HARDSHIP: Customs Begins Distribution Of Seized Rice, Other Food Items To Nigerians √√ The Scoper Media

THE Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) has begun distribution of seized food items to Nigerians to help mitigate the current hardship in the country.

Speaking at the flag-off of the exercise in Lagos on Thursday, the Comptroller-General of Customs, Mr Wale Adeniyi, said that the Federal Government ordered the distribution of the seized food items.

Adeniyi said Customs was working with other agencies to distribute the seized food items directly to needy Nigerians.

Adeniyi said that Nigerians would require verifiable National Identification Number (NIN) to benefit from the gesture.

He said: “Our target include artisans, teachers, religious organisations and other Nigerians within the area of customs operations including the border areas.

“The intention of this distribution is to reach out directly to members of organisations that have structures, to ensure the maximum impact of the exercise.

“The effort of the distribution is to ensure robust security protocol throughout the process as officers will closely monitor the entre supply chain to prevent any misuse or possible diversion of food items.”

He said that the gesture was part of federal government’s efforts at ensuring reduction of food prices in the country.

“We collaborate with other sister agencies of government, while customs is the lead agency because the food items are with us.

“Among us here are the police, DSS, and tomorrow we are going to have full department of all the sister organisations for proper monitoring,” he said.

Adeniyi said the rice distributed had been certified for consumption by the National Agency For Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), before being re-bagged to 25 kg so as to reach as many Nigerians as possible.

The Customs boss said that 10 points had been created for the processing, and interested Nigerians should come with their NIN, to restrict people from benefiting twice.

The CG said that customs would work with police in ensuring that the food items were not resold.

Adeniyi, however, urged Nigerians to report any incident of misuse or unauthorised resale of the food items.

He said customs would not hesitate to arrest and prosecute anyone in possession of any food items in their stores.

Adeniyi said that customs officers had intercepted over 20,000 bags of 50kg parboiled rice, beans, maize, millet, suya beans.

Vanguard has it that the CG added that over 50 trucks containing the food times were currently detained by the area commands of the Customs.

He said that other items seized include 2,500 cartons of 963 bags of assorted dried fish, dry pepper, seasoning , salt, cooking oil, macaroni, sugar and garri.

He said that NCS was working jointly with other sister agencies in carrying out the mandate to protect the borders from inflow of smuggled goods and outflow of restricted goods

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