“As a result of the pains associated with the effect of the lockdown, 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 item may have already been shared to cronies, nothing can be further from the truth”,
This was the submission of Custom’s Comptroller General, Hameed Ali, arriving at a decision as part of measure to reacting to the pains of Nigerians associated with the lockdown as a result of the Coronavirus and the continuous action of government at all levels to prevent the spread of the virus in Nigeria.
In a statement made available to Urban Express News-online through the Customs Public Relation officer Dc Joseph Attah said; in line with the provision of section 167 (2) of CEMA CAP45 LFN 2004, seized item 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.
Continuing, Attah said in compliance with a presidential directive, the comptroller general of customs, col. Hammed Ali has already approved the release of items to boost the federal government continuous effort to alleviate sufferings associated with the painful but necessary ongoing lockdown in some part of the country.
The item includes forty thousand metric tons (45,000,000) Thirty-six thousand, four hundred and ninety-five kegs of palms oil, (36, 49500), one hundred and thirty-six thousand, seven hundred and five cartons of tomatoes paste (136,705), two thousand, nine-hundred fifty-one cartoon of spaghetti, eight hundred and twenty-eight Ankara bales and two thousand three hundred rolls of lace fabric.
The spokesman estimated all items in value to be three billion, two hundred and fifty-one million, eight hundred and six thousand Naira (N3, 251, 806,000.00) with duty paid value of (N2,034,964,76500).
Attah said only edible item certified fit for human consumption by National Food Drug Administration And Control (NAFDAC) will be released to the public.
“As a responsible agency of government, the Nigeria customs service appreciate the opportunity of contributing its quota to the federal government’s continuous efforts to provide relief for Nigerians in this difficult time, the customs remains committed to strictly adhering to all extents laws governing seized and overtime cargoes’’
Attah said despites the prevailing risk, the service will continue to discharge its function of securing the land border and collection of revenue that is needed during the post-COVID-19 pandemic period.
“While urging the officers and men to remain focused on service delivery, the comptroller general custom 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”