Customs Begins Sale Of 25kg Bag Of Rice To Needy Nigerians At N10,000

…As comptroller General says possession of NIN only criteria to benefit

In its avowed commitment to food security in the country and in a bid to mitigate the hardship faced by Nigerians, the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, today flagged off the sale of 25kg bag of rice to Nigerians at a discounted price of ten thousand naira (N10,000.00) only.

Speaking at a press conference to flag off the event in Lagos, the Comptroller General of Customs, Mr. Bashir Adewale Adeniyi recalled that in recent months, the government had been addressing the challenges faced within the economy, particularly the lagged effects of insecurity and the current exchange rate issues. Adeniyi observed that these challenges had exacerbated concerns about food security, leading to a concerning trend where food items were moving out massively to neighbouring countries.

He listed some of the items moving out massively to the neighbouring countries to include: a. Over 20,000 bags of assorted grains (rice, beans, Maize, Guinea corn, millet, Soya beans: b. 2,500 cartons and 963 bags of dried fish; as well as Dried pepper, tomatoes, cooking oil, Maggi, Macaroni, salt, sugar, garri.

The CGC argued that this trend was not sustainable as it puts pressure on the productive capacity and threatens Nigeria’s food security, he said, “To address this, the NCS has remained responsive in carrying out its mandate to protect our borders from the inflow and outflow of restricted goods. One concerning trend noticed is the outflow of food items in huge quantities, posing a threat to our food security. It should be noted that the condition for the export of any item is only met upon fulfilling sufficiency internally. In this regard, food items deemed not to fulfil these conditions are showing up in our interceptions made at the borders.

“As part of our ongoing commitment to safeguarding the food security of Nigerians, the NCS has secured approval from the government to dispose of these seized food items to needy Nigerians at discounted prices. The criteria for Nigerians to benefit from this initiative include having a verifiable National Identification Number, NIN. The target groups include artisans, teachers, nurses, religious bodies, and other Nigerians within our operational areas. The intention is to reach out directly to members through these organized structures to ensure the maximum impact of this exercise.

“To ensure the security and integrity of this initiative, the NCS has put in place comprehensive measures. These measures encompass robust security protocols throughout the the process. Our officers will be closely monitoring the entire supply chain to prevent any misuse or diversion of the food items. Moreover, we have established strict guidelines and eligibility criteria to ensure that the items are distributed only to those in genuine need. Additionally, we will be working closely with relevant agencies to ensure compliance with the terms of this program”, Adeniyi said.

The customs Boss emphasized that the beneficiaries of this exercise must understand that the items were not to be resold, saying, “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 unauthorized resale of the seized food items. NCS is fully committed to transparency and accountability in this process, and we will not hesitate to take decisive action against any individuals or entities found to be in violation of the terms of this program”, he added.

He maintained that that NCS under the leadership of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, would continue to advance the nation’s goals and objectives insisting that aligned with the administration’s policies and aspirations for a prosperous Nigeria, NCS was dedicated to executing its duties with excellence and efficiency.

“Recognizing the significance of its responsibility to protect the society and facilitate trade, the NCS remains steadfast in its commitment to safeguarding national interests and ensuring the well-being of all Nigerians. Furthermore, the NCS is committed to fostering a culture of transparency, accountability, and public service.

“By upholding the highest standards of integrity and ethical conduct, the NCS will continue to earn the trust and confidence of the Nigerian people. As a responsive and forward-thinking organization, the NCS will remain at the forefront of efforts to drive sustainable development, enhance competitiveness, and promote inclusive growth. In doing so, the NCS will contribute to the nation’s progress and prosperity, ensuring that the benefits of economic growth are shared equitably among all Nigerians”, he concluded.

Photo: Mr. Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, Comptroller General of Customs addressing the media during the flag off ceremony in Lagos on Thursday.


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