Unless urgent steps are taken against Covid-19, the North will be hit by famine, the Coalition of Northern Groups, CNG, said.
The CNG, in a statement on Wednesday signed by their spokesperson, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, said there was a pervading fear of an impending famine and acute food shortage in the North as fallout of the COVID-19.pandemic unless urgent steps were taken to avert it.
According to the CNG, now that it’s payback time and the northern governors were desperate for support, from all indications, it was obvious that all the foreign and non indigenous firms they empowered over their own people were nowhere in sight which should serve as a bitter lesson.
The CNG, however, commended the performance of Nigerian doctors and other healthcare providers on the front line who had sacrificed their lives and personal luxuries in order to secure lives.
They said “since there is no known cure yet for the COVID-19 infection globally, and with the general consensus that preventive measures remain the only hope for curtailing spread, we the public to continue to strictly adhere to the stay at home order and to observe health instructions on social distancing, personal and respiratory hygiene.”
“In addition to this, we urge for concerted and vigorous prayers for God’s intercession for the world, for Africa, for Nigeria and for the safety of those who are confronting the danger on our behalf.”
“The CNG welcomes the federal government’s recommitment to enhancing agriculture to ensure food sufficiency to avert the looming famine that could be more devastating than the COVID-19.”
“In addition to the immediate procurement and direct distribution of heavily subsidized agricultural inputs such as fertilizer, implement and improved seeds and making ready available and accessible incentives to the farming community, the government should also commit to anticipating and checkmating the possibility of natural disasters like floodings and pest invasion that could potentially hamper massive production enough to feed the nation in any eventuality.”
“With the observed inadequacy of the palliative package of the federal government that only targets less than a million out of 200million Nigerians, CNG insists on an immediate and urgent upward review if the aim of the lockdown is to be achieved.”
“The federal government must come up with a transparent mode of the distribution of the palliatives across the country including method of identifying and reaching out to the vulnerable groups ”
“CNG categorically rejects the incoherent and inconsistent government explanation on the mode of distributing the palliatives which till date, remains unsubstantiated and unverifiable everywhere. ”
“To ensure the reduction of widespread poverty and enhance the circulation of money among communities, government should take immediate steps to settle outstanding contract payments due to local contractors,” they said.
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