Jos - The Plateau State Emergence Management Agency (SEMA) has commenced the distribution of 1 500 tonnes of grains to the 2012 flood victims in the state.
Mr Steven Barko, the Commissioner for Agriculture, inaugurated the lifting of the grains to various distribution centres on Friday.
Barko represented Mr Ignatius Longjan, Plateau Deputy Governor and Chairman of SEMA's Governing Council.
Longjan said the 1500 tonnes of sorghum and maize which were 30,000 bags, were donated to Plateau Government by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture to mitigate the sufferings of the victims of the flood disaster.
''We received the materials precisely on Nov. 19, 2012 from the officials of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture led by Alhaji Bukar Tijani, the Minister of State for Agriculture.
''We would have distributed the materials before now if not for the prolonged workers strike in the state.
''The strike made it impossible for SEMA to go to the communities because of the security challenges it posed but now that it is over, we understand the victims' plight.
''We will make sure that they get the materials without any further delay,'' Longjan said.
The deputy governor said the grains, which translates to 50 trucks in all, would first be taken to the three central stores for the three zones of the state, before onward distribution to local government areas.
''We have a store here in Jos to take care of the northern zone; we have another one in Pankshin for the central zone while the other one is at Langtang North Local Government.
Longjan also gave a breakdown of how the materials would be distributed.
He said that Jos North Local Government would get four trucks or 2 400 bags, while Kanam, Langtang North, Langtang South, Quan’Pan, Shendam and Wase local governments are to get six trucks or 3 600 bags each.
The breakdown also showed that Kanke, Mikang, Pankshin and Bokos local governments would each get two trucks amounting to 1 200 bags.
''We have a strategic reserve of six trucks amounting to 3 600 bags for isolated cases in other areas outside the local governments that were badly affected.
''We also have people whose farms were destroyed as result of the crises who needed assistance.
''We have the isolated cases in Jos South, Riyom, Barkin Ladi, Jos East, Mangu local governments and other individual victims.
"The Deputy Governor has seriously warned against the diversion of these materials for personal use.
"He said that anybody caught would be dealt with decisively," the commissioner warned.
Mr Alhassan Barde, SEMA Executive Secretary, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that every arrangement was completed for the distribution.
The executive secretary gave assurance that transparency and fairness would be the watch words during the distribution exercise.
''We have the data of victims and we will make sure that all the people benefit from the government’s gesture,’’ he said.
NAN reports that the loaded trucks immediately took off to the zonal centres.