The government of Oyo State has taken delivery of three truckloads of rice donated by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).
The Controller of Customs for Oyo/Osun Area Command, Comptroller Helen Ngozi, who made the symbolic presentation to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in Ibadan on Monday, said that Customs was donating three truckloads of rice each to Oyo, Osun, Ondo and Ekiti states as parts of measures to cushion the hardship of Nigerians at this period.
A statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Seyi Makinde, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, quoted the Commissioner for Agriculture, Honourable Ojekunle Ojemuyiwa and the Executive Adviser to the governor on Agribusiness, Dr. Debo Akande, who took delivery of the donation on behalf of the government as promising to ensure that the palliative measures being planned by the State would reach those who need them the most.
The donation is said to be made up of 1,800 50-kilogramme bags of rice.
Speaking shortly after receiving the donation, the Commissioner for Agriculture assured the Customs that the State has put in a place a standard that would ensure that those really in need are reached directly.
Also speaking, the Executive Adviser to the governor on Agribusiness, Dr. Akande appreciated the Customs and the Federal Government, noting that the State would ensure the palliatives reach the most vulnerable in the society.
He said: “On behalf of Governor Seyi Makinde and the government of Oyo State, we appreciate the Nigeria Customs, the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and the Federal Government for this gesture.”
While presenting the donation, Comptroller Ngozi expressed appreciation to the Comptroller-General of Customs for the kind gesture in releasing the truckloads of rice for donations to the people at such a trying time as this.
In another development, the Media and Enforcement sub-committees of the Oyo State COVID-19 Task Force on Monday also met with Market Leaders and Artisans, in a sensitisation drive to curtail the spread of COVID 19 in the markets.
The Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Dr. Wasiu Olatubosun, who addressed the meeting, said that the programme was meant to englighten and sensitize the marketers and artisans on the need to put safety first.
He added: “So, we gathered 28 market leaders in tens today. So far, we have met about 15 markets in three places, that’s close to thirty markets, and remaining are the artisans.
“The essence of doing this is to make sure they go out there to start canvassing for us as change agents.
“We want them to meet their members at their respective markets and talk to them, so that they can change their attitude.”
Also speaking, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Security, Retired Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, said the Government has given seven days ultimatum to all markets in the State to comply with the precautionary methods that have been put in place by the Government to curtail the spread of COVID 19.
“Within the next seven days, they should have a buy-in to the measures that have been put in place in order to curtail the spread of COVID-19.”
According to him, one of the things that has been identified, which can help us is regular washing of hands, keeping social distance and use of face masks as approved by the South West governors.
Owoseni further stated: “Samples of the hand washing machines have been made and these have been shared to the markets. It has been observed that some of them do not maintain these things. They can’t find them in some of the markets where they put them. It’s either they have been stolen or they banished them. This is more of citizen’s persuasion now. So, we want them to have a buy-in to the government measures on COVID-19.
“Within the next seven days, they have been told that any market that refuses to erect and multiply this hand-washing machine design, such market will be shut down.
“So, the market women will reorganise themselves and replicate the sample that has been given to them. And they have seven days ultimatum to do this.
“They also have to own, secure them and monitor the usage. It is a measure that has been put in place for the whole of South-West and the use of face mask. It has been demonstrated to them on how they can also multiply them. We are all in it, just like the Governor has always said that it is an uncharted course. Everybody must key into it.”