Benue State government has rejected the three trucks of rice sent to the state by the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development to cushion the effect of hunger on the downtrodden.
The rice was sent to the state for onward distribution to the poorest inhabitants in order to cushion the effect of COVID-19.
Governor Samuel Ortom confirmed this during the distribution of the state own food palliatives to all the 23 local government chairmen for onward distribution to the people at the ward level.
Ortom, who was represented by the deputy governor, Engr. Benson Abounu, informed that the State government had already spent N1. 9 million for transportation of the rice.
According to him, “After we have spent money to clear the three trucks of rice, and distributed one truck each to the three Senatorial zones of the State, we discovered that the rice had already expired”.
“Although we have put on hold the distribution of the expired rice, we want to tell the federal government that Benue citizens will not eat expired rice”.
simply because they are hungry.”
The Governor warned against diversion of the items, saying the items should be given on equal basis to whom they are meant for.
Also Speaking the Executive Secretary of State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Emmanuel Shior, who also Corroborate what the Governor said, informed that arrangements are on top gear to return the expired rice.
He also said that over 100,000 poor of poorest have so far been identified alongside Internally Displaced persons (IDPs) as those that will benefit from the palliatives.
While some described the action as negligence on the part of the State government who has failed in its responsibility to properly check the consignment which is said to have come through Calabar before transporting into the State, others faulted the FG for not taking into consideration the health and well-being of its citizens.