COVID-19: Lagos rolls out economic stimulus for residents

Luqmon Balogun, Lagos

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The COVID-19 Emergency Food Response, initiated by the Lagos Government, at the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives premises in Agege, inspected by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Friday, March 27, 2020

The Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu has unveiled economic stimulus package for the indigent and the most vulnerable in the society.

This comes days after the Lagos State Government issued a stay-at-home directive to residents, in order to curtail the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The stimulus, which comes in food packs, to be distributed to every local government in the State is aimed at cushioning the effect of the fourteen days stay-at-home directive.

Speaking after an on-the-spot assessment of one of the State-owned food banks, located inside the premises of the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives in Agege, Sanwo-Olu said the economic stimulus would reduce the burden of the temporary economic downturn on the citizens caused by the outbreak of COVID-19.

The Governor said the food packs, which were put together by the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, wouldl reach the most vulnerable communities and households across Lagos, saying that the indigents who rely on daily wages would be given priority.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu (middle), flanked by his Special Adviser on Agriculture, Ms. Abisola Olusanya (right) and the Commissioner for Agriculture, Prince Gbolahan Lawal (left) during an inspection of the COVID-19 Emergency Food Response by the Lagos Government, at the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives premises in Agege, on Friday, March 27, 2020.

He said: ‘‘We are here for an on-the-spot assessment, of our readiness, to see how we can fast track some of our stimulus package for our citizens. We are all aware that this is a trying time for our citizens and since the partial drop in economic activities, our government deemed it necessary to reach out to the vulnerable ones in the society. These people are those that fall below the pyramid, the aged and the physically challenged who need to move from one part of the city to another for them to have a living. We felt that as a government, the least we can do is to identify them and give them these stimulus packages immediately.’’

200,000 households
The Governor stated that the package wouldl touch at least 200,000 thousand households in the first phase, saying the food packs are produced for a size of six people per household and would last for at least fourteen days.

“We have packaged dry food stimulus for about two hundred thousand families in the first instance for a household of husband, wife and about four children. We would be giving bags of rice, bags of beans, garri, bread, dry pepper and we are trying to see if we can add water and some elements of vitamin C. Each ration, we believe is going to be able to last them at least minimum 14 days just so our advocacy around stay at home, stay with your loved ones will be respected.

“This is a catalytic initiative of our administration with the hope that well-meaning corporate organisations and private individuals can step up to complement the efforts of the government’’ Sanwo-Olu said.

Sharing formula
The Commissioner of Agriculture, Prince Gbolahan Lawal earlier said the Government would be working with the existing database of the state – using the Lagos State Social register and 4000 community development association register in 377 wards.

He said the economic stimulus is part of Governor Sanwo-Olu’s administration’s initiatives tailored towards ensuring that food security was sustained in Lagos.

 

Confidence Okwuchi