The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) said on Tuesday that it had started distribution of seized smuggled rice and other items to orphanages in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, reports that National Public Relations Officer of customs, Assist. Comptroller, Joseph Attah, made the disclosure to newsmen in Lagos on Tuesday.
According to him, since peace has returned to the North-Eastern part of the region, the need for sending seized rice to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp has reduced, hence the need to give orphanages across the country.
“You will recall that in our breakfast meeting in December, 2018, I announced that the Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd) had secured the presidential nod to extend the distribution of relief materials to the orphanage,” he said.
Attah said that the relief material such as rice, vegetable oil, soap, spaghetti and second hand clothing would be distributed to orphanages across the country.
“Before now, the national Logistics Committee was distributing these 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 to other victims of herdsmen crisis, communal feuds and more importantly orphanages across the country.
“A sub committee headed by Comptroller, Yakubu Salihu has arrived Lagos to begin distribution of 68,226 bags of rice to 98 orphanages.
“A sub committee that is charged with the distribution of these items have arrived Lagos and the first phase of the distribution is done in Lagos.
“The sub-committee consist of five senior officers including the representatives of the legal adviser,” he said.
Giving the break down of the distribution, the customs spokesman 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 orphanages in Lagos.
He explained that a committee had 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.
He said that the service had foot wears, used clothing and other perishable seized items, which the NCS would ensure that it got to the intended recipients.
He said that the service had identified 98 orphanages and was still identifying more, adding that NCS had already made contact with five orphanages and that others ones were on the way.
Attah said that the relief items would be loaded and escorted to the orphanages and the recipients would sign a landing certificate indicating that the number taken from the warehouse actually got to the intended orphanage management.
When asked about the number of bags of rice to be given to each orphanage, Attah said it would be based on the number of children in the orphanage.
Attah said that the benchmark the committee was using is five bags of 50kg rice per a child.
He, however, said it was a presidential directive to distribute those items to the orphanages and the service would continue the implementation until there is a contrary directive.)