The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has commenced the distribution of seized smuggled rice, vegetable oil and other items to orphanage homes in Lagos.
National Public Relation Officer of the NCS, Joseph Attah told newsmen in Lagos on Tuesday that a total of 68,226 bags of rice have been earmarked for distribution to 98 orphanage homes.
He said since peace has returned to the North East, the need for seized rice at the camp of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) has reduced, hence the need to give to orphanages across the country.
He said, “You will recall that in our breakfast meeting, I 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 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 of this to other victims of herdsmen crisis, communal and more importantly orphanages across the country.”
Giving a breakdown of 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.
“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. Five orphanages have already arrived and these are the early callers and there are many others on the road.
“These relief items will be loaded and escorted to these 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.”
He said the number of bags of rice to be given to each orphanage will be dependent 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 and it 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 1,000 bags,” he said.