Ten thousand people in Lagos will benefit daily from an ambitious feeding programme planned by Rendeavour, Africa’s largest private city developer and partner to the Lagos State Government on the Alaro City project.
A statement by Rendeavour officials said this roll out would be the largest private sector-led free food programme in Lagos and that it was part of additional palliative measures aimed at cushioning the effects of the lockdown in the state over the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the statement, Rendeavour will work closely with Alaro City and selected non-governmental organisations to kick-start the initiative with focus on their host community Epe and on Lagos Island.
Rendeavour said the initiative takes a cue from Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s Daily Food Kitchen Programme, and that this development comes days after the Lagos State Governor announced the commencement of a daily food kitchen programme targeted at feeding 100,000 youths across various areas in the state.
Stephen Jennings, Founder and Group CEO of Rendeavour, commended Governor Sanwo-Olu for his leadership and laudable efforts at tackling the spread of the virus in Lagos State and promised that the organisation will continue to support the government. “Governor Sanwo-Olu has led commendably from the front in the battle against COVID-19 in Lagos, to the admiration of all, including the international community,” he said. “These are difficult times, no doubt, but I am optimistic that Nigeria will be among the fastest nations to shrug off the effects of this pandemic.”
Other initiatives by Rendeavour and Alaro City targeted at cushioning the effect of the lockdown include the distribution of relief items which commenced in Epe two weeks ago. The company is also rolling out a civic education campaign aimed at boosting awareness of effective ways of combating the pandemic. Additionally, top executives of the organisation have partnered with the Lagos branch of a global business leadership community in funding the construction of a COVID-19 treatment/isolation centre in Lagos.
Alaro City, a partnership between the Lagos State Government and Rendeavour, is planned as a 2,000-hectare mixed-income, city-scale development with industrial and logistics locations, complemented by offices, homes, schools, healthcare facilities, hotels, entertainment and 150 hectares (370 acres) of parks and open spaces. Over 20 businesses are designing or building their facilities in the city; and 5km of initial road networks and a modular 50MVA power plant are under construction.
Reacting to the development, the Lagos State Government commended Rendeavour and Alaro City for the assistance and solicited for more private sector partnership with the state in tackling the pandemic. The state’s Commissioner for Agriculture, Gbolahan Lawal, said: “The initiative to feed 10,000 people daily by Rendeavour and Alaro City is a laudable one and perfectly keys in with the objectives of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s COVID-19 Emergency Food Response. We welcome all partnerships on this quest to ensure that those in need are fed during this period.”
Dr. Mrs. Lola Akande, the Lagos Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, also commended Rendeavour for the initiative. “It is heart-warming to see our partners in the private sector rise up to the occasion and key into the state government’s programmes aimed at battling the coronavirus pandemic,” she said. “Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has, once again, shown leadership worthy of emulation and we are happy that responsible corporate players like Rendeavour and Alaro City are partnering with us.”