Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta on Wednesday, said his administration would continue to partner the private sector and individuals in mitigating the debilitating effects of COVID-19 on the less-privileged in the state.
Okowa stated this while flagging off the National Food Distribution Programme of the private sector Coalition Against COVID-19 (CA-COVID) at the Event Centre in Asaba.
He lauded CA-COVID for deeming it necessary to pull resources together to make the donation which was aimed at ameliorating the plight of the downtrodden in the society at “this critical time that hunger tends to abound in the society.’’
The governor noted that the donation was apt and timely as the coronavirus pandemic had negatively affected small and medium scale businesses, and remarked that the kind gesture from the private sector would go a long way in addressing the problem of hunger among the economically weak in the state.
“We use this opportunity to thank our sons and daughters in the private sector who have thought it necessary to deep their hands in their pockets to provide food items for the less-privileged in the society at this point in time that hunger tends to abound in the country.
“There is no doubt that with the sudden coming of COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of businesses have been negatively affected, particularly the small and medium scale businesses. A lot of families are struggling to put food on their tables.
“My administration would continue to take steps that would alleviate the plights of residents of the state,” Okowa said, and urged the committee set up to distribute the food items at the local government levels to ensure that the items got to the downtrodden spread across the state.
He warned that the distribution of the food items should not be based on party lines but to genuine residents of the state that “are really less-privileged’’, pointing out that the 270 wards in the state would be the focal point for the distribution of the food items to the less privileged.
The governor reminded the people that COVID-19 was not a death sentence, adding that those with the virus-related symptoms should quickly go for testing to ascertain their status before treatment.
He disclosed that more isolation and treatment centres had been established in all parts of the state.
Earlier, the representative of CA-COVID in the state, Mr Lucky Ighade, had said that the donation was part of measures to assist states and the Federal Government in handling the challenges of hunger and starvation among poor families across the country.
Ighade, who disclosed that CA-COVID had donated medical facilities and food items to the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, harped on the need for Nigerians to stick to all NCDC-prescribed protocols so as to flatten the curve of the infection.
He commended Governor Okowa for the steps his administration had taken to curtail the spread of the virus in the state,
The high points of the ceremony were the inspection of the food warehouse and the presentation of food items to some households by the governor.