Mrs. Sadiya Umar Farouq, Honourable Minister for Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development

How we distributed 279 trucks of grains to Abuja, 2 states -Minister

* Palliative items are for minimum 2-month food relief, cash transfers -Sadiya Farouq

* Says plans underway for deployment to other frontline states
Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect
Mrs. Sadiya Umar Farouq, Nigeria’s Honourable Minister for Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, has said her ministry has shared 279 trucks of grains to Lagos, Ogun States and Abuja, FCT, and others affected by the Coronavirus lockdown.

ConsumerConnect recalls that President Muhammadu Buhari recently approved the release of 70,000 metric tonnes of grains, including maize, garri, sorghum and millet for onward distribution to the poor and vulnerable Nigerians in order to cushion the impacts of the lockdown directive in the affected states.

Farouq however, at the daily briefing by the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 Tuesday, April 21 stated she was yet to receive the 70,000 metric tonnes approved by President Buhari because the grains are enormous, and the Ministry lacks the required space to keep them.

Farouq said: “70,000 grains were approved by Mr. President that it (sic) should be given to the PTF through the ministry and to be distributed to the three affected lockdown states by the Federal Government and then to other frontline states.

“So far, we have deployed 279 trucks of grains to the three affected states locked down by the Federal Government, and we are making plans for the next deployment to other frontline states.

“We have not taken all the 70,000 metric tonnes of grains. So, we still have some grains in the silos because metric tonnes are quite a huge number.

2,000 metric tonnes alone will require nothing less than 80 trucks to deploy. So, it is quite a huge number, and there is nowhere we can put these grains. We have to leave them in the silos and be deployed as the need arises.”

The Minister also disputed the allegation that two members of a particular household benefitted from the Conditional Cash Transfers (CCTs) the Federal Government ordered for disbursement to the poor and vulnerable households in the country.

She rather dismissed the claim, saying, “I think this is near impossible because the process involved is very tedious as it involves all critical stakeholders in the community.

“The community leaders, leaders of faith-based organisations, youth leaders, women leaders, and others are involved in drawing up the list of the poor and vulnerable households in that community.

“The groups submit a list individually, and if you go through the list and discover that a name that is not on a particular group’s list is on other people’s list, it disqualifies such a person.

“So, it is almost impossible for the same members of a household to get this intervention, but we will go back and investigate very well.”

According to her, the food relief items distributed to some beneficiaries will last them for two months.

Farouq said: “The Federal Government’s palliatives are for a minimum of two months for the food relief and the cash transfers.

“I think we have been able to adequately cater for these vulnerable groups by giving them the two-month packages.

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