The Nigeria Customs Service said about 7,350 orphans in the South-Western Region of Nigeria have benefited from her nation-wide distribution of relief materials to orphanages and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) across the country.
In a press statement made available to Platform Reporters on Sunday Comproller Yakubu Salihu, Chairman of customs Sub-Committee on DestributIon of relief materials to Orphanages in ZOne A, customs revealed that these relief items were distributed to a total number of 134 Orphanages with a cumulative number of 7,350 orphans in Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Ondo and Ekiti states.
Addressing newsmen after the completion of the exercise on Sunday, Comproller Yakubu said “It gives me great pleasure to brief you on the activities of the subcommittee on the distribution of relief items to orphanages and Internally Displaced Persons(IDPs) across the country.
“Immediately after the inauguration of this committee, we swung into action identifying and verifying all IDPs and orphanages in all the states and the federal capital territory.
“The sub-committee under my leadership kick started this important assignment in Zone A of the Nigeria Customs Service in Lagos on Tuesday 12 February 2019.
“Three weeks into the exercise, we are happy to announce that a great impact has been made in the lives of orphans in the Zone in line with the Federal Government intention to alleviate the suffering of the less privilege citizens.
“So far, we have been able to achieve the following;
TOTAL NUMBER OF ITEMS DISTRIBUTED:
Rice = 32,576 bags
Vegetable oil = 1794 kegs of 25 litres each.
Bales of used clothes = 329 bales and 24 loosed bags
Sugar = 47 bags
Used shoes = 2,675 pairs
Tomatoes paste = 98 cartons
Seasonings = 6 cartons
Soaps/detergents = 13 cartons
Foreign flour = 11 bags
“These relief items were distributed to a total number of 134 Orphanages with a cumulative number of 7,350 orphans in Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Ondo and Ekiti states.
“The orphanages that benefited include;
Stella Obansanjo children home among others.
“In carrying this assignment, we are strictly guided by the directive to ensure that these items are given to only registered/ recognised homes. The allocated items are escorted with landing certificates which must be signed by operators of the homes upon receipt of the items. This is to ensure that all allocated items get to intended recipients.
“Apart from being official assignment, we see this exercise as being spiritually rewarding and appreciate the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali(Rtd) for considering us worthy of carrying out activities that positively impact on the lives of orphans.
“As noble as the intention of Federal Government is, we have discovered that some unpatriotic elements are trying to cash on this exercise by going to orphanages pretending to be working for the service, collecting documents, supposedly for the committee. The obvious criminal intention to either extort money or some of the items for “facilitating” the allocation is not lost on us. Already two people ( a man and a woman) impersonating the committee have been arrested and detained at Seme border.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the service has not permitted any person or organization to contact orphanages, IDPs or indeed any vulnerable group on belief of the committee. We have our own way of identifying and verifying such homes or groups that qualify for the ongoing distribution.
“As the sub-committee moves to Zone B, Kaduna and other north western states of the country in this ongoing distribution, we are determined to ensure that those that fall within our mandate get these items in a transparent manner”, he disclosed.