Following Looting of Warehouses, Tinubu Authorises Emergency Distribution of Grains to Federal Capital Residents

Nigeria President Bola Tinubu has ordered the emergency distribution of grains to FCT residents to cushion effects of the economic hardship raging across the country.

He has also directed the FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike, to establish a modality of ensuring the effective distribution of the palliatives to the targeted recipients in order to improve their living condition.

The presidential directive was conveyed via a memo addressed to the FCT Minister on Tuesday, wherein he demanded the constitution of a strategic Committee to ensure transparent and equitable distribution of the grains to vulnerable Nigerians through the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

Coincidentally, the memo was written two days after some residents of Gwagwa-Tasha, citing hunger, looted all the grains stored in a warehouse belonging to the FCT Agriculture Secretariat.

Acting on the memo, the FCT Administration has constituted a committee to expedite distribution of the palliatives.

It was constituted on Wednesday by the FCT Minister of State, Dr. Mariya Mahmoud, at a maiden meeting with Area Council chairmen and other stakeholders.

“On Wednesday we received this letter from the Presidency through the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and we all know that some few days ago we were at Gwagwa, where our warehouses were attacked by some youths in that area and then all we have there has been packed, including the roofing, the gates and everything, and machineries that we used to make some of the foods that we were keeping there.

“So, along that way God Almighty has given us solution, everybody knows how Mr. President Bola Tinubu has been going up and down to see how he will cushion the hardship in the country, especially the issue of food security, we have been having meetings with the ministry of agriculture to get a lot that we have to distribute to people, to tell us how Mr. President has his in heart.

“So, along this way that the Hon. Minister of FCT, Barrister Nyesom Wike, was addressed through this letter to call an important meeting with important stakeholders that were highlighted, they are here to see that we arrange some committees for transparency in distribution of these palliatives that we are about to get, and then the preparation that we need to have before these items are given to FCT for distribution.

“This is the reason that we called for this meeting. When we received the letter it was saying that it has to be handled in two weeks, so the two weeks from the day we received the letter, and we received this letter on the 29th of February, we have already taken one out of it, before the two weeks, FCT will be able to submit all that is required from us,” Mahmoud said.

She said the committee has less than two weeks to execute the presidential mandate.

Mahmoud, who was palpably piqued with the attitude of the area council chairmen for treating the invitation to the maiden strategic stakeholders meeting with levity, warned against any act capable of sabotaging the good intention of the president towards the residents of the territory.

She listed members of the Committee to include: Chairmen of Area Councils, FCT Emergency Management Agency, Traditional Rulers, Department of State Service, Nigeria Police Force, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Faith-based organisations, National Union of Local Government Employees, Nigeria Red Cross Society, Women Association, Persons with Disability Group, Youth Associations, Principal of Boarding Schools, Civil Society Organisations and the media.

Meanwhile, the FCTA, has said it would from next week distribute 4,680 bags of 50 kg of maize, 1,100 bags of 50 kg of millets, 13,920 bags of 50 kg sorghum and 960 bags of 25 kg of garri to be distributed to vulnerable groups in the six area councils.

Mahmoud announced the planned distribution of palliatives while addressing stakeholders following a presidential directive to commence emergency distributions through the National Emergency Management Agency, on Wednesday.

Mahmoud used the occasion to give the breakdown of the items to be distributed to include 4,680 bags of 50 kg of maize, 1,100 bags of 50 kg of millets, 13,920 bags of 50 kg sorghum and 960 bags of 25 kg of garri to be distributed to the six area councils.

She, however, hinted that 20 percent of the grains allocated to be given to faith-based organizations, while three percent to all boarding schools in area councils as directed by the presidency, warning that the items must be given to the vulnerable groups in the society.

The minister also directed the FCT Mandate Secretary Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat to look for a benefiting warehouse within 72 hours for the safe keep of the grains. 

Olawale Ajimotokan