Benue State has become the latest state to return truckloads of expired rice it received as COVID-19 Palliative from the Federal government after Oyo state had earlier returned the state’s share.
Chairman of the State COVID-19 Action Committee and Deputy Governor of the state, Mr. Benson Abounu, on Tuesday while flagging off the distribution of palliatives to the 23 Local Government Areas, LGAs, of the state at the State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA office in Makurdi, said three truckloads of rice containing 1,800 bags of rice were sent back the federal government after they were discovered not to be safe for consumption.
He said, “We recently received from Calabar three trucks loaded with 600 bags of rice each, from the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs as COVID-19 palliative for distribution to the poorest of the poor in our state only to discover that the rice had expired when we wanted to distribute the stock after paying N600,000 for the delivery.
“We are not going to distribute that to our people because of the health hazard. They are there in Gboko, Katsina-Ala and Gboko so what we are flagging off today are items from the Benue state government to be distributed by the Local Government Council Chairman who will have them distributed to the poorest of the poor by committees in the respective LGAs.
“The state government has provided thousands of cartons and bags of rice, semovita, tomatoes paste and vegetable oil for distribution. It is being handed over to the chairmen who will work with the committees whose members are drawn from the CAN, Jama’atu Nasril Islam, NGOs, DSS, Police, Women Societies and the youths in their respective LGAs for distribution.”