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Oyo, Customs Crisis Over ‘Weevil Infected Rice’ Deepens As NSC Rejects Consignments

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Oyo, Customs Crisis Over ‘Weevil Infected Rice’ Deepens As NSC Rejects Consignments

Oyo, Customs Crisis Over ‘Weevil Infected Rice’ Deepens As NSC Rejects Consignments

The crisis between Oyo State Government and Nigeria Customs Service NCS took a different dimension as the NCS refused to collect the rice on Wednesday.

The state government had shown the world last Friday that the rice was infested with weevil, making it unfit for human consumption.

It announced its decision to return the rice which was part of federal government palliative to support efforts of the states in mitigating the negative effects of the COVID-19 lockdown on poor citizens.

The state government collected the rice on Tuesday from the Oyo/Osun State Command of the NCS which is located at about 1,000 meters from State secretariat, Agodi, Ibadan.

But returning the consignment yesterday, the NCS refused to allow the three trucks conveying the product into its premises.

Shocked by the development, the state government officials who led the trucks to NCS premises inquired the reason behind the action.

They were told that the command was yet to receive directive from its headquarters to collect the rice.

The trucks were at the NCS gate for hours, thinking the security agency would change its mind but it stood its ground. The trucks left there for the state secretariat at about 6pm.

The NCS had explained in a statement on Saturday that officials of the Oyo State government properly inspected the rice on Monday and certified that it was in good condition.

It would be recalled that the Executive Adviser to Governor Seyi Makinde, Dr. Debo Akande had on Friday, 24th of April, 2020 said the committees set up to re-examine the rice have warned that it was not consumable.

The delegation led by the state Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Hon. Jacob Ojemuyiwa to return the rice was denied entrance into the premises of the Nigeria Customs Service, Oyo/Osun Area Command.

While addressing newsmen after the attempt made by him to return the infested rice proved abortive, Hon. Muyiwa noted that the state government had written a letter to the Nigeria Customs Service that it would return the infested rice but expressed shock over denial of his entrance into the Customs premises.

When quizzed on next action plan, the commissioner maintained that he would report back to the executive council and further steps will be taken in due course.

One of the Customs officials who spoke with newsmen on a condition of anonymity, hinted that the command had not received any directive from its headquarters to receive the rice from the Oyo State government.

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