Customs clear the air on FG’s directive to distribute rice *To release only items certified fit for human consumption by NAFDAC- Says DC Attah

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Customs clear the air on FG’s directive to distribute rice

*To release only items certified fit for human consumption by NAFDAC- Says DC Attah

By Udeme Clement:

DC Attah:

The Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, has cleared the air on the directive given by Federal Government to distribute seized rice to Nigerians, to enable people feed during this period of lockdown.

The National Public Relations Officer of the Service, DC Joseph Attah, officially issued a press statement on the new development.

Below are details released by DC Attah.
“The outbreak of deadly Corona Virus (Covid-19) necessitated various and continuous actions by Government at different levels to prevent spread of the virus in Nigeria.

“Reacting to pains associated with the effects of lockdown in some parts of the Country, some Nigerians have taken to 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”.

He pointed out, “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 Comptroller-General of Customs, CGC Hameed Ali, has already approved release of the following relief items to boost the Federal Government continuous efforts to alleviate sufferings associated with this painful but necessary on-going lockdown in some parts of the Country.
“The items include:
Rice 46,000 metric tons                (158 trailers) of rice;
Vegetable oil (25l) 36,495kegs                              (30 trucks);
Palm oil 3,428 kegs                                (1 truck)
Tomatoes paste 136,705 cartons                      (54 trucks)
Spaghetti/Noodles 2,951ctns & 1,253pkts              (2trucks)
Wrappers (Ankara) 828 bales                                 (1truck)
Lace fabric  2,300 Rolls                               (1 truck)

Estimated market value of these items is, Three Billion, two Hundred and Fifty One Million, Eight Hundred and Six Thousand Naira.(N3,251,806,000.00) with Duty Paid Value of (N2,034,954,765.00).

“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 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 after post Covid- 19 pandemic period”.

He emphasised, “While urging the officers and men to remain focused on Service delivery, the CGC reminds operatives and all Nigerians on the need to obey all directives of Government and medical experts to stop spread of the deadly virus”.



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