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The federal government said it has delivered a total of 139 truckloads of foodstuff to the government of Kano State for distribution to the less-privileged, the vulnerable and people living with disabilities as palliatives against the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Farouq, in a statement on Sunday, said the consignments which is equivalent to 5,318 metric tons comprises “10 trucks of rice; 2,438 metric tonnes of maize; 1,380 metric tonnes of millet and 900 metric tonnes of sorghum in a total of 139 trucks each ferrying 60 metric tons to feed 300,000 households.”

The ministry had last month delivered about 110 trucks of foodstuff as palliatives to vulnerable in the state.

Kano is considered the epicenter for COVID-19 in Northern Nigeria with 761 confirmed cases and 35 deaths in the state, according to reports from the state health ministry on Sunday.

“While the 10 trucks of rice were from the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), the maize, millet and sorghum were drawn from the country’s strategic food reserves as authorized by President Muhammadu Buhari,” Ms Farouq said.

She added that she handed over the foodstuff to the Kano State Government:”With the utmost respect. I implore His Excellency to ensure that the poor and vulnerable, including the elderly and persons living with disabilities, are prioritized in the distribution of these relief materials because they are the most affected in times of crisis.”

The minister also disclosed that as of May 6, a total of 729,847 beneficiaries in 24 states have received their payment from the Conditional Cash Transfer Programme (CCT).

“I can happily report that out of that number, 84,045 of the beneficiaries are in 15 Local Government Areas of Kano State,” she said in the statement.

Beneficiaries of the Conditional Cash Transfer Programme are extracted from the world bank assisted National Social Register (NSR) which at the onset of the pandemic contained the data of over 2.6 million poor and vulnerable households, with over 11 million individuals across 34 states and the FCT.

“As of today, with the accelerated registration and rapid expansion, the Register has grown to 3.1 million households, containing 13 million individuals across 35 States and the FCT,” the minister explained.

In his remarks, the state governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for supporting the state with the food palliatives to ease the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown on the people of Kano.

He added that the ministry of humanitarian affairs delivered the food items at the right time when it was most needed and assured the minister that the food items will be delivered to the intended beneficiaries.

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