Director-General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mustapha Yunusa Maihaja has berated some state governments for their refusal to cooperate with the agency in ensuring that government’s palliatives get to the targeted people.
Yunusa was responding to an inquest by the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Farouk on the level of transparency in the distribution of palliatives by the state government when she visited the agency.
The NEMA boss said in some states warehouses may not be adequate hence they resorted to using those of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture or warehouses provided by the state.
He said the directive to handover the palliatives to states directors for monitoring has become the major issue, adding that NENA’s warehouses may not be adequate in some states, so they either use the Federal Ministry of Agriculture store of the those provided by the states.
In a similar vein, the controversy over the 1,800 bags of rice given to Oyo State by the Federal Government took another dimension yesterday as officials of Oyo State Government were barred from entering the premises of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) in Ibadan.
The officials, led by Commissioner for Agriculture, Ojemuyiwa Ojekunle had gone to the Oyo/Osun Command headquarters of the NCS with truckloads of the rejected bags of rice.
The Guardian recalled that the rice the Federal Government gave to the Oyo State government through the NCS has become an object of controversy as the state government had claimed that the rice was unhealthy for consumption.
Speaking with journalists, Ojemuyiwa said the state government had written to the agency to intimate it of plans to return the unhealthy rice, which he said was not fit for consumption.
Meanwhile, the Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA Resource Centre), has expressed concern over the distribution of government’s palliatives to poor Nigerians.
In a statement, chairman, HEDA resource centre, Olanrewaju Suraju said there are about 90 million poor Nigerians who have no access to essentials of life and whose conditions have been compounded by the lockdown.
“They are on the threshold of misery with serious consequences unless the various authorities reply to their needs immediately. We also call for accountability on the cost of palliatives being distributed across the country,” he said.