Hardship: Tinubu  Approves Release Of 42,000 Metric Tonnes Of Assorted Food – NEMA

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*Distributes 1,750 food baskets donated by KSrelief  to Katsîna families

By; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON

Director General, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Zubaida Umar has said that His Excellency, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR has approved the release of 42,000 metric tonnes of assorted food commodities from the Strategic Grains Reserve of the Federal Government for distribution in all the 774 local governments of Nigeria to support vulnerable populations as identified by the Multi-Dimensional Poverty Index of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). 

Represented by Dr. Ishaya Isa Chinoko, she disclosed this, during the flag off ceremony for distribution of relief items donated to Katsina State by the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSRELIEF) of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on  APRIL 16, 2024.

According to her, the directive by President Tinubu in response to the dire situation.

“I am extremely delighted to witness this very important occasion of the flag-off ceremony for the distribution of food assistance donated by our esteemed International Partner, the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSrelief) of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the enumerated most vulnerable persons in Katsina State. 

“As we are aware, the current food insecurity driven by economic downturn has impacted a substantial segment of the population of Nigeria. In this regards, both the Federal and State Governments in addition to corporate organizations and public spirited individuals have made substantial interventions to support vulnerable citizens to safeguard their welfare and dignity during this challenging moment,” she said.     

She explained that the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in line with its statutory mandate was directed by Mr. President to coordinate the intervention exercise. 

“NEMA has already commenced the haulage of the food items from the designated Strategic Reserve Silos to all the local government areas of the country. Already, some states have commenced distribution of the items to beneficiaries.   

“Your Excellency, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, you may recall that the Federal Government through NEMA has constantly supported the Katsina State Government in providing relief to communities impacted by various forms of disasters and emergency situations,” she said. 

The NEMA DG said that It is on record that not long ago, NEMA has supported Katsina State with relief and recovery items in form of food and non-food items, and agricultural inputs to assist vulnerable populations and farmers that suffered losses during the 2022 devastating floods.

“The intervention was to enable them recover fast, return to normal life and contribute to national development. It is therefore in line with the vision to consolidate the partnership between Katsina State Government and NEMA that the State was selected to be part of the beneficiary states to the relief assistance from the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre,” she added.

She  noted that the KSrelief Centre has over the years, proved to be a dependable partner to the Government of Nigeria and to NEMA in particularly. 

“The humanitarian foot prints of KSrelief have impacted several disaster hotspots in Nigeria including the North East Region impacted by insurgency and the North Central States affected by landuse conflicts, communal crisis and banditry. 

“KSrelief has provided tremendous support to the teeming Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) living in both camps and amongst host communities.  Ksrelief is providing 5,606 food baskets to support Kano , Jigawa and Katsina States.     

“Today, we are here to witness the flag off ceremony for the direct distribution of 1,750 food baskets donated by KSrelief to cater for 1,750 households selected from some communities in Katsina State,” she informed. 

NEMA DG assured that the food baskets will be handed over to the already enumerated individual household heads jointly enumerated by NEMA and the Katsina State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA).  

“Each household is expected to have 59.8 kilogrammes basket of food items consisting of 25kg of rice, 25kg of beans, 4kg of masa vita flour, 2litres of vegetable oil, 2kg of tomato paste, 0.8kg of seasoning cubes and 1kg of salt,” she said.

 According to her, the flag off ceremony and distribution for Kano State was held between the 26th and 30th March, 2024, while the Jigawa State distribution was held in Hadeija Local Government Area  between the 30th March and 2nd April, 2024. 

“I want to use this opportunity to congratulate the beneficiaries of this intervention and to implore them to make good use of the items to give succor to their families. I must warn that this items must not be seen being sold in the markets. 

“On behalf of His Excellency, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR, I thank and appreciate His Majesty, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and custodian of the two Holy Mosques in Medina and Mecca as well as the Crown Prince and Prime Minister, Mohammad Bin Salman and the KSrelief Centre for their support to Nigeria and particularly to Katsina State. 

“I sincerely thank His Excellency, Mallam Dikko Umar Radda for always granting NEMA all the necessary support for the success of all its activities here in Katsina State. We also appreciate His Royal Highness, the Emir of Katsina, (Dr Abdulmumin Kabir Usman) for his direction and support.

“Today’s event is once more another testimony to the strong partnership collaboration between NEMA and Katsina SEMA in service delivery to Nigerians in need of relief support,” she said.  

In his remarks at the flag off, Deputy Governor of Katsîna State, Malam Faruk Lawal, commended the Saudi Kingdom for assisting the vulnerable people.

He said the state government has procured 80,000 bags of maize, which was sold at subsidized rates in all the political wards of the state.

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