The Osun Food and Relief Committee, on Monday, said that the state was still awaiting delivery of 40,332 50kg bags of rice from the Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) for distribution to the vulnerable in the state.
The Secretary to the Committee, Alhaji Adebayo Jimoh, who disclosed this at news conference in Osogbo, debunked the insinuations that the state government had taken delivery of the consignment.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Gov. Adegboyega Oyetola had, in April, inaugurated a 21-member Food and Relief Committee to cushion the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the people of the state.
Jimoh also described as untrue rumours that government had deliberately hoarded the food and relief materials donated by CACOVID to cushion the effects of the pandemic.
NAN also reports that some angry youths had, in the early hours of Friday, broken into a warehouse in Ede town and carted away some COVID-19 palliatives meant for distribution.
Items, such as beans, noodles, sugar, salt, garri, rice, pastas and vegetable oil, among others, were looted from the warehouse, located within the premises of the moribund Cocoa Industry, Ede.
Jimoh, however, said that the looted palliatives were not meant for distribution as at the time they were looted by the suspected miscreants.
“As a committee, we have no mandate to distribute the looted palliatives as at the time they were looted because we were awaiting the directive of the donors through the CACOVID committee.
“As you all know, the palliatives, under our supervision, were distributed during the first wave of coronavirus. But for the CACOVID palliatives, the state was asked to wait for further instruction before flagging off the distribution.
“As at the time the food items were looted, the donors had not delivered the rice component, which was part of the reasons we were directed not to distribute them yet,” Jimoh said.
He, however, expressed the committee’s readiness to commence the distribution of the expected CACOVID rice upon delivery.
Speaking on the proposed framework for the distribution of the expected rice, Dr Bode Olaonipekun, said that it would be taken directly to the beneficiaries.
“We are not going to warehouse the expected rice component, as arrangements are being made to ensure direct supply for onward distribution,” Olaonipekun said. (NAN)