By MBAFAN ADE, Abuja –
The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE)’s palliatives to cushion the harsh effects of the Coronavirus Pandemic (COVID-19) amongst vulnerable Nigerians are targeted at 1,200 households in the Federal Capital (FCT), Director-General of the Bureau, Mr. Alex A. Okoh has said.
Okoh disclosed this during the distribution of the items made up of 300 bags of assorted food types to the less-privileged in the second phase of the programme at the weekend at Yimitu Village, a suburb of Apo,the FCT, Abuja.
He reiterated that the Bureau was moved to embark on the gesture given the hardship Nigerians, particularly the vulnerable amongst them, were subjected to in the face of the lockdown occasioned by the stay-at –home order of the Federal Government against the spread of the pandemic.
Okoh said that the gesture was initiated and supported solely by the management and staff of the Bureau, adding that “contrary to the belief that privatised enterprises in the country are part of the initiative, they (privatised enterprises)’s contribution is to the Federal Government’s Presidential Committee on COVID-19”
He said that in line with the criterion set up for the distribution of the items, preference would be given to widows and single mothers who were targeted to get 60 percent of the items and the remaining 40 percent to the vulnerable in the area.
Responding on behalf of the beneficiaries, one of the community leaders, Nze Leonard Iheanacho, Eze Ndi’Igbo in the area, commended the Bureau for the kind gesture, noting that it was timely as most families in the area had been without food since the lockdown began.
“We can’t believe what we have seen. When we heard the news of the Bureau’s team coming with the food items; we took it with a pinch of salt as such promises in the past have never been fulfilled. But BPE has proved us wrong and we thank the organisation immensely for the gesture”, he added.
It would be recalled that BPE commenced the gesture in line with its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) last Monday with the donation of assorted food items to the Dutse-Alhaji Community, also in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja where jubilant beneficiaries took home bags of food.