Group General Manager, Santuscom Agro-Hub Investment, Emaluji Sunday Michael, disclosed that the company spent N15 million to make the food items available.
According to Michael the company decided to supply foodstuff to households free of charge as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility, CRS because people need food to be alive, hence it will sustain it for the time being.
He added that people can reach the company for support when they have need of foodstuff.
Meanwhile, he added that the company has keyed into the N50 billion intervention fund as a palliative, which the company has applied for N100 million to produce food for the masses.
“We have keyed into the Federal Government N50 billion fund intervention as a palliative for COVID-19 pandemic. We have applied for N100 million to produce food.
He also disclosed that the company is not going to lay-off staff aftermath COVID-19, “We are not going to lay-off staff, but we will ensure the company explores other alternatives to be in business. We have also paid our staff on March 31, 2020. So there is no plan for that.”