Governor Adegboyega Oyetola has flagged off the Osun Food Support Scheme at the Osun State Secretariat, Abeere, Osogbo, the state capital.
Speaking during the programme, the governor said the scheme was designed to feed 30,000 poor and vulnerable citizens once every month till the end of his administration,.
He described the programme as a pace-setting Post-Covid-19 Social Protection drive in Nigeria.
Oyetola said the Covid-19-induced lockdown in 2020 was one singular event that unearthed the necessity of an emergency food relief for the economically vulnerable whose standards of living were worsened by the debilitating pandemic.
He noted that households numbering tens of thousands benefitted from the emergency food relief of the government at the time.
The governor added that the participation of the private sector during this time was also notable, adding that a number of role players in the sector made donations of relief materials to support the government in the fight against Covid-19.
The state government had announced on May 30, 2020 that it took delivery of five truck-loads of food items – which included noodles, spaghetti, salt, sugar, etc. – from the private sector Coalition Against COVID-19 (CA-COVID), adding that 75 trucks bearing the rice component of the donation were expected to be delivered to the state.
The government, had also on July 30, 2020, announced its readiness to commence distribution of the palliative by August 11, 2020, after the flag-off and official handover had been done by CA-COVID at Ede.
Unfortunately, the distribution could not follow the timeline set by the government because CA-COVID had not officially handed over the donations to the state due to a delay in the delivery of the rice component.
The narrative was turned on its head by the tragic season of looting.
Governments across the country had to explain endlessly that they didn’t hoard the palliatives to punish its citizens. The blackmailing community in Osun State even went as far as saying that the items were being hoarded as campaign materials for the gubernatorial election that wouldn’t be held till 2022.