FG lauds Uzodimma on Fight against COVID-19
By EKENE OBIAGU
The Federal Government has commended the efforts of Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State in ensuring that the coronavirus does not have a hold on the citizens.
Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajia Sadiya Umar-Farouk made the commendation on Wednesday when she led a team to Imo State government to present some relief materials from the Federal Government.
During the visit, which had Minister of States, Education, Hon. Emeka Nwajiuba in attendance, Governor Uzodimma in turn applauded President Mohammadu Buhari for the palliative measures being put in place to alleviate the sufferings of the people at this trying time of coronavirus pandemic.
Governor Uzodimma thanked President Buhari for harkening to the cries of the people.
Governor Uzodimma acknowledged that the lockdown and restriction of movement, which has helped greatly in containing the virus has strangulated economic activities, and called on the minister to ensure that the Federal Government conditional cash transfer gets to the right citizens of the state.
His words: “Our concern is that this well thought out measure of the Federal Government must be appreciated by the people. They can only appreciate it if the impact is visible and seen. Therefore, I urge you to please take a second look at the social register and affirm whether the beneficiaries of the programme are Imo people and whether the message is getting to the target.”
Governor Uzodimma expressed concern that from the reports he is getting from the people, the supposed impact is not being felt the way it should be. He noted that Imo State has 27 Local Governments and 305 wards and wondered why the programme has been domiciled only in 9 Local Governments since 2018. “To say the least, it’s not very fair and does not make the programme very popular,” the Governor said.
Furthermore, Governor Uzodimma assured that Imo being the centre of APC in the South East will continue to support the Federal Government in its programmes and urged the Ministry to fashion out ways to involve the rural people in the 305 wards of the state so that the programme would be effectively and efficiently carried out to make it a success.
Hajia Umar-Farouk applauded the efforts of the state government in the fight against Covid-91, especially in the provision of relief materials to the less privileged in the rural areas.
She noted that following the direction of President Mohammadu Buhari to expand the safety net programmes to include more vulnerable people whose conditions are at risk as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry has commenced two-month advance payment of Twenty Thousand Naira (N20,000) for the conditional cash transfer to existing beneficiaries on the National Social Register. The amount, the Minister said, covers the period of January to April 2020.
While stating that payments to beneficiaries in Imo State have commenced, Umar-Farouk noted that one hundred and ten thousand, two hundred and two (110,202) beneficiaries have been paid in seven states across the nation.
The Minister appreciated Governor Uzodimma for assisting the down trodden in the rural areas and presented relief materials to the state government, imploring the governor to consider especially the poor and vulnerable, including persons living with disabilities to cushion the effect of the economic crisis arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.