Governor Babajide O. Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State has explained the mode of distribution of the state government’s food relief package and the category of beneficiaries, saying it is not meant for all residents of the state. The welfare package is one of the decisions taken by the Lagos State Executive Council to ease the discomfort that the lockdown announced by the federal government has visited on residents, especially the poor ones who earn daily income.
Numerous accusations, complaints and criticisms have, however, trailed the relief package as many residents alleged bias and lies in its distribution. Sanwo-Olu, giving an update on the issue yesterday, re-emphasised that the first stage of the welfare package was designed to cater for 200,000 households, with each household comprising a father, mother and four children only across the 20 local governments and 37 local council development authorities (LCDA).
The governor posited it was a misconception that the package was meant for all residents in the state. He clarified that the package was targeted at only indigent and vulnerable members of the society and disclosed that about 100,000 households across the state had been reached since the exercise started. He said, “All aged residents who are above 60 years of age and are registered with the Lagos State Residents’ Registration Agency (LASRRA) were sent text messages and requested to confirm the accuracy of their details, such as name and home address. They have since responded to the text messages so as to benefit from the package.”
He said that the food relief materials for those above 60 years were being delivered directly to them by representatives of the state government based on the data with LASRRA. He explained further that the other category of beneficiaries comprised the indigent and vulnerable in the various communities at the grassroots.
“As part of strategies to ensure that the relief packages reach the deserving beneficiaries, the state government involved Community Development Associations (CDAs) and their Committees, as well as community and religious leaders to collate the names of community members who deserve to benefit from the palliative measure.
The CDAs were also tasked to ensure the items were judiciously distributed,” he said. Confirming that the state government had observed some lapses that gave rise to the negative comments about the distribution on some social media platforms, Sanwo-Olu assured the residents that the problems identified were being addressed and the distribution strategies being fine-tuned.
He appealed to the residents to remain confident that the state government was working hard to ensure that the vulnerable benefit from the “laudable” intervention.