The Nigeria Custom Service has released seized items such as Rice, Vegetable oil and fabrics for distribution to Nigerians as directed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
President Muhammadu Buhari has on April 6, 2020 directed the Nigeria Custom Service to release 150 truckload of seized rice for distribution to Nigerians as a palliative measure towards cushioning the effect of coronavirus pandemic and the resultant lockdown on Nigerians.
In a swift move, the Nigeria Custom Service in a press statement released today by Deputy Comptroller of Customs DC, Joseph Attah the Public Relations Officer of Customs.
The outbreak of the deadly Corona Virus (Covid-19) necessitated various and continuous actions by Government at different levels to prevent/stop the spread of the virus in Nigeria.
1. Rice 46,000 metric tons (158 trailers)
2. Vegetable oil (251) 36,495kegs (30 trucks)
3. Palm oil 3,428 kegs (1 truck)
4. Tomatoes paste 136,705 cartons (54 trucks)
5. Spaghetti/Noodles 2,951ctns & 1,253pkts (2trucks)
6. Wrappers (Ankara) 828 bales (ltruck)
7. Lace fabric 2,300 Rolls (1 truck)
Reacting to pains associated with the effects of the lockdown in some parts of the Country, some Nigerians have taken to the social media to call on Nigeria Customs Service to share seized rice and other edible items to members of the public. While some of these calls appear well intended, others had attempted to create the impression that Customs Officers have the liberty to use seized items as they deem fit. Some even mischievously impugned that the items may have already been shared to cronies. Nothing can be further from the truth.
It is therefore necessary to explain that in line with the provision of section 167 (2) of CEMA CAP C45 LFN 2004, seized items upon condemnation and forfeiture to the Federal Government by a competent court of jurisdiction are kept in government warehouses pending Government directive on its disposal.
Accordingly, in compliance with the Presidential directive, the ComptrollerGeneral of Customs, Col, Hameed Ali (Rtd) has already approved the release of the following relief items to boost the Federal Government continuous efforts to alleviate sufferings associated with the painful but necessary ongoing lockdown in some parts of the Country. The items include:
Estimated market value of these items is, Three Billion, two Hundred and Fifty One Million, Eight Hundred and Six Thousand with Duty Paid Value of
It should be noted that only edible items certified fit for human consumption by NAFDAC will be released to the public.
As a responsible agency of Government, NCS appreciates the opportunity of contributing its quota to Federal Government’s continuous efforts to provide relief for Nigerians in this difficult time. NCS remains committed to strictly adhering to all extant laws governing seized and overtime cargoes. Despite the prevailing risks, the Service will continue to discharge its functions of securing the land borders and collection of revenue that is needed during and post Covid- 19 pandemic period.
While urging the officers and men to remain focused on Service delivery, the CGC reminds the operatives and all Nigerians on the need to obey all directives of Government and medical experts to stop the spread of the deadly virus.
The statement released by the Nigeria Custom will put to doubt earlier insinuations that some of the foreign rice that are to be distributed are unfit for consumption.
The President Muhammadu Buhari administration is set to roll out other palliative measures to Nigerians in fight against coronavirus pandemic in Nigeria.