The Benue state deputy Governor Engr. Benson Abounu has disclosed that, the state took delivery of 1,800 bags of rice from the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs as a Covid-19 palliative gesture but discovered the rice had expired.
The deputy governor, who doubles as the chairman of the state Covid-19 Action Committee stated this in Makurdi, while flagging off the distribution of palliatives to the 23 Area Councils in the state.
He further stated that state halted further distribution of the largesse from Federal Government when it discovered that 600 bags of the said rice earlier sent to Oturkpo, Gboko and Katsina Ala were inedible.
“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,” Abounu said.
Responding, the state Executive Secretary of State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) Dr. Emmanuel Shior stated that arrangements are in place to have the rice returned back to Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs in Abuja.