Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta says his administration will strengthen partnership with the private sector and individuals in the fight against the debilitating effects of Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the state.
The governor stated this at the launch of the National Food Distribution Programme of the Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19 (CA-COVID) on Wednesday in Asaba.
He lauded CA-COVID for deeming it necessary to pull resources together to make the donation which was aimed at ameliorating the plight of the downtrodden in the society.
He noted the importance of the programme at a critical time that hunger tended to abound in society.
Okowa said the donation was apt and timely as the coronavirus pandemic had negatively affected small and medium scale businesses.
He said that the kind gesture from the private sector would go a long way in addressing the problem of hunger among the economically weak in the state.
“We use this opportunity to thank our sons and daughters in the private sector who have thought it necessary to keep their hands in their pockets to provide food items for the less-privileged in the society.
“There is no doubt that with the sudden coming of COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of businesses have been negatively affected, particularly the small and medium scale businesses.
“A lot of families are struggling to put food on their tables.
“My administration will continue to take steps that would alleviate the plights of residents of the state,” Okowa said.
The governor urged the committee set up to distribute the food items at the local government levels to ensure that the items got to the downtrodden spread across the state.
He, however, warned that the distribution of the food items should not be based on party lines but to genuine residents of the state that were really less privileged.
He charged the committee to focus on the 270 wards in the state while distributing the food items to the less privileged.
The governor reminded the people that COVID-19 was not a death sentence adding that those with the virus-related symptoms should quickly go for testing to ascertain their status before treatment.
He disclosed that more isolation and treatment centres were established in all parts of the state.
Earlier, Mr Lucky Ighade, representative of CA-COVID in the state, said that the donation was part of measures to assist states and the Federal Government in handling the challenges of hunger and starvation among poor families.
Ighade said that CA-COVID had donated medical facilities and food items to the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory.
He also urged Nigerians to stick to all the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), prescribed protocols so as to flatten the curve of the infection.
He commended Okowa for the steps his administration had taken to curtail the spread of the virus in the state,
The governor and the CA-COVID team later inspected the food warehouse which was ready for distribution of items to benefiting households in the state.