In a bid to cushion the effects of the removal of fuel subsidy by the federal government on Lagos residents, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, flagged off the distribution of food items for vulnerable households through the Lagos Food Bank Programme.
The exercise was part of the social and economic intervention programmes by the Lagos State Government to alleviate the struggle some Lagosians were experiencing due to the increase in transportation costs and food prices across the State as a direct effect of the policy on the removal of fuel subsidy by the federal government.
It was gathered that the Food Bank initiative, which includes 50 per cent reduction in transportation costs in the government-owned bus system and free health services, is an addition to different measures rolled out and currently being implemented by the Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration.
While speaking during the flag-off of the Lagos Food Bank Programme at Lagos House, Ikeja, yesterday, a statement quoted Sanwo-Olu to have said the programme would directly impact 500,000 benefitting households.
He then noted that over 2,500 micro, small and medium scale enterprises were involved in bag manufacturing, food aggregation, packaging, and logistics, while over 25,000 employees of the MSMEs will be indirectly impacted.
In his words: “The strategic goal of this programme is to reach 500,000 vulnerable households in the State with staple food items using two methodologies – bulk food items (50kg Rice, 50kg Garri and 100kg Beans) for groups, and food boxes (10kg Rice, 5kg Garri, and 5kg Beans) for individual vulnerable households.
“The distribution of the food items to vulnerable households will be done through groups, institutions, non-governmental organisations, community development committees, people living with disability and social protection department in the Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget using the social register of the vulnerable in the state.
“To ensure transparency in the implementation of this intervention, a monitoring committee with members drawn from religious groups, trade unions, people with disability, civil society/non-governmental organisations, youth groups, community development councils and representatives of the Lagos State House of Assembly will be constituted.
“Further to this, distribution will be phased among the various beneficiary groups for ease of the distribution process. In line with this plan, each group will be duly informed of the date for collection.“I would like to use this opportunity to solicit the support of well-meaning and public-spirited individuals and organisations for this programme so that more of our people in need of this intervention can be reached. Be rest assured that adequate measures have been put in place to ensure that all items received get to the intended beneficiaries.”
The current administration, Sanwo-Olu acknowledged, would do everything within its capacity to implement measures that would cushion the pain by continuing to initiate programmes and projects that would uplift the people and provide quality living conditions to all.
“Let me assure all Lagosians that we acknowledge the economic challenges being experienced at this time. The policies being implemented right now by the federal government are difficult but necessary measures that must be taken to reposition our economy on the path of sustainable development and prosperity for all citizens.
“I am therefore appealing for the continued understanding of all Lagosians with the assurance that we will do everything within our capacity to implement measures that will cushion this temporary pain as we continue to initiate programmes and projects that will uplift our people,” he said.