The Food and Relief Committee constituted by the Governor, State of Osun, Mr Adegboyega Oyetola to cushion the effects of lockdown rules occasioned by the Coronavirus pandemic on Tuesday commenced the distribution of food and relief materials to vulnerable people across the state.
Addressing the media during the flag-off of the distribution in Osogbo, the Secretary of the 21-man Food and Relief Committee, Chief Adebayo Jimoh, said that to ensure the stimulus packages get to the needy, the distribution would be made using the Osun World Bank-approved social investment registers and through special interest groups such as orphanage homes, religious communities, traditional institutions, trade groups, among others.
Noting that the two approaches cover 70 percent to 30 percent respectively, he maintained that the Committee would champion equity, transparency and accountability in the discharge of its responsibilities, saying the palliatives would be distributed across socio-economic, political and religious divides.
Jimoh who disclosed that the Committee had expended over N150million for the procurement of the food stuffs, noted that only the identified vulnerable and indigent citizens captured in the social investment register of the State would benefit from the gestures.
The Committee’s secretary who described the distribution as a continuous exercise, said the distribution would be done in tranches as soon as the resources come in.
He said the exercise would be monitored and supervised from the take-off venue to the doorsteps of the beneficiaries as part of efforts to ensure credibility and accountability.
“We have come to commence formally the food distribution which the committee has been able to source from eminent sons and daughters of the State for the less privileged and vulnerable people as a succor in the State of Osun.
“As a Committee, we have a programme of continuity and this is just the first phase of distribution. We have spent #150million for the procurement of food stuffs such as rice, beans, garri, noodles, eggs, among others.
“This first tranche is to provide for those identified on the social registers and special interest groups through out the 31 local government areas in the State.
“While the social investment register is a World Bank- approved document, updated every year without any political interference, the second approach also follows a very rigorous and inclusive process.
“We will commence delivery through the Christian leaders, Muslims leaders, civil society organisers and focal staff in each of the local governments . The process has involved a lot of planning involving all stakeholders in the State; Christian leaders, Muslim leaders, traditional rulers, elders in the society, representative of the governments, focal staff of all local governments, civil society organizations, local government chairmen, community development associations, among others.
“They all have the list containing phone numbers, addresses and locations of the vunerable people that have been identified.
“We are doing all these to ensure that the products get to the targeted beneficiaries.
“We are starting the pilot scheme with Odo Otin, Ilesha West and Ede North local governments. The process is an auditable, transparent and easy process”, Jimoh added.
In their separate remarks, the representatives of the religious organisations and Civil Society Organizations lauded the State Government and the members of the Committee for alleviating the hardship that the people are going through due to the lockdown.