The Federal Government is set to distribute one hundred (100) trailers of assorted grains to Kano state government to mitigate the hardship people may be going through as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The silos manager, food and strategic reserve silos complex, Adamawa state, Engr. Suleiman Amusa made this known while speaking to newsmen in Yola.
Amusa said the federal government has directed them to make available 17, 500 metric tonnes of grains for distribution to Kano, one of the states that is worst hit by the Coronavirus pandemic.
He explained that “What is happening here is the directive from the federal government to our department to release grains because of this COVID-19 to the vulnerable people and the general public.
“We are releasing two assorted grains; one is maize which we are releasing 12, 500 metric tonnes, then sorghum 5000 metric tonnes and that is making up the 17, 500 metric tonnes.”
Engineer Amusa further stressed that “presently, we have bagged more than seventy (70) trucks in our warehouse and instruction just came in from our director that we should release one hundred (100) trucks to Kano and we have started working on that already. The purpose is to cushion the effect of the hardship brought by this COVID-19 to the less privileged and vulnerable people in society.”
He said the Yola silos, with a capacity of 25, 000 metric tonnes have since begun bagging and loading of the grains for onward transportation to Kano state.
Engineer Amusa, however, expressed worry over the inability of the National Emergency Management Agency to produce the required number of trucks that will be used to transport the grains.
He said, “the challenges we have are that since we received the presidential directive, we have bagged and our warehouse is filled to the brim without lifting and this is due to haulage which is supposed to be organized by NEMA.”
A representative of the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, Ali Moses said the agency was faced with the challenge of mobilizing the trailers because of the lockdown order in the state and the ban on interstate travels. He, however, confirmed that they have been able to surmount the challenge and have since produced enough trucks to be used for transportation.
“The role NEMA is playing in this particular exercise is to load the items released by the federal government to Kano over this COVID-19 crisis. The directive just came to Yola operations office about five days ago, and you know the situation we are in now because of the lockdown, we have to start sourcing for the trailers and we have been able to get some and we have started loading already. We have spread our tentacles to ensure that vehicles are on ground to load the grains,” he said.
Commander of the Agro Rangers, a unit of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, Nathaniel Koshi, said they have made adequate arrangements with enough trained personnel to ensure that the grains are safely delivered to Kano. “The agro rangers have been in this silo for the past two years safeguarding these grains from been vandalized by hoodlums, so the place has been secured. Now that the government has decided to take these grains out of here, our men are equally in this place to make sure that the grains are well protected and transported to the destination,” he said.
Kano is one of the states that is badly affected by the coronavirus disease with over 200 infections and many deaths within a month. This is besides the mysterious deaths that have claimed over one hundred lives in the state.