More palliatives are on the way for the vulnerable people in Nigeria as Sadiya Umar Farouq Honourable Minister of Humanitarian Affairs Disaster Management and Social Development along with the Hon. Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development Alhaji Mustapha Baba Shehuri and Hon. Minister of State Foreign Affairs Ambassador Zubairu Dada received a total of 3.999 tons of food grains donated to the Federal Government by ECOWAS.
The donation is to assist most vulnerable households in Nigeria. The grains are meant to alleviate the impact of the COVID 19 virus on such households.
During the handover of the food grains at the ECOWAS/ FMARD Grain Depot in Hotoro Kano on Saturday 22nd August 2020 the Minister thanked the ECOWAS Commission for the kind gesture stating that ”the provision of humanitarian assistance for distribution to the vulnerable population is a timely and generous act”. She noted that the grains would go a long way in cushioning the effect of COVID 19 on vulnerable citizens.
While speaking at the handing over ceremony the Minister said the Ministry had responded to the COVID 19 pandemic by ensuring various forms of palliatives were given to the poor and vulnerable across the 36 States and the FCT as directed by President Muhammadu Buhari. She added that about 70,000 metric tons of grains consisting of maize, sorghum, and millet as well as trailer loads of rice and vegetable oil were among the palliatives distributed.
According to the Minister,
“At the commencement of the COVID 19 Pandemic the National Social Register (NSR) had 2.5 million poor and vulnerable Households with over 11 million individuals in 34 States and the FCT. As at today, 3.7 million households with over 15.5 million individuals in all 36 States and the FCT are in the Register.” Sadiya Umar Farouq added that “the expanded register will ensure that the food items provided by the ECOWAS Commission reaches the most vulnerable it is meant for and work toward mitigating the risk of food security at this critical time.”
The Commissioner of Agriculture, Environment and Water Resources – ECOWAS Mr. Sangare Sekou conveyed the warm greetings of the President of ECOWAS HE, Dr. Jean-Claude Kassi Brou to HE President Muhammadu Buhari, the government and people of Nigeria for the constant support and facilities provided ECOWAS. He paid tribute to the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari that earned him the “champion of the fight against Coronavirus by his peers.“
He added that “the donation is with the objective of saving the maximum lives in West Africa. Saving lives also means giving food to people affected not only by the Coronavirus but also for our brothers and sisters, our parents affected by terrorism, vandalism, violent conflicts and climate change” he added that it is not an option to remain without taking action. Stressing that the event, “confirms the breathing of the regional solidarity mechanism represented by the Regional Food Security Reserve and strengthens us in commitment to ECOWAS, to the countries and to the populations”.
On his part, the Minister of State Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said that in order to address the food crisis in the West African sub-region, Heads of Government of Member States decided to set up a Regional Food Security Reserve Programme that can be used for interventions in case of emergencies and boost food security.
He and the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs appreciated ECOWAS for the gesture while the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs assured that the grains will be judiciously distributed.