Customs Begin Nationwide Sale Of Seized Items, Auctions Bag Of Rice For N10,000

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Customs Begins Nationwide Sale of Seized Items, Auctions Bag of Rice for N10,000

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has commenced the sale of the seized food items to Nigerians nationwide, with a 25 kilogramme bag of rice going for as low as N10,000.

Speaking at a media briefing to flag off the sale of the food items yesterday in Lagos, the Comptroller-General of NCS, Bashir Adeniyi, said the initiative was part of the service’s ongoing commitment to safeguarding food security and ensuring the availability of essential food items in the country.

He stated that the NCS had secured approval from the government to dispose of the seized food items to needy Nigerians at discounted prices, with the target groups to include artisans, teachers, nurses, religious bodies, and other Nigerians.

Adeniyi noted that one of the criteria to benefit from the initiative is to have a verifiable National Identification Number (NIN).

He remarked that to ensure the security and integrity of the initiative, then NCS had put in place comprehensive measures to encompass robust security protocols throughout the process.

“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 food security, leading to a concerning trend where food items are moving out massively to neighbouring countries.

“Some of the items include: Over 20,000 bags of assorted grains (rice, beans, maize, guinea corn, millet, soya beans, 2,500 cartons and 963 bags of dried fish. Others include: Dried pepper, tomatoes, cooking oil, maggi, macaroni, salt, sugar, garri. This trend is not sustainable as it puts pressure on our productive capacity and threatens our food security.

“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,” he stated.

Adeniyi maintained that the customs officers would closely monitor the entire supply chain to prevent any misuse or diversion of the food items, adding that the service has established strict guidelines and eligibility criteria to ensure that the items are distributed only to those in genuine need.

He hinted that the service would also be working closely with relevant agencies to ensure compliance with the terms of this programme.

Adeniyi revealed that the intention is to reach out directly to members through the organised structures to ensure the maximum impact of this exercise.

The customs boss warned that the items are not to be resold as the service takes a strong stance against any form of profiteering or exploitation of the initiative.

He appealed to Nigerians to report any incidents of misuse or unauthorised resale of the seized food items, as the NCS is fully committed to transparency and accountability in the process.

He added that the NCS would not hesitate to take decisive action against any individuals or entities found to be in violation of the terms of the programme.
Continuing, he added:

“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.”

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By Abia ThinkTank

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