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COVID-19: Oyo residents lament as govt delays distribution of N250m palliative fund

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Ex-Oyo Senator, Robert Koleoso is dead

Residents of Oyo State say they are yet to receive palliatives from the state government since it generated over N200m Naira and received relief materials worth over 50million Naira from philanthropists and organizations as part of efforts to cushion the effects of lockdown on the citizens.

DAILY POST gathered that the Oyo State government had earlier disclosed that it has generated over N200m and had received relief materials worth over N50m from donors.

But, residents of the state are insisting that they are yet to receive any palliative from the government since the government had collected these monies and relief materials donated by philanthropists in order to cushion the effects of the outbreak.

Our correspondent gathered that some residents, especially traders whose shops and markets were not categorized as nonessential have been asked to close their shops about three weeks ago. Some of the affected traders are those in Aleshinloye market, Ogunpa market, Spare parts market at Araromi Gate, Salvation Army and Oke Parde among others.

Abass Babalola, a battery seller at Oke Parde whose shop has remained closed for the past three weeks, maintained that he has lost over N300,000 since he was asked to close his shop.

“We have closed our shops since. Even some of our people who opened a few days after they asked us to close the shops, some security agents came to send them away. Since three weeks ago, I would have realized over three hundred thousand naira. We have been hanging around, we are not allowed to open our shops. There is no money, but the government said it has realized some money and relief materials but I am yet to see anything”.

Wasiu Rahmon, a ready-made clothes seller at Ogunpa appealed to the state government to distribute what it has received so far, adding that some miscreants have taken the opportunity to perpetrate crimes.

“I thought that the two weeks was enough, but I was surprised when they said it has been extended for another two weeks. This is not fair. Some other markets are opening but, they categorized our own as nonessential. Don’t we have family members that we cater for? This is too much. Apart from distributing the relief materials, the government must strengthen security in all parts of Ibadan, in fact, some of the areas now, are keeping vigil because some miscreants have been using the opportunity to perpetrate crimes.

Sulaiman Adisa who said that he and his colleagues have been living on credit because they were not allowed to open their shops insisted that the only way to reduce the negative effects of Coronavirus on traders whose shops have been closed since three weeks ago is to call the traders and give them palliatives.

“As you can see, I have been at home since then. Even the first day that I went to the shop, they had to use security agents to come and chase us away. We have been at home for two weeks, the government extended the closure of our market for another two weeks, what do we eat. We are just hearing it on the radio what the government has received but, they did not distribute it. Do they want to wait until those things expire? The government needs to call us, those of us that have closed our shops. They have to compensate us. We have been at home for three weeks. We have been hanging around. No market, no customers because we are not allowed to open our shops”.

Another resident, Kolawole Kazeem noted that he heard several times on the radio that the government had received some items to cushion the effects of Coronavirus from some donors but wondered why it has not been distributed.

“We have been staying at home for the past three weeks, there is no palliative from the government despite the fact that they said they had received some millions of naira. When do we expect them? It is until when the elections are coming? We are waiting. We learned that some states like Lagos have commenced distribution of some food items, but we are still waiting for Oyo state to distribute what it has collected”.

However, Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Taiwo Adisa when contacted, said that the state government is still receiving donations.

Adisa while reacting to complaints from residents over the government’s inability to commence distribution of donated items, noted that the government is yet to spend any money received as donations.

“We are still receiving donations. The government is yet to spend anything. The government has not started the distribution of the items. When the government wants to distribute the items, it will announce. But, we are yet to distribute anything”.

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