The Benue State Government has rejected the three trailer-load of rice donated by the Federal Government through the Ministry for Humanitarian Affairs as COVID-19 palliatives, saying the deliveries were no longer fit for human consumption.
Chairman of the State Emergency Committee on COVID-19 deputy governor, Benson Abounu, told reporters that the rice has expired and would be returned to the Federal Government.
He said the state spent about N2 million to purchase the bags of rice.
Speaking to kick start the distribution of COVID 19 palliatives to the state’s 23 local government areas, Abounu stated that even though the bags of rice had been taken to the three senatorial zones, the government has decided to return them to the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs.
“Government cannot afford to risk the health of its citizen by given them expired rice to eat,” said Abounu.
Executive Secretary (ES) State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) Dr. Emmanuel Shior stated that COVID 19 palliatives will be distributed to only the poorest of the poor in the local government areas.
Shior said they have identified over 150,000 people and the process is still ongoing, adding that the items are from the government to cushion the effect of the pandemics.
Chairman of Guma Local Government Council, who doubled as Chairman, Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON), Caleb Uba, hailed Governor Samuel Ortom for the initiatives and promised that the food items would be distributed in line with the government directives.