Oyo State Government Officials Taking Delivery of the Palliative Rice from NCS Officers Recently

Oyo declares 1,800 bags of palliative rice unfit for human consumption

* Rice very bad, we’ll return it and seek better replacement from Federal Government ─Agric Commissioner

Isola Moses | CosumerConnect

Having declared the 1,800 bags of rice that the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development through the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) recently delivered as COVID-19 palliatives to the state as grains unfit for human consumption, the Oyo State Government is planning to return the apparently expired rice to the Federal Government.

Dr. Debo Akande, Executive Assistant to Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo Sate on Agribusiness, disclosed this Friday, April 24 while speaking to newsmen in Ibadan, the state capital.

ConsumerConnect gathered that Dr. Akande and team, who were conducted round the warehouse where the donated palliative items were kept since delivery Monday, April 20 for a random testing, inspection and re-inspection, said the bags of rice had been infested with weevil and unfit for human consumption.

Recall that the Federal Government lately distributed 1,800 bags of rice each to four of the six South-West states as palliatives to cushion the effect of the presidential lockdown directive to curb the spread of fatal Coronavirus pandemic in the country.

However, the Oyo State Government following the discovery of the inedible condition of the rice grains stated that it would be expecting a replacement for the weevil infested-rice after it has returned the 1,800 bags to the source.

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 weevils and some other materials.

“On that basis, we formed a committee to re-inspect it, again, so that we can be definitely sure of what we have received.

“We think this is not definitely in the position for human consumption for at this point in time, and as 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 situation applies across board.”

He further stated: “We conducted the same random testing, we did quality control of all the products and we haven’t seen such an infection in the other ones.

“We have agreed to return all these back (sic) 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.”

He, however, said the development would not alter the planned arrangement of the state government to give palliatives to the residents of the state, assuring that all the other items are in good condition and safe custody.

Mr. Ojemuyiwa Oyekunle, Honourable Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, remarked that “the Federal Government gave us some bags of rice, but when we went to where the rice was loaded, we saw that the rice was good before we moved them.

“When we brought them here to our warehouse, we still saw that they were in good condition, but after we later came to inspect the rice, we saw that it has been badly infested.

Oyekunle said: “We had come to re-inspect and we have done that again. When we came back to check again, we saw that weevils are so many, and we know it is not fit for human consumption.

“We are not angry with the Federal Government, but we will be ready to collect a better replacement.

On the state government team are Executive Assistant to Governor Seyi Makinde on Agribusiness, Dr. Debo Akande: Mr Ojemuyiwa Ojekunle (Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development); and Chief Bayo Lawal (Commissioner for Special Duties).

Others are Mr. Seun Fakorede (Commissioner for Youth and Sports); Mrs. Faosat Sanni (Commissioner Women Affairs and Social Inclusion) and Mrs. Funmilayo Orisadeyi (Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters).

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