The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has distributed 252,666 (50kg) bags of rice worth ₦3.79 billion in the last 22 months to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the Northeast and Benin.
The Public Relations Officer of the Service, Mr. Joseph Attah, who made the disclosure in Abuja on Sunday said the exercise was in compliance with the presidential directive given in January 2016, to the Service to donate all seized perishable items to Nigerians affected by the insurgency in the Northeast.
According to him, in February 2016, the Comptroller-General of Customs (CGC), retired Col. Hameed Ali, inaugurated a National Logistics Committee (NLC) with members drawn from Customs, Nigerian Army and Nigeria Air Force. He said the committee also has members from Nigeria Police, FRSC, NSCDC, NAFDAC, NTA, NAN, NUJ and Red Cross.
He said the committee was mandated to transfer all seized rice and other relief items to IDPs in Borno, Yobe, Adamawa and Edo States.
Attah said that to ensure security and transparency in the process, the items were transported from the various government warehouses by the Nigerian Army Corps of Supply and Transport to various states in the Northeast and Edo.
He said, ‘‘252, 666 (50kg) bags of rice worth ₦3.79 billion were distributed to IDPs in the Northeast and Benin in the last 22 months. Likewise, 82,140 25 litres jerry cans of vegetable oil worth over ₦985 million, 19,491 cartons of soap worth ₦52,625,700 and other items such as bales of used clothes, cartons of spaghetti, 25 litres jerry cans of palm oil, cartons of slippers, bags of footwear, dozens of children’s shirts were also distributed.
“Dozens of female wears, dozens of female hijab, cartons of mosquito coil, sacks of school bags, branded wrappers, bales of praying mats. Rolls of textile, cartons of sugar, among others, in their thousands were also distributed to the IDPs. Despite the tonnes of rice and other relief items already transferred to the IDPs, NCS warehouses across the country are still filled with rice.”