Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lapos State.
By Olasunkanmi Akoni
No fewer than 22,600 families and 5,500 small and Medium Enterprises, SMEs in Lagos will benefit from the unconditional cash transfer programme for vulnerable communities affected by COVID-19 in the state.
The programme, also known as the COVID-19 basket fund, is an initiative of the United Nations Development Programme, UNDP, in collaboration with the Federal and Lagos State governments, European Union, EU, and some other donor organisations.
Lagos State governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, at the launch of the programme in Ikoyi, Lagos Island on Tuesday, stressed that the fund is meant to “cushion the effect of the pandemic through stepped-up action to protect the vulnerable, who are also faced with the loss of income as a result of measures taken by the government to contain the spread of the pandemic by strengthening their capacity for the continuation of livelihoods, employment and businesses.”
Sanwo-Olu commended UNDP, EU, the Federal Government and other donors for the gesture.
The governor said his government had implemented and will continue to implement measures to ameliorate the effect of the pandemic on the people.
Reeling out his administration’s efforts to cushion the effect of the pandemic on the citizens since the outbreak, the governor assured that the UNDP initiative will be providing cash for some of the most vulnerable areas in the state.
He added that the programme will take them out of poverty for them to start their lives again.
The governor said 800,000 families in the state have so far been touched by its palliatives in the last three months.
According to the Resident Representative of UN/EU Ambassador, Dr. Mohammed Yaya, who joined via virtual platform, “22,600 families and 5,500 small and medium enterprises SMEs in Lagos will benefit from the basket through cash transfer.”
Yaya said the project would entail quick implementation as well as transparent and trackable interventions to address the developmental impact of COVID-19 in selected locations and safeguard national progress towards the SDGs.
He added that it would raise awareness, drive community action and galvanise the support of stakeholders, strengthen capacity for pandemic containment in selected hotspots communities.
Other personalities at the event include the Senior Special Assistant on Sustainable Development Goals, SDG, to President Muhammadu Buhari, Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire; Special Assistant to Governor Sanwo-Olu on SDG, and some members of the Lagos State Executive council.