The Federal Government of Nigeria has apologized to the Saudi Arabia Government after 200 tonnes of dates sent as a Ramadan gift were found on sale in markets.
The dates which were intended as a gift for people who had fled their homes because of the Boko Haram insurgency were found on sale in markets in Borno state. Dates are traditionally the first things Muslims eat when they break the Ramadan fast each evening.
The foreign ministry spokesperson, Clement Aduku, in a statement expressed his disappointment over the “unfortunate turn of events” but said the matter is being investigated to avoid a repeat in the future. He said: “It is important to note that once the dates were delivered to their final destinations, the ministry of foreign affairs became devoid of any subsequent responsibility. It is therefore disappointing to learn that some of the consignment is being sold for profit.”
The ministry said that Nigeria’s Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons had drawn up a list of places where the dates would be distributed, which included IDP camps and some prominent mosques.
Aduku also expressed gratitude on behalf of the ministry to the Saudi government for the generosity during the holy month of Ramadan. “We look forward to continuous close cooperation as well as fruitful and fraternal relations between our two countries.” He said.