By James Emejo and Folalumi Alaran
The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, yesterday gave assurances that the relief materials mobilised under the apex bank-led private sector Coalition against COVID-19 (CACOVID) will be distributed in all the states of the country.
Speaking during the official flag-off of the CACOVID food relief programme for Federal Capital Territory (FCT), he said, “We will make sure this relief goes round and is felt in every part of the country.”
He said there had been a lot of initiatives by the financial sector since the emergence of COVID-19 in the country, adding that the food relief programme was yet another key aspect of its interventions to moderate the impact of the pandemic on particularly vulnerable Nigerians.
Emefiele added that the banks had been working closely with both the federal and state governments to bring about the much-needed relief to contain the pandemic across the country.
Represented by the Executive Director, First Bank of Nigeria Plc, Mr. Abdullahi Ibrahim, the CBN governor pointed out that “as responsible institutions, we have a very important role to play in bringing about the much-needed relief to our people.
“We have a programme for each part of the country and I can assure you that it is fairly representative of each environment.”
Emefiele said the initiative had been spearheaded by the CBN working with the federal government to “bring about the much-needed help to especially the most vulnerable in the society.”
The food items included 30,541 bags of rice; 30,541 cartons of pasta; 61,082 cartons of noodles; 30,541 sachets of sugar; 30,541 sachets of salt and 30,541 bags of Semovita.
Also speaking at the ceremony, the Minister of State for the FCT, Dr. Ramatu Aliyu, while receiving the food items on behalf of the FCT administration, expressed profound appreciation to the entire leadership and members of CACOVID for the laudable humanitarian intervention.
She said the initiative in all its dimensions is worthy of commendation, “because it is contributing significantly to reducing the spread of the disease and its multifaceted consequences especially on the vulnerable among us.”
The minister further said that in line with the intervention objectives of the CACOVID relief programme, the FCT administration had constituted the distribution committee at all levels, adding that, “we are committed to ensuring that the items donated get to the target beneficiaries according to the stipulated qualities for each beneficiary households.”
Represented by her Senior Special Assistant on Administration and Strategy, Prof. Muhammad Usman, Aliyu said: “If there’s anything we have learnt in the fight against COVID-19, it is the realisation that working together we can conquer any challenges that threatens our collective well-being. Let us keep this conquering spirit as we strive to build a safe and prosperous nation for all.”