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Abia to spend N500m to fight COVID-19 pandemic

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The Commissioner for Information in Abia, Mr John Okiyi, says the state plans to spend between N300 million and N500 million on interventions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

Okiyi said this on Tuesday in Umuahia while briefing newsmen on the modalities for the distribution of state government’s palliatives handed over to leaders of some churches and the Muslim communty in the state.

He said that the state received N28 million from UBA, N5 million, plus 2000 cartons of Noodles from a philanthropist based in Lagos, Chief Chris Igwe, and cartons of biscuits from a company in the state.

The commissioner conveyed the state government’s appreciation to the donors and appealed to other public-spirited and wealthy Abia indigenes and corporate bodies to emulate them.

He said that the government decided to distribute the palliatives through churches and mosques to ensure that it reached the targeted groups.

Okiyi admonished the church leaders and imams to ensure that the palliatives, which included rice, beans, yam, sanitisers, masks and cash, were shared among the poor and underprivileged in society.

According to him, the palliatives are not for salary earners, artisans, traders, leaders of women groups or those who can fend for themselves.

“They are targetted at the poor widows and vulnerable persons in the villages who cannot afford to feed themselves, especially during the lockdown.”

The commissioner added that the palliatives would  be extended to charity homes and physically challenged persons.

He said that there were plans to also use the traditional rulers to extend the gesture to other segments of society.

“We know that there are some of our people who are pure traditional worshippers, who do not belong to any church denominations, we intend to use the traditional rulers to get to them,” Okiyi said.

He said the government has a comprehensive plan to ensure that the palliatives covered at least 80 per cent of indigent people in Abia.

Edited By: Maharazu Ahmed
(NAN)

Sam Oditah: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]nnn.com.ng