The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq has blamed State Governments for the shoddy distribution of the COVID-19 palliatives.
She expressed regrets forever using States for the distribution of COVID-19 palliatives.
Speaking on Thursday at an investigative hearing organized by the Senate committee on Special Duties, she said she has not received any report from the state governors on how they distributed the food items.
“This has made us to have a rethink and re-strategize to see how we can engage other bodies especially the NGOs in subsequent interventions by the ministry.”
It would be recalled that some of the palliatives given to states were stockpiled in warehouses with many wasting away until the #ENDSARS protest uncovered them. The palliatives were later looted as youths went on rampage, broke into the ware houses and carted away most of the commodities.
Continuing the minister said, “We handed over grains as directed to the state governments and when we handed over we told them what the intervention is meant for and who it is meant.
“Unfortunately the EndSARS came with some revelations, some warehouses were vandalized we got to know that some of those warehouses.”
She said the ministry was allocated the sum of N551462 for covid-19 intervention in 2020 appropriation which she said has been sum has been utilized for various interventions.
“In addition, the sum of N2 billion 457 million 500k was released to the ministry in respect of the covid19 rapid response and this is part of the allocation of N32,457, 000, 0000 allocated from which N30 billion is yet to be released.
“This sum is meant for the payment of N5,000 each to 1 million vulnerable urban and fairly individuals for 6 months.
“On the modified national home grown school feeding programme, in an effort to ensure and achieve response during covid-19 pandemic, the ministry experimented the modified school feeding programme whereby food was tailored to be provided to households with children of benefiting schools.”
She said the experiment was conducted in FCT, Lagos and Edo.
The Senate Committee on Special Duties, took up the Minister over spending of the N32.4billion allocated to her office for palliatives provisions against COVID – 19 pandemic.
The Committee drilled the Minister on how the fund was spent during an interactive session on Thursday.
Senator Ali Ndume (APC Borno South) who said the Ministry was not doing enough tackled the Minister asking how she thinks Nigerians are not feeling the impact of alleged interventions made by the Ministry in the heat of the COVID- 19 Pandemic.
”You are not doing enough as far as poverty eradication in the country is concerned.
”The modus operandi being adopted by your Ministry cannot in anyway help in fixing the country.
“Humanitarian intervention should be looked at more holistically “, he said.
Also lampooning the Ministry on its modus operandi, the Vice Chairman of the committee, Senator Biobarakuma Degi Eremionyo (APC Bayelsa) said the handouts being doled out to some Nigerians as palliatives by the Ministry, cannot in anyway, take them out of poverty line.
“Giving unemployed people N10,000 or even N20, 000 for a month or two, cannot help them out of the poverty related problems facing them .
“The handouts should be channeled into creation of employment for the unemployed”, he said .
As a face saving measure for the Minister, the Chairman of the Committee, Senator Yusuf Abubakar Yusuf (APC Taraba Central), quickly intervened by telling the members that the interactive session was not on poverty eradication by the Ministry but interventions made by it as palliatives against COVID – 19 from the 32.4billion earmarked for it out of the N500billion appropriated by the National Assembly last year.