The Lagos State Government, on Tuesday, disclosed that it had reached 440,000 Lagos households with its COVID-19 Emergency Food Response Initiative, a palliative scheme for the aged, vulnerable, low-income earners and people living with disabilities.
The Commissioner for Agriculture, Gbolahan Lawal, said this when the Lebanese government donated eight truckload of various food items and an ambulance worth N82.5 million to the Lagos State Government in support of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in the state.
Lawal said: “The pandemic coronavirus is novel and it has a lot of negative impact on the economy globally, Lagos inclusive.
“We, as policymakers, felt that with the economic lockdown that the pandemic triggered, we need to come up with food palliatives because we know that over 60% of the population of Lagos constitute the informal sector.
“Whether they’re in the transportation business, artisans or market men and women, those are people that are directly affected by the lockdown because they live on daily wages. If they do not go out in a day, they earn no income.”
Speaking further on the 440,000 Lagos households it has reached with palliatives, the commissioner added that “it is worthy of note, however, that no matter how much we try, we cannot get to every household because Lagos alone has a population of about 24 million people with over four million households.
“That is why we are lucky to have people like you, who have decided to support the Emergency Food Response Initiative of the state government and a lot of other Lagosians doing their bit by feeding the vulnerable in their communities.
“We say that we see all you do and we are sincerely grateful.”
Earlier, Consul-General of Lebanon, Mr. Elias Nicolas, who presented the donation on behalf of the community, said: “We are here accompanied by some prominent members of the Lebanese community in Lagos.
“We are here, not just to convey to you a certain donation in kind, but practically to show our brothers and sisters in Nigeria our commitment to the well-being of Nigeria and its people to stand up beside them in this hard moment.
“We look forward to a brighter future to reverse all collateral damage of this COVID-19 crisis. We will always be together whether in a bad moment or a happy one.”
Also speaking, Chairman of the Lebanese community in Lagos, Mr. Faysal El-Khalil, noted that the donation was a token of appreciation for their country of choice, Nigeria, which has accepted them as citizens of the country. (vanguard)
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