COVID-19: Customs bars Oyo state government from returning 1800 'infested' bags of rice

A mild drama played out on Wednesday between workers of the Oyo State Government and officials of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) on the controversial bad rice allotted to the state as palliative.

WITHIN NIGERIA gathered that Officials of the Oyo state government were on Wednesday barred by men of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) from returning the spoilt 1800 bags of rice rejected by the state government as COVID-19 palliative.

The government officials had stormed the Oyo/Osun Area Command of the NCS at Ikolaba, Ibadan with three-truck load of the weevil-infested rice purportedly given to the state as a palliative in the face of hardship being experienced by the people, but the rice and officials were denied entrance into the NCS office complex.

The officials led by the commissioner for agriculture, Hon Ojemuyiwa Ojekunle visited the Oyo/Osun headquarters of the NCS with truckloads of the rejected bags of rice but were denied access.

Speaking with journalists, the commissioner for agriculture Ojemuyiwa said the state government had written to the agency to intimate the agency of plans to return the unhealthy rice not fit for consumption but was surprised men of the NCS had barred the government from returning the federal government palliative.

Hon Ojemuyiwa however stressed that the motive was not with any iota of mischief but an attempt to perhaps get better quality fit for consumption of the people.

However the commissioner for agriculture hinting on the state government's further plans, noted that with the new line of development, officials of the state government would report the situation to higher authorities of the Oyo state government on possible way forward.

Public relations officer of the Nigeria Customs Service, Oyo/Osun command, Abdullah-Lagos Abiola who declined official comment, insisted that the command had not receive any directive to receive the return rice.

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