Oyo state government on Friday rejected bags of rice donated by the Federal Government through the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to the state, saying they were all infested and unhealthy for consumption.
Three trailer loads of rice totalling 1,800 bags were sent to the state as part of Federal Government’s COVID-19 relief materials.
The state Government’s team, which received the items were: Executive Assistant to Governor Seyi Makinde on Agricbusiness, Debo Akande, Commissioners Ojemuyiwa Ojekunle (Agric), Bayo Lawal (Special Duties), Seun Fakorede (Youth and Sports), Faosat Sanni (Women Affairs and Social Inclusion) and Funmilayo Orisadeyi (Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters).
The committee on distribution of relief materials and palliatives who paid an inspection visit to the warehouse where the grains were kept however said they had been infested with weevil and were therefore unfit for human consumption.
Akande noted that after taking delivery of the donated rice, a quality control inspection was carried out repeatedly which led to the rejection of the consignment.
According to him, “We received these items from the Federal Government via the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and we brought them to the warehouse and it was in the process of further inspection that we discovered that almost all the rice has been infested with weevils 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”.
Speaking on behalf of the state government, Akande said “we think this is not definitely in the position for consumption for human beings at this point in time and at such the materials cannot be distributed as parts of 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.
He stressed that the donated rice would be returned to the Nigeria Customs Service with the hope that it would be replaced with good quality.
The Executive Adviser further explained that the infested rice would not affect plans of the state government to commence distribution of palliatives to the people, adding that distribution would commence soonest.
“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 along with the ones the state government is putting its funding to support what has been donated by the good citizens of the state.
Akande added that it would be distributed in the next couples of days, “because what we have done is to ensure that we put a robust system in place for distribution and that we have finalised with.”
Also, the Commissioner for Agriculture, Ojekunle Ojemuyiwa while reiterating the position of state government, stressed that the wellbeing and health of the people would not be compromised in the continuing fight to curtail further spread of the virus.