By Yahaya Idris, Abuja.
A South African owned Real Estate Investment Company, Novare, based in Nigeria has donated assorted palliative items to the Federal Capital Territory Administration’s food bank to help vulnerable communities to cushion the effect of the sit-at-home.
Presenting the items to the Administration, Head of Legal, Barrister Chineme Onuoma, said Novare with an investment portfolio of four retails malls across Nigeria would continue to support the Federal Capital Territory and Nigeria in the fight against COVID19.
While commending the steps taken by the administration to manage the pandemic in the territory. the organisation said it has so far approved four months rent-free period (beginning from April 2020 to July 2020) with the intention to extend if necessary for its tenants, particularly those tenants providing non-essential services as described by the Federal Government.
A statement from the office of the Minister of State FCT signed by Austine Elemue, said, “Novare on May 29, 2020 donated food items worth millions of naira to the FCT in a phased palliative intervention to ameliorate the hardship being experienced by some Nigerians during these period of the pandemic.
“Each of Novare’s mall accommodates over 60 tenants, having Shoprite and Game as its anchor tenant, with over 600 direct employees and well over 2000 indirect employees in each mall, including suppliers of the different goods and products sold by the tenants at the mall.
“To ensure that jobs and livelihoods are protected, starting from those closest to it, Novare, as part of its Cooperate Social Responsibility, has so far approved four months rent-free period, beginning from April 2020 to July 2020, with the intention to extend if necessary for its tenants, particularly those tenants providing non-essential services as described by the Federal Government.
“The rent-free concession granted to tenants have helped to keep their various businesses afloat, thus alleviating the financial burden on these tenants. This financial assistance enables the tenants to channel the income they generate to payment of staff salaries and sustaining their respective supply chains. This effectively reduces unemployment, which would have been the consequence if tenants were unable to survive this period”.
The Legal Officer of Navare, Onuoma, who made the presentation stated that the firm has expressed commitment to observe all laid down protocols by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on the prevention of the spread of the virus particularly within its facilities and to educate and sensitize the public in line with government directives.
Receiving the items on behalf of the administration, FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, commended the thoughtfulness of the firm especially in supporting the vulnerable with palliative items and more significantly in putting measures in place to ensure job sustainability.
Aliyu, who was represented by her Senior Special Assistant on Administration and Strategy, Prof. Muhammad Usman, stressed the need for collaboration in the battle against COVID-19 pandemic, while assuring that the items would be distributed to deserving communities,the statement read.
Items donated include 100 bags of 50kg rice, 245 cartons of indoomie, 100 cartons of spaghetti, 100 cartons of vegetable oil and 75 cartons of tomato paste.