NIGERIA – The State Government of Ebonyi has ordered the reopening of Abakaliki Rice mill which was closed due to discovery of adulterated and poisonous rice in the mill, according to This Day Nigeria.
The move follows an investigation by the state government into rice millers which revealed Abakaliki was involved in the production and selling of adulterated rice not fit for human consumption.
Its preliminary probe had revealed that about 10 shops were involved in the sale of the poisonous rice in the mill.
Pending the conclusion of investigations by security agencies, Senior Special Adviser to the governor on Internal Security, Kenneth Ugbala said the shops would remain closed and sealed.
An investigative committee set up by the government has since seized the suspected adulterated and poisonous rice from the market.
Ugbala, who is also the chairman of the committee added that the market has been rid of all the suspected adulterated rice, assuring the state that Abakaliki rice is still very safe and fit for consumption.
Reopening of the market is geared at ensuring that the traders and customers both from within and outside the state did not suffer untold hardship.
The committee seized over 378 bags of the poisonous rice, which was imported into the state from other parts of the country, said the Commissioner for Environment, Donatus Njoku in his remarks on the matter.
The revelation came when the ministry visited the market and found one of the millers mixing the rice with bags written not for human consumption and re-bagging them.
After the reports, the ministry had made preliminary investigations before reporting the matter to the State Executive Council (SEC), which ordered for the closure of the market and also set up the committee to investigate the matter.