Custom To Distribute Food Items Nationwide

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Nigerian Customs Service have revealed plans to distribute food items seized from smugglers across the country. This is in response to the heightened food scarcity that has bedeviled the country lately.

This was disclosed by the National Public Relations Officer of the service, Abdullahi Maiwada in a statement issued on Tuesday.

The Custom PR boss said the move has become pertinent as one of the measures employed to ameliorate the critical food security and high cost of living that has become prevalent in the country.

Maiwada added in assurance; that all the consumables will be subjected to test to certify they’d be harmless before they could be distributed to Nigerians.

His statement read in part, “To alleviate the hardships faced by Nigerians and improve access to essential food items, the Nigeria Customs Service will facilitate the direct disposal of food items forfeited to the Federal Government

“These items would be certified fit for consumption by relevant agencies and made available to ordinary Nigerians nationwide through equitable distribution in our areas of operations.”

He further explained that the modalities and strategies for the disposal would be communicated through NCS formations nationwide, “with a firm commitment to transparency, fairness, and public safety.”

“We pledge that this exercise would be managed diligently to ensure that the benefits reach those most in need,” he said.

The NCS spokesperson added that the service has launched a strategic anti-smuggling operation, “and public engagement in its commitment to prevent the unlawful exportation of vital food resources for individual economic gains.

“This urgent imperative fuels the need for a proactive stance to safeguard food availability within our nation and alleviate the detrimental effects of scarcity on citizens”, he said.

Recall that the Custom service had on Friday 16th February 2024 intercepted a trucks fully loaded with assorted food items at Kajji community on the Sokoto-Kebbi road heading to the Niger Republic through the Kebbi border.

The Coordinating Comptroller, Mr. Kolapo Oladeji, who disclosed this at a media briefing in Sokoto, said the seizure was carried out by joint border patrol team, sector IV.

Oladeji stated that despite the scarcity of food items leading to high costs of living, Nigerians were still smuggling food to other countries.

 He however vowed that no stone will be left unturned in their quest to block food smuggling out of the country because of the current situation in the country.

Earlier, the Comptroller General of Customs, Adewale Adeniyi, reaffirmed the service’s commitment to advance President Bola Tinubu’s food security agenda.

He said that the commitment was deeply rooted in the NCS’s core mandate of serving the best interests of the Nigerians, “thereby fostering economic stability and prosperity.”

“The NCS remains resolute in its dedication to safeguarding the nation’s food security and advancing the economic well-being of all Nigerians. With the unwavering support and cooperation of the public, we will surmount these challenges and pave the way for a more prosperous future for our beloved nation,” Adeniyi concluded.

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