Mr Olayide Adelami, a governorship aspirant under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ondo State, has urged the state government to create food bank and roll out palliative measures to cushion the effect of Coronavirus.
Adelami stated this in a statement made available to newsmen on Monday in Akure.
The former deputy-clerk to the National Assembly said it was necessary for the government to devise plans for equitable distribution of resources to cushion the effects of the pandemic.
“Now that the means of livelihood of the people have been blocked due to the present lockdown and there seems to be no hope for their survival through other means, the state government needs to step in.
“Government needs to mandate its relevant agencies to capture their data and begin the distribution of resources to support them.
“Anything short of this may mean an invitation to starvation and depression for a large percentage of the state’s populace,” he said.
Adelami said the informal sector, comprising people mainly into commercial and agricultural activities, should not be left to suffer as they are being asked to stay at home to curtail the spread of the deadly virus.
“The informal sector will be badly hit should the sit-at-home order persists, which appears inevitable, as there seems to be no end in sight to the pandemic.
“While government workers and their counterparts in the private sector are assured of getting paid at the end of the month, same cannot be said of those in the informal sector.
“This is because they only depend on daily proceeds from their trades to fend for themselves and their families,” he said.
Adelami also stressed the need for government to start preparing for the post-COVID-19 looming economic meltdown being forecast by global economists.
“This pandemic has also shown the need for states in Nigeria to start diversifying and stop relying solely on revenue from Abuja.
“After the crisis, there is bound to be a shortfall in the monthly allocation that states receive from Abuja, as the world economy will be badly affected.
“In order not to be caught unaware, the state government needs to start thinking outside the box on how to generate revenue to keep the state running,” he advised.
The governorship aspirant urged the people of the state and Nigerians to stay safe and observe all the precautionary measures put in place by government and health officials to curb the spread of the virus.
Adelami commended the Federal Government and the Lagos state government for effectively managing the spread of the virus.