ABUJA: The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) on Friday handed over 33,114 (50kg) bags of rice and other relief materials to assist the Internally-Displaced Persons in Borno. The Assistant Comptroller-General, Abdulkadir Azarema who doubles as Chairman, National Logistic Committee on Distribution of Relief Materials, handed over the items. He said the fifth round of distribution of government’s relief materials started on Nov. 2 in Damaturu.
The items are 33,114 (50kg) bags of rice; 14,043 (25 litres) Jerry cans of vegetable oil; 4,801 bales and 33 sacks of second hand clothing; 9,942 cartons of spaghetti; 2 cartons of tomatoes and 19,414 pairs of used shoes. Others included 13,480 pairs of rubber slippers, 20 pairs of new shoes, 1,793 bags of mosquito coil; 11 dozens of children wears, 17 dozens of female wears, 80 dozens of boxers, hijab,veils, traveling bags, praying mats and used belts. Azarema said President Muhammadu Buhari gave directive to the Comptroller-General of Customs, retired Col. Hameed Ali to transfer all seized perishable items to the IDPs. He said the gesture was part of government’s concern for Nigerians affected by the unfortunate activities of the insurgents in the North East. Azarema said that since early 2016, the Nigeria Customs Service, leading other security and regulatory agencies, had been discharging the presidential directive. He thanked the state government for its support by paying the cost of transferring the items from various Customs ware houses to Damaturu. “ We, therefore, urge all those involved in the distribution chain to ensure smooth and transparent distribution to the intended beneficiaries,” Azarema said. He thanked the Borno Government for having the distinctive record of hospitality towards the committee. Azarema also appreciated the government for the efforts made towards rehabilitating and settling the affected people in their ancestral homes. He commended the military and other security agencies working day and night to sustain the relative security in the north east.
Gov. Kashim Shettima of Borno, represented by his Deputy, Usman Durkwa, commended the efforts of the Federal Government and the Comptroller-General of Customs for ensuring improvement in the living standard of the IDPs. Shettima said the items would be delivered door to door to achieve the ultimate goal and also asked for more support from the Federal Government and spirited individuals. “Ever since the insurgency started, different government agencies, organizations and spirited individuals have done a lot to alleviate the suffering of the IDPs in the state,’’ he said. Shettima assured the committee that the state would be equitable, fair and transparent in distributing the materials to the affected victims. “I promise you that the items will be distributed accordingly,’’ he said. Shettima commended the transparency and accountability of the committee in ensuring the items got to the IDPs.