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Nigerian Customs Service Launches Nationwide Distribution of Seized Food Items

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Custom e-auction, Nigerian Customs Service

CEM REPORT, AGROFOOD | The Nigerian Customs Service launches the distribution of seized food items across Nigeria to alleviate hardships. Wale Adeniyi emphasizes collaboration and security measures while detailing the process and types of items seized. In a bid to alleviate the current hardships faced by Nigerians, the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) has embarked on the distribution of seized food items across the country. Wale Adeniyi, the Comptroller-General of Customs, revealed this initiative mandated by the Federal Government during a flag-off event held in Lagos on Thursday.

To ensure the food reaches those who need it most, the NCS is implementing a targeted approach. Beneficiaries will be required to present a verifiable National Identification Number (NIN) as proof of identity and eligibility. This measure helps prevent multiple benefits and ensures fair distribution.

“Our target includes artisans, teachers, religious organizations, and other Nigerians within the area of customs operations, including the border areas,” Adeniyi stated, underlining the intention to reach out directly to organizations with established structures for maximum impact.”

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Providing an overview of the seized items, Adeniyi disclosed that they include over 20,000 bags of 50kg parboiled rice, beans, maize, millet, soya beans, and 2,500 cartons containing assorted dried fish, dry pepper, seasoning, salt, cooking oil, macaroni, sugar, and garri. Currently, over 50 trucks transporting these items are detained by Customs area commands.

Addressing concerns about the safety of the distributed rice, Adeniyi assured the public that the rice had been certified safe for consumption by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC). It has been repackaged into 25 kg bags to cater to a broader segment of the population.

The distribution, Adeniyi explained, involves collaboration with sister agencies of the government, with Customs leading the operation due to the custody of the seized food items. Measures are in place, including the involvement of the police, Department of State Services (DSS), and other relevant agencies for proper monitoring.

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Ten distribution points have been established across the country, requiring interested Nigerians to present their NIN to prevent multiple benefits. Adeniyi also announced collaboration with the police to curb the resale of the food items, urging citizens to report any instances of misuse or unauthorized resale.

Emphasizing robust security protocols, Adeniyi assured the public of close monitoring throughout the supply chain to prevent misuse or diversion of the distributed food items. He reiterated that the gesture aligns with the federal government’s efforts to reduce food prices in the country.

The distribution of seized food items by the Nigerian Customs Service underscores a proactive approach to addressing food insecurity and economic challenges, with a focus on transparency, collaboration, and accountability in the process.

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