• Thursday, May 23, 2024
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Seven killed in Lagos stampede as Customs sells rice

Seven killed in Lagos stampede as Customs sells rice

Seven people have been reported killed in Lagos while struggling to buy confiscated rice being sold by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to the public as an intervention in the current economic hardship and hunger.

The stampede was said to have occurred due to poor crowd management by the Customs, as hundreds of people tried to force themselves into the venue to buy the rice at the Customs Zonal Office at Harvey Road, Yaba, Lagos on Friday.

Read also: Customs tackle hunger in Nigeria by selling seized food items

Giving an account of his experience on TV360 Nigeria, Ahmed Isa, a Lagos resident said when people were struggling to gain access to the Customs Zonal office in Yaba, people who fell in the process were trampled on.

The father of six said two people died at the entrance gate while four were already lying on the floor when he eventually gained access to the zonal office.

“There were a lot of people who fell in the process and many fainted alongside with no one knowing their fate,” he said.

Lawal Tajudeen, another Lagos resident, called for a guide on how to conduct the sales.

He said everybody was struggling to get hold of the discounted rice because of the hardship. He said that two people stumbled before him and others trampled on them to get to the selling point.

Meanwhile, Abdullahi Maiwada, the national public relations officer of the Nigerian Customs, told journalists on Sunday that the agency has put the sale of rice in Lagos, which is its pilot phase, on hold till an articulated strategy to mend all the gaps identified in the pilot test is addressed.

BusinessDay gathered that the incident would be investigated to avoid future recurrence.

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

Customs had on Friday commenced the sale of seized rice to vulnerable members of the public at a discounted price of N10,000 per 25kg bag to cushion the economic hardship facing Nigerians.