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COVID-19: Olam initiates awareness campaign, distributes food in selected Northern states

Olam Nigeria Limited, a leading agro-commodity company in Nigeria, says it has commenced the implementation of an awareness campaign on Covid-19 in some selected states in Northern part of the country, as a way of assisting the Nigerian government to curb the spread of the disease.

The campaign is designed to address the identified widespread ignorance among a large segment of the people in the selected states, on the spread of coronavirus as well as educate them on preventive measures to be adopted in controlling the disease, especially in rural communities.

The company has also commenced the distribution of cooked food to over 2,500 vulnerable people in the states where the awareness campaign is being mounted, in partnership with a private eatery outfit – ‘Big Bite,’ under a special initiative conceived to cushion the effects of the challenges posed by the pandemic to ordinary Nigerians.

Read also: COVID-19 provides catalyst for economic reforms in Nigeria – finance minister

Adamu Bello, zonal manager of the company in Kano, who made this disclosure while presiding over the food distribution, said the company was implementing the initiative in order to support measures being taken by the Nigerian government to tackle the suffering brought about on Nigerians by the pandemic, particularly, among people in the states where the campaign was being implemented.

According to Bello, the food distribution campaign is geared primarily at helping the vulnerable segment of the society, in addition to supporting the company’s workforce in the upcountry locations.

“Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, has become the third African country to record over 10,000 cases of COVID-19 as of the 10th of June. At the moment, the total identified cases stood at over 15,000. The governments at all levels in the country have put in place restrictions while continuing to discourage unnecessary travel.

“The initiatives have been implemented by Olam, under it, Edible Nuts Preposition recognises the tremendous efforts of the Nigerian government which inform our resolve to mount this awareness campaign to tackle the widespread ignorance on the spread of coronavirus, so that people can start taking preventive measures to control its spread.

“The action plan, which we are executing in the initiatives, targets people residing mostly in the rural communities in the Northern states. The awareness campaign is directed at the most vulnerable segments of the society, while at the same time we intend supporting our workforce in the upcountry locations,” Bello explained.

Providing more sights on the interventional initiatives of the company, the zonal manager further disclosed that the company had developed radio jingles with WHO prescribed safety and precautionary measures that had been aired for a period of 15 days in Kano, Jigawa, Bauchi and Katsina states.

“Under the awareness campaign component of the initiatives, the radio jingles have aired a slot per day on Radio Kano and Freedom Radio, which are being received in the neighbouring states of Jigawa, Bauchi, and Katsina.

“In the same vein, three slots of the radio jingles were also broadcasted on a radio station in Benue, which is being listened to in Kogi and Nassarawa states. The jingles were aired 3 slots per day in local languages in the states.

“We have also produced banners with informative precautionary messages which were strategically displayed at all the Company’s buying points in Kano, Katsina, Jigawa, Gombe and Bauchi,” Bello pointed out.

Commenting on the cooked food distribution project of the company, the zonal noted the food had been distributed to about 2500 vulnerable people, including orphans, noting that one of the benefitting social institutions was the ‘Beth Torrey Home for Mentally Challenged’ in Kano state.

He added the food was distributed for 10 days, also at places, such as Dawanau Market, IDP Camps, Dorayi Karama, Dakata Sauna, Zangwan Mai Rikita, Daurawan Na Abba, Danladi Nasidi, Hotoro Konar Yashi, and Sheka Achi Lafiya.

“It is also a thing of joy to disclosed that our Company, also in association with Big Bite is distributing 250 food baskets containing rice, beans, oil, spaghetti and tomato paste and facemasks in Jigawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Katsina, Kogi and Benue states The distribution in Jigawa has been concluded while it is still ongoing in the remaining states.

“Initially, when we started the food distribution program, we thought that the project might not be popular with the people, but it was when we got into the interior parts of these states, that we understand the difficulty that most people are facing in terms of what to eat”, he stated.

In her remarks at the occasion, Zarau M. Umar, Kano State Commissioner for Women Affairs, appreciated Olam Company, especially initiating the cooked food distribution program which is delivering food to the needy members of the society, such as vulnerable children and refugees in the IDP camps.

Zarau urge other public spirited individuals and companies to follow a good example of Olam by committing themselves the more the need of the society, especially during this period of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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