By Salisu Sani-Idris
Abuja – FCT Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has assured equitable distribution of the Federal Government palliatives to the vulnerable persons to cushion the impact of the lockdown in Abuja.
The Director-General of FEMA, Alhaji Abbas Idriss, gave the assurance during the handover of some grains by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) led by the Head of Abuja Operations, Mr Bitrus Samuel, on Saturday in Abuja.
Idriss who is also the Chairman, FCT Palliatives Committee on COVID-19, explained that the FCT COVID-19 Response Committee, headed by the Minister of State, Dr Ramatu Aliyu, had put in place structures and procedures to ensure that all targeted vulnerable people receive the palliatives.
He promised to work with NEMA and other relevant stakeholders to ensure equitable distribution of the palliatives adding that the distribution was going to be done collectively.
He said that the distribution of palliatives to the vulnerable persons as directed by the federal government, was ongoing in all the six Area Councils of the FCT.
The D-G said that the distribution structures were laid out to monitor and ensure equitable distribution of the palliatives.
“We have a monitoring team drawn from different stakeholders and the Civil Society Groups down to the Ward level to ensure that no vulnerable member of the society is unattended to.
“There is an elaborate plan and structure put in place to guide the distribution of palliatives to the ward level,” he said.
The FEMA boss also said that the distribution would be carried out irrespective of tribe, religion, class or political party.
He further said that the palliatives programme was a community-owned and community-based programme for the people and would be distributed according to the numerical strength of each ward.
Idriss expressed happiness with NEMA’s rapid intervention to reach out to FCT residents in the trying period of the country.
He called on other organisations like NGO’s and well meaning Nigerians to come up with programmes that would support government’s efforts to reduce the spread of the virus in the FCT.
” There will be meetings upon meetings at every given time so we can review our work plans and appraise what we are doing,” he said.
Idriss appealed to the residents to remain calm as the adminstration was doing all that it could to contain further spread of the virus.
He also enjoined them to support government efforts by adhering to WHO and medical practitioners guidelines to always wash hands with soap and water, wear a face mask and also maintain social distancing to curtail the spread of the virus.
He also encouraged them to call the 112 Emergency toll-free number to report any suspected case or any of the NCDC numbers for quick response and to save lives
Earlier , the Head of NEMA, Abuja Operations, Mr Bitrus Samuel, said the intervention came as part of response to help the vulnerable in the society.
“NEMA is joining forces with the FCT administration to ensure that they reach out to the poorest of the poor, it is their city, they know the needs of the people,” he said.
Samuel added that the exercise would continue until they were able to meet with the needs of the people identified as most vulnerable.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the items handed over to the D-G, FEMA, include: 6,000 of 50kg bags of Maize, 8,871 bags of millet, 8,871 bags of sorghum and 7,200 bags of Maize.