When there is a crisis, one of the hallmarks of leadership is to acknowledge what went wrong, learn from it and own up to failures. Lessons learned is knowing what worked, fixing failures and mitigating risks.
Why was Covid-19 palliatives meant for Nigerian stocked in warehouses instead of being distributed?
I learned from authoritative sources from the Southwest that the fault is squarely on the Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID). CACOVID is a commendable private effort of some donors and companies who donated rice, indomie, Gari, spaghetti Salk, sugar, Maggi vegetable oil for thousands of households in each state. What went to every state was based on their population. No state in the Southwest got items for less than 25,000 households. These includes 10kg of rice and Gari and 2 boxes of noodles among others mentioned above, per household. These items which are in scores of trailer loads started arriving the states, throughout Nigeria in June. CACOVID insisted that it should not be distributed until delivery was complete. Even when it was completed they insisted they want to flag off the disbursement at once and be the one to give approval. They delayed and delayed. Given the logistics involved some states did not get all the items in good time. At some point, Gari even became scarce and had to be sourced over a period of weeks. Some states got their complete allocation less than three weeks ago. Some who had better database have distributed theirs while others are still planning how to.
They had good intentions but they allowed undue bureaucracy and micromanagement take hold of the program instead of allowing the states to distribute and deal with their own peculiarities. I am not one to support the government blindly but the governors are getting a bad rap on this.
CACOVID will be setting a sterling example by admitting their mistakes in administering this worthy Corporate Social Responsibility. There is enough skepticism and cynicism out there already.
Credit: Bamidele Ademola-Olateju