By Eromosele Abiodun
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has announced that it has commenced the distribution of seized smuggled rice, vegetable oil to orphanage homes in Lagos.
This was disclosed by the National Public Relation Officer of the service, Joseph Attah, in a chat with journalists in Lagos.
Attah said since peace has returned to the north-eastern part of the region, the need for seized rice at the camp of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) has reduced, hence the need to give orphanages across the country.
He said: “You will recall that in our breakfast meeting, I had announced that the comptroller general of customs, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd) has secured the presidential nod to extend the distribution of relief materials such as rice, vegetable oil, soap and spaghetti, used clothing and all that, to orphanages across the country.
“Before now, the National Logistics Committee was distributing this items to victims of insurgency in the North East. It was restricted to the North East but with the relative peace in the region and increasing numbers of IDPs returning to their ancestral homes, there is need to extend the distribution of this to other victims of herdsmen crisis, communal and more importantly orphanages across the country.”
Attah, further disclosed that a sub-committee headed by Compt. Yakubu Salihu, had arrived Lagos to begin distribution of 68,226 bags of rice to 98 orphanage homes.
“A sub-committee that is charged with the distribution of this items has arrived Lagos and the first phase of this kick-off is done in Lagos. The sub-Committee is led by Comptroller Yakubu Salihu and consist of five senior officers including the representative of the legal adviser, “he said
Giving further details on the distribution, Attah said 34,332 kegs of 25 litres of vegetable oil, 68,226 bags of rice, second hand clothing, used foot wears and spaghetti would be distributed among 98 orphanage homes in Lagos.
He continued: “A committee has arrived Lagos and within zone A we have a total of 68,226 bags of 50 kg bags of rice and the vegetable oil have 34,332 of 25kg. We have foot wears, used clothing and other perishable seized items which we will try as much as possible to ensure that it gets to the intended recipients. We have Identified 98 orphanages and we are still identifying more and we are making contacts with them and already as I speak with you, five orphanages have already arrived and this are the early callers and there are many others on the road.”
“Also, this relief items will be loaded and escorted to this orphanages and the recipient will sign a landing certificate indicating that the number taken from the warehouse actually gets to the intended orphanage and the management of the various orphanages received it and the escort officer returned with the landing certificate.”
When asked about the number of bags of rice to be given to each orphanages, Attah said it will be based on the number of children in the home.
“The number of bags of rice to be given will depend on the number of children in the home because the benchmark we are using is that we give five bags a child and if we have 20 children which is authenticated. It will be by five so as it is there are people who will receive 100, 500 and we have even identified those who will receive 1000 bags. it is a presidential directive and we will continue to implement it till there is a directive to the contrary, ”he said.