Kaduna acting governor denies COVID-19 palliative was hoarded
The Acting Governor of Kaduna State, Dr Hadiza Balarabe has clarified that the food items that were looted on Saturday were donations from Coalition Against Covid-19 (CACOVID). Dr Balarabe also dispelled the rumour that the donations were hoarded by the government or any of its officials. She praised law-abiding citizens and appealed for their understanding on the necessity of the 24-hour statewide curfew. In a state broadcast on Sunday evening, the Acting Governor explained that ‘’the government was ready to commence distribution in all the local government areas, after taking pains to arrange a fair and efficient system.’’ According to her, ‘’Kaduna State received the last delivery of CACOVID items after lifting the lockdown, at a time when the state’s Covid-19 figures were rising.’’ “The government considered the real possibility that a second lockdown might be required. Therefore, it weighed the prospect of using these donations to mitigate the lockdown were such to happen,’’ Dr Balarabe said. The Acting Governor said that ‘’government did not wish to rely again on donations by public servants in Kaduna State that had funded the first two rounds of palliatives distributed in the state.’’ ‘’However, the government subsequently decided to distribute the CACOVID items to vulnerable citizens, using the lessons from the distribution of the items purchased by the state government during the lockdown,’’ she added. Dr Balarabe said that one of these lessons that were learnt from the previous exercises ‘’ is about better targeting of beneficiaries in order to ensure fair spread across local governments.’’
she added. The Acting Governor recalled that the state had purchased and distributed palliatives in two phases across the 23 local government areas. ‘’However, new guidelines were included for CACOVID distribution at ward level to help ensure a fair spread and ease the movement of beneficiaries to pick the items. “The items are bulky and it’s easier and cheaper for them to pick up at the ward level rather than centralized locations in the local government areas,’’ she said. According to the Acting Governor, ‘’arrangements for distributing the items had been concluded, such that each beneficiary knew where they would be receiving their items as supervised by ward committees who in many instances do not personally know the beneficiaries.’’ Dr Balarabe argued that these elaborate arrangements were to ensure a transparent exercise in handling CACOVID donations is part of the government’s duty of political responsiveness.