MICHAEL OLANREWAJU, Ilorin.
The Kwara State Government has set up a 10-man steering committee for implementing the palliative measures for the residents during the lockdown period.
The Committee headed by a First class traditional monarch in the State, the Emir of Shonga, Dr Haliru Yahaya as Chairman, comprises Gidado Abdullateef Alakawa (S. A. Strategy to the Governor; Rafiu Ajakaye (Chief Press Secretary); Dr. Mrs Saudat Salah Abdulbaqi; Lawal Olohungbebe, , Com. Olumoh Kolawole Nadir, , Com. Aliyu Issa Ore, Prof. T. O. Opoola and Umaru Jimadda as Secretary.
Addressing a press conference in the Government House, Ilorin, Emir Yahaya said: “You are aware that the government of Kwara State has recently directed a partial lockdown of the state as part of the measures to prevent the spread of the deadly coronavirus to our state. This preventive measure has kept our people at home, many of whom earned their living majorly from stipends they make daily.
“While this is a sacrifice billions of people worldwide are making to curtail the spread of the pandemic and save all of us, the Kwara State Government recognises the need to support certain categories of people who are hardest hit by the stay-at-home directive at this time. To do that, the government directed the setting up of a steering committee on palliatives.
“This committee, which is an offshoot of the larger Kwara State Technical Committee on COVID-19, was given the mandate to draw up the modalities for and supervise the distribution of the palliatives from the government and well-meaning members of the society who have donated to this humanitarian cause.
“This measure is government’s way of showing good faith and affection to the people who have been asked to stay at home on safety grounds. The committee therefore urges the well-heeled in the society to help the needy at this time, and commends all those who have donated to the government or are supporting the poor in their own way.
“Because of limited resources, the committee has given priority at this time to limited categories of our people who it considers to be very poor and worst hit by the directive. They are: the aged, the physically challenged Women, widows and widowers who are sole breadwinners of their families
Artisans who are dependent on daily earnings and any other category that the committee deems fit
To enable seamless distribution and to ensure maximum coverage of the targeted beneficiaries, the distribution will be carried out at ward level. Accordingly, each of the 16 local government areas and 193 wards in the state are hereby required to set up an implementation committee respectively comprising a representative each of the following:
· The most senior traditional authority in the local government and ward
· The most senior religious authority in the local government and ward
·Two representatives of the community based organisations in the local government and in the ward.
“The committees at the local government areas are only to supervise and provide independent monitoring of what happens at the ward levels.
“The Ward Implementation Committees should, with immediate effect, draw up a list of beneficiaries that match the criteria stated above. Such list should reach the secretariat of the Committee on Palliatives on or before 12 noon on Friday 3rd April 2020. We believe that the necessary checks will be built into the exercise with the constitution of these committees even as the Palliatives committee will have overall coordination of the exercise.
“This ward-level distribution of the palliatives will be carried out in phases and the number of packages going to each ward shall be announced. The steering committee on palliatives shall duly announce dates for the distribution of items for each ward. We are projecting to start distribution from this weekend. It is expected that the DPM’s in all the Local Governments shall liaise with the Palliatives committee on the movement of the items to their respective Local Governments.
“I am to acknowledge that the Road Transport Workers Association and the National Union of Road Transport Workers have graciously volunteered to transport the food items free of charge. The committee again urges well-to-do in our society to please support this humanitarian campaign at all levels.
“This is purely about helping the poor in our society to cope with the situation at hand.
“The committee urges all of us to continue to sensitise our people on the danger of this deadly virus and to encourage everyone to stay at home and stay safe. Stay safe.
“Finally, the committee appeals to individual donors to consider routing their palliatives to these ward committee which, supported by security agencies, are to ensure temperature screening (with thermometers) and social distancing as beneficiaries pick their own packages at a spacious”.
For a better society