Oyo state government is set to return the 1,800 bags of rice it received from the federal government.
The rice donated by the federal government through Nigerian Customs Service were all infected and unhealthy for human consumption.
Executive Adviser to Governor Seyi Makinde, Dr. Debo Akande who confirmed this to newsmen on Friday at the secretariat, Agodi, Ibadan said the committees set up to re-examine the rice have warned that it is not consumable.
While revealing that the rice will be rejected, Dr. Akande added that the rejection will not delay the distribution of palliatives to the vulnerable in the state.
He said the state has received a large number of items that will be distributed in the next couple of days.
You will recall that Mrs. Helen Ngozi, the Area Controller, Oyo and Osun Customs command, had on Monday, 20th of April, 2020, delivered 1,800 bags of rice to the Oyo state government on behalf of the Nigeria Customs Service with the claim that all the 1,800 bags of rice were good for consumption, saying the customs would never mix expired rice with good ones.
Akande said: “We received these items from the Federal Government via the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and we brought them to the warehouse and it is in the process of further inspection that we discovered that almost all the rice has been infested with weavels and some other materials and on that basis we formed a committee to re-inspect it again and so that can be definitely sure of what we have received.
“We think this is not definitely in the position for consumption for human being at this point in time and at such the materials cannot be distributed as parts o palliatives within the state.
“We don’t want to start providing solution to a problem and then start creating another problem. We have inspected it and done a random selection and we have seen that similar things applies across board.
“And we have been instructed and we are following suit the instructions of the committee as been agreed upon. You will find here with me almost all the commissioners in the committee that are applicable.
“We have agreed to return all these back to the source and if there is any replacement of good quality that could be sent to us, we will be glad enough to receive it.
“The situation will not delay in anyway the planned distribution of the state government. We all know that a good number of food items have been received by the Food Security Committee of the Task Force and this has been itemised weekly even before we received this particular item from the source where we received it.
“We have received good number of productS here and we have added it together along with the ones the state government is putting his funding to support what has been donated by the good citizens of the state.
“And that would be distributed in the next couples of days precisely, because what we have done is to ensure that we put a robust system in place for distribution and that we have finalise with.”
When asked if all the 1,800 bags of rice from the FG would be returned, Akande said: “We are returning everything because we have checked all and in fact, we assume initially that it was just some part of it that was infested but we came today with about six commissioners from different ministries who came along with myself and we have checked and we have realised that it was not just some but quiet a lot of them that have been infested.”
He added that apart from the ones supplied by the FG through the Customs, no other ones were infested.