The Nigerian Navy at the weekend moved to ameliorate the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on its host communities, stating that the current situation has brought untold hardship to the people.
The navy noted that apart from its duty of protecting the waterways in the Niger Delta, as part of its social responsibility, it would continue to partner communities within its areas of operations to foster better relationships.
Weekend’s presentation, the Central Naval Command (CNC) of the Nigerian Navy headquartered in Yenagoa, Bayelsa, stated, also coincided with its 64th anniversary, a milestone in the history of the armed forces.
Donating various food items as palliatives to Agudama-Epie community, including bags of rice, beans, yam and other food items, the Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) , Central Naval Command, Real Admiral Saidu Garba, said the items were part of efforts to meet the community needs at this difficult time.
Garba said the Covid-19 pandemic has restricted people from going about their normal businesses, resulting to a lot of hardship to many Nigerians, including the poor and the less-privileged.
He said: “The current lockdown in Bayelsa State has been a difficult time for many, especially those who live on daily earnings from small businesses due to inability to go about business activities in the past week.
“Many households are faced with lack of food and other basic requirement in their homes. Taking into cognisance this unfortunate development, the Nigeria navy, under the leadership of the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas, directed the distribution of palliatives to vulnerable communities as part of the 2020 Nigeria navy anniversary celebration.
“This is to compliment similar efforts geared towards easing the hardship being experienced by Nigerians due to the lockdown imposed to curb the spread of Covid-19.
“In the spirit of togetherness which the Nigerian navy is well known for, my staff and I are her this morning to mark Navy’s 64th anniversary by sharing the little that we have with you at this difficult time”.
Garba urged the community leaders who received the palliatives on behalf of the community to make sure that the items were shared fairly among the vulnerable.
In his response on behalf of the community, Mr Lionel Bestman, who stood in for the Council of Chiefs, thanked the navy for the kind gesture, stressing that the food items will go a long way to reduce the impact of the lockdown.