The Nasarawa Cluster Committee for the distribution of foodstuff to vulnerable households by the Kaduna State Government has alleged the diversion of 102 cartons of indomie and 300 gallons of vegetable oil.
Chairman of the Committee, Malam Khalid Idris told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kaduna on Tuesday, that the food items were meant for Nasarawa, Trikania and Kudandan cluster.
NAN reports that the cluster was among the five earmarked to benefit from the distribution of the food items to the most vulnerable people in Chikun Local Government Area of the state.
The distribution, according to the state government was to alleviate the sufferings of the poor and vulnerable groups following the lockdown of the state to contain the spread of Coronavirus pandemic.
Idris explained that the cluster was expected to receive 550 and 195 small bags of about three measures of rice and beans respectively, 1,200 cartons of indomie and 165 cartons of spaghetti.
Idris, also the Village Head of Sabon Gari, Nasarawa, added that the cluster was also to receive 650 gallons of vegetable oil for onward distribution to the vulnerable people in the cluster communities.
NAN correspondent monitoring the exercise reports that argument erupted during off-loading of the items on Tanko Tete Crescent, Gwari Avenue, Barnawa Kaduna.
A member of the Nasarawa cluster committee, Rev. Danladi Ayuba raised alarm at the warehouse that the quantity of indomie meant for the cluster was not complete and insisted on a recount.
After some minutes of argument, it was agreed that the cartons should be recounted when off-loading the items at the distribution point for confirmation.
Idris said “on getting to Sabon Gari, one of the benefitting communities in Nasarawa, we recounted the Indomie and confirmed that it was actually short by 102 cartons.
“Not only that, we also noticed that the quantity of vegetable oil was also short by 300 gallons. Instead of 650 gallons, what we saw was 350 gallons.
“I called on one of the officials at the warehouse, Mrs Stella Amako and informed her of the shortages and she said she had no idea, stressing that all our items were complete.
“But shortly after the call, I received another call that a private vehicle, a Toyota Sienna was seen loading indomie at the warehouse and was impounded by members of the Civilian JTF.”
When contacted, Mr Silar Kure, the Coalition Chairman, Unguwan Yelwa and Television Civilian JTF, confirmed the incident.
Kure, however, said that after some explanations, a police officer, identified as ASP A. Mohammed asked his boys to release the vehicle, which was further loaded with gallons of vegetable oil.
On his part, Mohammed, who equally confirmed the incident, told NAN that unidentified officials at the warehouse explained to him that the indomie was meant for a community that was not initially captured.
“So, I asked the Civilian JTF, who impounded the vehicle to release it,” he said.
When contacted, the Commissioner, Planning and Budget Commission, Mr. Thomas Gyang, who was supervising the distribution in Chikun LGA, dismissed the allegation, describing it as “baseless”.
Gyang had explained at the beginning of the distribution exercise on Saturday that 510 bags of rice, 72 bags of beans, 840 cartons of spaghetti, 6,000 cartons of indomie, and 2,000 gallons of vegetable oil would be distributed to the cluster committees.
He added that members of the committees were selected based on merit and integrity to map and select the vulnerable groups in their respective communities and distribute the foodstuff accordingly.
Gyang said that the distribution was fair to every cluster, noting, however, that there were some challenges at the distribution point in the cluster committees.
According to him, while some committees have done well in the distribution to the beneficiaries, others did not, and I can assure that lessons learnt will help to plan better for similar intervention in the future. (NAN)