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Hardship: Customs to distribute seized food items

Smuggled rice seized by Customs

Published By: Ayorinde Oluokun

The Nigeria Customs Service has unveiled plans to disburse impounded food items in its stores nationwide to Nigerians in response to the critical challenges of food security and the soaring cost of essential food items in the country.

The spokesperson for the NCS, Abdullahi Maiwada, who revealed this in a statement on Tuesday however said the food items must be certified fit for consumption before they will be distributed.

The move by Customs is coming against recent protests in some parts of the country over hunger as a result of rising prices of foodstuffs.

According to Maiwada, Customs will facilitate direct disposal of food items forfeited to the Federal Government to alleviate the hardships faced by Nigerians and improve access to essential food items.

“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 added that the the modalities for the disposal would be communicated through NCS formations nationwide to ensure transparency, fairness, and public safety.”

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

He also added that the Customs has launched a strategic anti-smuggling operation as part of 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.

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

“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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