The federal government on Monday assured that all the rice distributed to states were certified fit for human consumption.
The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Social Development and Disaster Management, Sadiya Farouq, gave the assurance on Monday in Abuja.
She said that the rice was accessed by the National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) before delivering them to the states.
Ms Farouq was reacting to the accusation by Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State that the rice was contaminated.
The minister spoke at the daily briefing by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.
Ms Farouq said the rice was distributed to the states as handed over to the ministry by the Nigerian Customs Service, adding that NAFDAC also accessed the edibility of the rice.
She said, “We all know if we keep rice or grain it is bound to change colour but that does not mean it is unfit for human consumption.”
She refuted claims that the rice given to the Oyo State Government by the federal government as palliative had expired, adding that such a claim is baseless.
The minister also said it was impossible for anybody to divert money meant for the N-Power beneficiaries, adding that such cannot happen under the current IPPIS.
She said though the issue relating to her office had always been about N-Power, she added that it is practically impossible for either the executive or any other person to divert their money for any other purpose.
“We know it is practically impossible to divert funds that have been appropriated. I don’t know how such can be done without facing the backlash,” she said.
On the distribution of palliative, the minister said there were lay down structures which the ministry was following for distribution, adding that the ministry is working with the state governments in the distribution of palliatives.
Ms Farouq also said the ministry was working with Non-Governmental Organisation (NGOs), Red Cross and Civil Society Organisations in monitoring and evaluation of COVID-19.
She said the federal government’s intervention was targeted at the poor and vulnerable in every state of the federation.