A breakthrough has emerged for National Assembly members facing public criticism regarding the controversial Federal Government palliatives for distribution in their respective constituencies.
The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security has commenced the issuance of a bill of quantity to successful contractors responsible for procuring and distributing the palliatives to federal constituencies.
The bill of quantity, sighted by reporters, outlines the palliative components, including “62 bags parboiled long grain rice with a golden standard, enriched with vitamins and minerals, free from fat, stone-free, not contaminated in any way, and packaged in polypropylene laminated bags.”
The controversy unfolded when a House of Representatives member from Edo State, Hon. Dekeri Anamer, urged constituents to inquire about the whereabouts of the approved bags of rice, causing unrest..
The delay in the procurement process fueled misinformation and accusations against lawmakers who were waiting for the Ministry of Agriculture to finalize the distribution. Contractors, responding to reporters, expressed optimism that the Ministry’s actions would alleviate tension, rectify misinformation, and address the prolonged wait for palliatives by many constituencies.
Some federal constituencies have received palliatives after the award letters were issued, while the majority awaited their distribution, contributing to conflicting information and accusations against lawmakers.
The N300 million worth of palliatives disclosed by the Edo lawmaker had stirred intense controversy and confusion.
The Senate and House of Representatives have refuted claims of members receiving and hoarding the palliative items, citing ongoing procurement processes and bureaucratic delays from the Ministry of Agriculture.
President Bola Tinubu’s special assistant on social media, Olusegun Dada, confirmed the distribution of N200 million worth of palliative items to senators and N100 million worth to House of Representatives members. The House reiterated that the rice palliative released by President Tinubu is not missing but cited bureaucratic bottlenecks for the delay in distribution.
Deputy spokesperson for the House, Philip Agbese, explained the ongoing process, emphasizing that while some lawmakers have received the rice, others are still awaiting delivery due to varying distances and bureaucratic challenges within the ministry