Ondo State government denies rejecting Fed Government’s rice
• Says they too good to be rejected
• Identifies over 20,000 households as beneficiaries
Contrary to reports that some South-West governors have rejected the rice distributed to states as palliatives, the Ondo State government said that it would not return its own share of the booty.
Special Adviser to the Governor on Public and Inter-Governmental Relations, Mrs. Bunmi Ademosu, stated this at a press conference in Akure yesterday, saying: “The rice is too good to be rejected.”
Ademosu dissociated the state from being listed among the states in the region that rejected the palliatives donated by the Federal Government through the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management.
“We have no plan to return the rice, and such report never emanated from the state government or any member of the palliative committee,” she said.
Ademosu, who listed the palliatives sent to Ondo State from Federal Government to include 1,800 bags of rice and 700 gallons of vegetable oil, described them as part of measures to cushion the effect of the COVID-19 lockdown in the country.
She said that the committee had commenced the repackaging of the rice for onward distribution to the vulnerable individuals in the state as the rice had been tested and confirmed to be edible.
“The items are in good shape, tested and good for consumption. The expiry date is boldly written on the rice. We cannot distribute what is harmful to our people.
“We don’t want to lose them, irrespective of their political leaning; we will not sacrifice the people we govern by giving them expired or products that are not good for human consumption.
“The onus is on the governor to protect the people of the state, their safety and lives. We have cooked part of the rice to be sure they are edible and good for consumption.
“We must not create another problem while finding solution to one. We have tested the rice, checked the expiry date and I can confirm to you that the rice are of good quality and good for consumption,” she further said.
She, however, noted that some bags got spoilt due to poor handling and offloading, emphasising that the very few among them did not make the palliative inedible.
Meanwhile, the state Co-ordinator of Youth Employment and Social Support Operations, Mr. Bankole Olaoluwa, said that they had provided the state with social register of poor and vulnerable people by capturing over 20,000 heads of households, which would facilitate the distribution of the palliatives.
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