Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu

Kayode Olopade

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has flagged off the “Eko Cares” initiative, a social intervention to lessen the burden of current economic hardship on the residents.

A total of 500,000 households are expected to benefit from the inaugural version.

Beneficiaries of the initiative will cut across the 20 Local Government Areas, and 37 Local Council Development Areas, LCDAs, of the State.

Some of the foodstuffs to be distributed to the vulnerable include 10kg rice, 5kg garri, 5kg beans, and tomatoes, among others.

To drive the initiatives, the governor set up an 11-man non-partisan Special Dispensation Advisory Committee on Social Interventions (SPEDAC), comprising rights activists, religious leaders, a youth representative, and politicians.

The Committee, chaired by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, also has the Deputy Governor, Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat as alternate chairman.

Speaking at the official unveiling of the initiative, held at Lagos House, Ikeja, Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Olushola Sanwo-Olu described the gathering as a continuation of the government’s bold efforts to lighten the burden of the residents, especially the most vulnerable .

He said: “This gathering is a continuation of the government’s bold efforts to lighten the burden on residents, especially the most vulnerable among us—the poorest of the poor—those who do not know where the next meal will come from.

“Eko Cares,” which is being unveiled today, is an aggregate of all the measures designed to ease the pain of our vulnerable citizens, who have no one else to turn to for succor”.

Sanwo-Olu described “Ounje Eko” as an integral part of the “Eko Care” initiative.

“Ounje Eko has been running for the sixth consecutive Sunday,  with residents trooping out to buy various items at the Sunday Markets, where they enjoy an unprecedented 25% discount on all food items.

“Basic foods such as rice, beans, garri, eggs, bread, pepper, and tomatoes, among others, were sold at the markets by designated vendors.

“The feedback received from the programme has been inspiring, with excited residents praising the government for its empathy and thoughtfulness”, the governor noted

Besides the “Ounje Eko” initiative, Sanwo-Olu said food items, which include 10kg rice, 5kg garri, 5kg beans, and tomatoes, among others, all in combo packs, will be distributed free to over 500,000 households.

“This administration has touched the lives of every resident who requires public transportation, seeks medical care, works in the public service, and feeds from the agricultural food items sold in Lagos State”, Sanwo-Olu said.

The main objective of the program, the governor noted, was to further ensure that food would not be a challenge to Lagosians. He commended President Bola Tinubu for his interventions to bring succor to Nigerians through the distribution of grains to states among other initiatives to civil servants.

While stressing that the food items would be distributed through community leaders, religious organizations, trade unions, youth organizations, and People with Disabilities clusters, the governor urged stakeholders not to hoard it.

Speaking earlier at the unveiling, Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Gbenga Omotoso, described the event as yet another milestone in the life of the Sanwo-Olu administration.

Omotoso, while referring to the governor as “Mr. Talk and Do”, labeled EKO CARES as a comprehensive response to the temporary hardship occasioned by the global economic crises.