The Lebanese Community in Lagos has donated eight truck-loads of various food items and an ambulance worth N82.5 million to the Lagos State government in support of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Receiving the items on behalf of the State government from the Consul-General of Lebanon in Nigeria, Mr. Elias Nicolas, the Honourable Commissioner for Agriculture, Prince Gbolahan Lawal, expressed profound gratitude of the State Government to the Community for the donation.
The Commissioner explained that the State government has reached out to 440,000 households, through its COVID-19 Emergency Food Response Initiative, a palliative for the aged, vulnerable, low-income earners and people living with disabilities.
He said: “The pandemic had a negative effect on the financial and economic status of Lagosians, which was why the State Government birthed the idea of the Emergency Food Response Initiative to cater to the needs of the aged, vulnerable, people living with disabilities, and daily income earners who might have been directly affected by the lockdown”.
While stressing that distribution of the relief materials would not stop, especially as well-meaning individuals and organisations such as the Lebanese Community are supporting the State Government’s Initiative, Lawal assured Lagosians, especially those households that are yet to receive the stimulus packages that with due diligence, the food items would soon get to them.
Earlier, the Consul-General, Mr. Elias Nicolas, who presented the donation on behalf of the Lebanese Community to the State Government, commended Governor Babjide Sanwo-Olu’s administration for the efforts made so far to contain and combat the spread of COVID-19 pandemic in the State.
He pointed out that the well calculated efforts of the State Government in its fight against the Coronavirus stirred up the commitment of the Lebanese Community in Lagos to support the needy during this period.
“I thank our Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu and we commend the State’s efforts to control the COVID-19 pandemic. We are here accompanied by some prominent members of the Lebanese Community; not just to convey to you a certain donation in kind, but practically to show our brothers and sisters in Nigeria our commitment to the well-being of Nigeria and its people, to stand up beside them in this hard moment. We look forward to a brighter future to reverse all collateral damage from this COVID-19 crisis. We will always be together, whether in a bad moment or happy one”, Nicolas asserted.
Speaking in the same vein, the Chairman of the Lebanese Community in Lagos, Mr. Faysal El Khalil noted that the donation was a token of appreciation for their country of choice, Nigeria, which has accepted them as citizens of the country.
El Khalil averred that Nigeria has provided many members of the Lebanese community opportunities that have helped them build a good and bright future for themselves and grandchildren.
He pointed out that the community would always be appreciative of the support and cooperation of Nigeria as a whole, disclosing that the community has set up an educational endowment for the benefit of Nigerians with the American University of Beirut.
The items donated, apart from the Ambulance, included 1,848 cartons of Aquafina water, 105 cartons of sanitisers, 350 cartons of noodles, 100 cartons of 1kg rice, 120 cartons of margarine, 1,000 cartons of supreme noodles, 1667 cartons of biscuits, 300 cartons of chips, soya oil, 1,000 cartons of semovita and 1,000 cartons of spaghetti, among many others.