Customs Launches Initiative to Sell Seized Food Items to Needy Nigerians at Discounted Prices Amidst Growing Concerns over Food Security”

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In a critical press conference held in Lagos on February 22, 2024, the Comptroller-General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, MFR, addressed the pressing issue of food security in Nigeria. Adeniyi began by acknowledging the presence of esteemed members of the press, officers of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), stakeholders, and fellow Nigerians, expressing gratitude for their attendance.

Highlighting the economic challenges faced by the nation, including insecurity and exchange rate issues, Adeniyi emphasized the detrimental impact on food security. He revealed alarming statistics of food items being smuggled out of the country, including over 20,000 bags of assorted grains, 2500 cartons, and 963 bags of dried fish, along with other essentials like dried pepper, tomatoes, cooking oil, and more.

To combat this threat to food security, the NCS has intensified efforts to protect borders and intercept restricted goods. Recognizing the urgency of the situation, the government has approved the disposal of seized food items to needy Nigerians at discounted prices. Eligible beneficiaries, including artisans, teachers, nurses, religious bodies, and others within operational areas, must possess a verifiable National Identification Number (NIN) to benefit from this initiative.

In ensuring the integrity of the program, the NCS has implemented comprehensive security measures, monitoring the entire supply chain to prevent misuse or diversion of the food items. Strict guidelines and eligibility criteria have been established to ensure distribution to those in genuine need, with collaboration with relevant agencies to enforce compliance.

Adeniyi issued a stern warning against the resale of these items, emphasizing the NCS’s commitment to transparency and accountability. Any incidents of misuse or unauthorized resale are to be reported, with decisive action promised against violators.

In conclusion, Adeniyi reiterated the NCS’s dedication to advancing the nation’s goals under President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s leadership. By upholding integrity and ethical conduct, the NCS aims to earn the trust and confidence of the Nigerian people while contributing to sustainable development and inclusive growth.

The press conference concluded with an invitation for inquiries, emphasizing collective action in safeguarding the nation’s food security and well-being.

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