- The Oyo/Osun sector command of NCS has asked Makinde to investigate its men for alleged infested rice allocated to it by the FG
- This was disclosed by the customs' spokesperson, Abdullahi Lagos, in Ibadan
- Lagos said there was foul play in the activities of the handlers of the rice after they were taken out of the command
The Oyo/Osun sector command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has advised the Oyo state government under the leadership of Seyi Makinde to order an investigation into the circumstance that surrounded the delivery of 1,800 bags of rice which the government claimed was not good for human consumption.
Legit.ng's regional reporter in Ibadan, Ridwan Kolawole, reports that the command had on Tuesday, April 21, supplied 1,800 bags of rice to the state as part of efforts to cushion the effects of coronavirus on the people of the state.
Other states that received 1,800 bags of rice included Osun, Ekiti while Ondo received 800 bags of rice from the command.
However, three days after taking delivery of the rice, Oyo state government through the special adviser to the state governor, Debo Akande, said that the rice was not healthy for human consumption.
In its reaction, the customs through its public relations officer, Abdullahi Lagos, reiterated that the customs was embarrassed to hear that the bags of rice which left the command in the good state were said to have been infested with weevils three days after.
"The command wishes to reiterate that weevils do not hide and in the process of loading the vehicles, traces of weevils would have been noticed on the floor, on the bags, on the loaders or on the trucks bearing in mind that the entire process was in the presence of the CAC, Oyo state government’s high ranking team and men of the press with full video camera coverage.
"Subsequently, on the 21st of April 2020, the Oyo state government team came with their vehicles under the supervision of Mr. Jacob Ojekunle, Mrs. Saidat Oloko, Mrs. MO Lasisi, and other top officials, in the presence of the customs area controller, other officers and members of the press to witness the loading and exiting of the 1800 bags of parboiled rice allocated to their State as a palliative to the vulnerable," he said.
Lagos said the command does not know anything about the claim by the Oyo state government on the present state of the said rice calling on the governor to investigate the handlers of the 1,800 bags of rice.
He said: "The attention of the Oyo/Osun command of the Nigeria Customs Service has been drawn to some mischievous and deliberate falsehood being circulated in the media for reasons best known to their author(s) concerning the federal government’s palliative given to Oyo state among other states.
"As a responsible agency of government whose functions include ensuring that nothing that could compromise the security, economy and general being of Nigerians are allowed into the country, we cannot turn round and be associated with giving anything that will negatively affect our people. We, therefore, wish to state as follows:
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"That in line with the federal government’s effort to cushion the hardship in the nation, the CGC had directed the distribution of relief items including bags of rice across the nation through the ministry of humanitarian affairs, disaster management as a palliative to the vulnerable in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic.
"As instructed, on the 20th of April 2020, the Oyo/Osun area command received high ranking members of the Oyo state government in the persons of the commissioner for agriculture and rural development, Mr. Jacob Ojekunle; the permanent secretary ministry of agriculture, Mrs. Saidat Bolatumi Oloko; executive adviser to the governor on agribusiness, Mr. Debo Akande; the representative of the ministry of humanitarian affairs and disaster management and social development in Oyo, Mrs. MO Lasisi and other members.
"They visited the command twice on the same day to inspect the bags of rice that were available for allocation. The customs area controller, Comptroller, HU Ngozi led them to the warehouses where they inspected the bags of rice, checked expiration dates and expressed satisfaction and readiness to evacuate their allocation.
"The command is therefore surprised, even embarrassed to hear three (3) days later, that the rice allocated to them were infested with weevils and unfit for human consumption."
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that the federal government said the gradual easing of restrictions on activities and movements should not be mistaken to mean life has returned to normal in the country.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on the coronavirus pandemic, Boss Mustapha, gave the warning on Thursday, April 30, during the daily press briefing by the task force in Abuja.
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