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NAFDAC Certified Rice Before Released To Oyo, Minister Insists

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THE Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Farouq, has countered claims by the National Agency for Food Drugs and Administration Control (NAFDAC) over the rice distributed in Oyo State.

NAFDAC Director-General Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye had said that her agency was not invited to test the rice distributed in Oyo State by the Federal Government.

She said that her agency was only invited to take samples of rice from Idi-Iroko, Ikeja and Ogun State.

NAFDAC clarified allegations by the Oyo State Government that the 1,800 bags of rice it got were infested with weevils and unfit for human consumption.

It said: “We got an invitation to sample rice from Idi-Iroko from Ogun and Ikeja Customs. Our officials went to Idi-Iroko and Ogun to sample the rice and they also went to Ikeja to sample rice. Some of the samples are still in our laboratory in Oshodi. We tested the samples and they passed.

“The one for Oyo State, I cannot say anything because NAFDAC was not called by the Ibadan Command or the Southwest Command of Customs to come and check samples in Ibadan. So, I cannot say anything about the Ibadan Command rice that went to Oyo and possibly to Osun State.”

Farouq had initially said: “The rice was handed over to us by the Nigerian Customs Service and it was assessed by NAFDAC, who issued a clearance before the goods were released for onward distribution to the states.

“So, as far as we are concerned, the rice was certified fit for human consumption.”

Reacting to the claims made by NAFDAC, the minister yesterday during the daily briefing by members of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 said her ministry got a certificate issued by NAFDAC.

She said: “We still stand by what we said because that was what was conveyed to us by Customs and we have a certificate to that effect.

“The certificate indicated that the rice given to us is fit for human consumption and that was before I even launched the distribution in Lagos State. We will make that certificate available later today.”

Farouq, however, noted that both agencies of the government would sort out the obvious communication gap.

“Let me also remind us that NAFDAC, Customs and the ministry respect each other’s mandate while carrying out our responsibilities. So, Nigerian Customs Service and NAFDAC, I am sure will sort the communication gap and we will report back to this platform once that is done.”



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