Customs begin distribution of seized food items

The Comptroller General of Customs, Adewale Adeniyi, has said that the distribution of seized food items would commence on Friday.

Adeniyi, while speaking with journalists on Thursday in Lagos, warned that the distributed seized food items was not to be resold.

Adeniyi also warned that customs officers were banned from partaking in the exercise, adding that the rice would come in 25kg, which would be sold for N10,000.

Recall that the NCS said it had concluded plans to commence the direct distribution of seized food items to Nigerians.

 

The National Public Relations Officer of the service, Abdullahi Maiwada, disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday.

Giving an update on the criteria, Adeniyi said, eligible persons must provide a Nigerian Identification Number.

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

He warned against profiteering or exploitation of the initiative.

“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 unauthorised resale of the seized food items,” he said.

He maintained that the NCS was fully committed to transparency and accountability in this process.

“We will not hesitate to take decisive action against any individuals or entities found to be in violation of the terms of this program,” the customs asserted.

Adeniyi said that the exercise would not last forever, adding that it would be a way for the service to dispose of seized food items for now.

“We are here to shed light on the commitment of the NCS to protecting our society by ensuring the availability of essential food items. In recent months, the government has been addressing the challenges faced within our economy.

“Items are moving out massively to neighbouring countries. Some of the items included, over 20,000 bags of assorted grains, 2,500 cartons, and 963 bags of dried fish.

“Others are dried pepper, tomatoes, cooking oil, macaroni, salt, sugar, garri. This trend is not sustainable as it puts pressure on our productive capacity and threatens our food security,” Adeniyi noted.

<<Punch>>