The Catholic Archdiocese of Benin and members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Edo State, have donated hand sanitisers, facemasks and other relief materials to the Edo State Government to complement the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration’s efforts at containing the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and cushion its economic effect on the people.
While the Benin Archdiocese donated 100 bags of 50kg rice and 10,000 pieces of hand sanitizers, Edo NYSC donated preventive items including hand sanitisers, facemasks, and disinfectants.
Receiving the items on behalf of the state government in Benin City, the Deputy Governor and Chairman, Sub-committee on COVID-19 Response, Rt. Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu assured the donors that the items will be part of those to be given to the vulnerable and needy in the second phase of relief package distribution. Shaibu said, “We have set up machinery in place to make sure that our distribution network is cut across party lines. We are not distributing it through political structures. During the first phase, we arrested one or two persons, including a serving councilor who is being tried for diverting these items. No party official will be involved in the distribution of items in Edo. On the donation by the corps members, he said, “Our corps members are taking to our advice for them to be self-employed and skilled in everything that they do. At the end of the day, what they have learned in Edo has been put to use. They can easily become employers of labour, which is the direction the world is heading. “I am celebrating them more because these are the future industrialists in this country. These are items they have produced within the shortest period; they are not imported. It’s a hundred per cent local; for us, it’s the best”. Presenting the items, the NYSC State Coordinator, Mr. Adebayo Ojo, commended the state government for its commitment to leading the fight against the COVID-19 in the state.
On his part, the Archbishop of Benin Archdiocese, Bishop Austins Obiora Akubeze, who was represented by the Chancellor of the Catholic Archdiocese of Benin, Rev. Fr. Michael Oyanoafoh, assured the government of their prayers and support. According to him, “We are working in our various parishes to ensure that prayers are offered by priests, albeit without a congregation, for the end of the pandemic. We are also distributing food items to the needy. We know that if the pandemic is not stopped from spreading, hunger will increase.”