Two months after the donation of relief materials to Niger state to cushion the effect of coronavirus lockdown in the state, the items are still lying in warehouses where they were kept without distributing them to the needy.
The palliatives were donated by the Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID19), Federal Government and other donors to help reduce effects of the lockdown but up till now, the items were yet to be distributed by the state Task Force on COVID-19.
The items were discovered at the warehouse during an oversight function to the COVID-19 isolation centres and food stores in the state, by members of the Assembly’s Ad-hoc Committee on COVID-19.
The chairman of the house, Abdulmalik Madaki Bosso and members of the adhoc committee expressed disappointment and anger over the failure of the Task Force on COVID-19 to distribute food items donated to the people of the state as palliatives over two months after the donations were received.
The State Task Force on COVID-19 has received 88 trucks of palliatives from CACOVID-19 and three trucks of rice from the Federal Government.
Items discovered at the Niger State Supply Company store are 94,194 cartons of modles, , 47,611 cartons of sugar, 9,000 bags of 10kg rice, and 43,311 cartons of macaroni spaghetti while the Niger State Agricultural Mechanisation Development Authority has a storage of 3,150 bags of 50kg rice, indomn oodlesie 5,15 cartons, spaghetti 1,860 cartons, 1,26 of 5kg rice and 2,010 packs of 1kg semovita among others.
Madaki said that though, the state had eased the lockdown, people of the state were yet to overcome its affects as many of them were living in hunger and suffering.
“If the food items have been kept here for over two months now and you said you are waiting for a distribution template from the donors, then you need to persuade them to come up with it as soon as possible. Our people are suffering and you know that hunger waits for no one and we can’t just sit and watch our people going through hardship while food items are locked up in our stores.
Chairman of the state Task Force on COVID-19 and Secretary to the State Government, Ibrahim Ahmed Matane, in his response said the palliatives were yet to be distributed because donations were still coming in.
He claimed that parts of the palliatives were distributed during the lockdown, adding that the committee was waiting for a template from the donors before distributing the items.
“We have received 88 trucks of palliatives from CACOVID-19 and three trucks of rice from the Federal Government, but we are still waiting for a template from the donors before distribution will commence, ” Matane said.