• Tuesday, April 16, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Customs begin sale of seized food items in Lagos to ‘alleviate’ food scarcity

IMG_9642

The Nigeria Customs have started selling seized food items on in Lagos. The rice is being sold at N10,000 per 25kg

The Comptroller General of Customs, Adewale Adeniyi, Thursday affirmed the determination of the government to alleviate the suffering of the people through calculated interventions and clear thought out policies as he spoke with press men at the Harvey road, Yaba Lagos, Zonal Headquarters of the Nigeria Customs Service.

He said “In recent months, the government has been addressing the challenges faced within our economy, particularly the lagged effects of insecurity and the current exchange rate issues. These challenges have exacerbated concerns about foods security leading to a concerning trend where food items are moving out massively to neighbouring countries.

Some of the items include:
a. Over 20,000 bags of assorted grains (Rice, beans, Maize, Guinea corn, millet, Soya beans.
b. 2500 cartons and 963 bags of dried fish.
c. Others include, Dried pepper, tomatoes, cooking oil, Maggi (seasoning), Macaroni, salt, sugar and garri. This trend is not sustainable as it puts pressure on our productive capacity and threatens our food security”.

He added “To address this, the NCS has remained responsive in carrying out its mandate to protect our borders from the inflow and outflow of restricted goods.

One concerning trend noticed is the outflow of food items in huge quantities, posing a threat to our food security. It should be noted that the condition for the export of any item is only met upon fulfilling sufficiency internally.

In this regard, food items deemed not to fulfil these conditions are showing up in our interceptions made at the borders”.

The CGC informed the audience that “As part of our ongoing commitment to safeguarding the food security of Nigerians, the NCS has secured approval from the government to dispose of these seized food items to needy Nigerians at discounted prices.

Nigeria Customs Service posted on their official X page on Friday,

“Nigeria Customs Service Launches Initiative to Alleviate Food Scarcity in Nigeria
…as CGC Adeniyi Kicks-off Sales of Seized Food Items in Lagos

“The Comptroller-General of Customs (CGC), Bashir Adewale Adeniyi MFR, has expressed commitment to align with President Bola Tinubu-led administration’s plans to tackle the pressing issue of food insecurity by ensuring the availability of essential food items to Nigerians.

“Speaking at the flag-off of the rice disbursement program in Lagos on Thursday, February 22, 2024, CGC Adeniyi emphasized that the distribution of rice would be targeted at areas of customs operations, ensuring direct access to beneficiaries.

“CGC Adeniyi stressed the importance of transparency and accountability in the distribution process, urging Nigerians participating in the exercise to refrain from selling the rice in markets or hoarding it for purposes other than domestic consumption.

“Speaking further, the CGC said the NCS secured approval from the government to dispose of the seized food items to needy Nigerians at discounted prices after satisfying the verification process of presenting the National Identification Number (NIN).

“He emphasized, “The target groups include artisans, teachers, nurses, religious bodies, and other Nigerians within our operational areas. The intention is to reach out directly to members through these organized structures to ensure the maximum impact of this exercise.”

“He however, emphasized that the initiative’s primary objective is to provide essential food items to those in need, in line with the Nigeria Customs Service’s commitment to enhancing its social welfare responsibility programs.

“It is imperative that beneficiaries of this exercise understand that the items are not to be resold. We take a strong stance against any form of profiteering or exploitation of this initiative. We urge Nigerians to report any incidents of misuse or unauthorized resale of the seized food items.” the CGC said.