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Published On: Fri, Aug 31st, 2018

Poisonous rice: Ebonyi Govt. reopens Rice Mill after sanitation

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The Ebonyi government on Thursday ordered the re-opening of the Abakaliki Rice Mill Limited two days after it was sealed following alleged poisonous bags of rice that were discovered in the mill.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Gov. David Umahi ordered the sealing of the mill on Tuesday, after the state ministry of environment received reports and subsequently discovered bags of rice allegedly labeled ‘not fit for human consumption’ inside the mill.
Dr Kenneth Ugbala, Leader of the inter-ministerial committee set up by the government to investigate the matter, told newsmen at a news conference in Abakaliki on Thursday that the mill will re-open immediately.
Ugbala, who is also Gov. David Umahi’s Senior Special Assistant (SSA) on Internal Security, said that the mill was reopened because it had been sanitised, the poisonous products confiscated and culpable shops sealed.
“The committee alongside experts and security agencies evacuated the adulterated products from the affected shops and generally sanitised the mill with security agencies making some arrests.
“The state governor reopened the mill to save innocent millers and buyers from untold economic losses and also due to the mill’s importance to the state’s economic survival.
“Ebonyi citizens and buyers from across the country are hereby assured that the suspected products have been identified and evacuated, so they could freely process and purchase rice from the mill,” he said.
The committee leader said that the shops where the poisonous products were confiscated would remain shut till all investigations are concluded.
“Citizens who purchased rice from the mill within the period under scrutiny should present such products to the concerned ministries of health, agriculture, environment among others, for thorough screening.
“The government expresses serious disappointment with the mill’s leadership and subsequently suspends it for failing to be an effective liaison between the mill and the government.
“The disappointment is more profound because some of the shops where the poisonous products were discovered allegedly belonged to some leaders of the mill.
“We will consult adequately to appoint a caretaker leadership for it,” he said.

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