The Lagos State government on Friday announced that it will feed no fewer than 200,000 households following the COVID-19 hardship in the state.
This decision came amidst concerns over the economic and social crises that may dog a lockdown of states by their governments.
Some traders who spoke with Saturday Tribune warned that without government assistance, closure of markets and lockdowns will bankrupt and even, kill many. (See pages 19, 20 and 29 for story.)
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu unveiled the economic stimulus package for the indigent and the most vulnerable in the society, a few days after the state government issued a stay-at-home directive to residents, in order to curtail the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The stimulus comes in food packs of rice, bags of beans, garri, bread, dry pepper, among others, to be distributed to every local government in the state and is aimed at cushioning the effect of the 14-day stay-at-home directive. The package would touch at least 200,000 households in the first phase.
Governor Sanwo-Olu made this known while speaking 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, saying that the economic stimulus would reduce the burden of the temporary economic downturn on the citizens caused by the outbreak of COVID-19.
According to him, the food packs, which were put together by the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives will reach the most vulnerable communities and households across Lagos, saying that the indigents who rely on daily wages would be given priority.
“We are here for an on-the-spot assessment of our readiness, to see how we can fast-track some of our stimulus packages 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,” the governor stated.
The governor further said that the package would touch at least 200,000 households in the first phase, saying the food packs were 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 two hundred thousand 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 as our advocacy around stay at home, stay wih your loved ones will be respected.