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 NIN required as customs begin distribution of seized food items  

 The Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) has initiated the distribution of seized food items across the country. 

 The Comptroller-General of Customs, Wale Adeniyi, disclosed that the Federal Government mandated the distribution of these seized food items in a bid to alleviate the current hardships faced by Nigerians, 

 Speaking at the flag-off event in Lagos on Thursday, Adeniyi emphasized that Customs is collaborating with other agencies to ensure the direct distribution of these items to those in need.  

He noted that beneficiaries would be required to provide a verifiable National Identification Number (NIN) to access the assistance. 

What he said  

  •  “Our target include artisans, teachers, religious organisations and other Nigerians within the area of customs operations including the border areas. 
  • “The intention of this distribution is to reach out directly to members of organisations that have structures, to ensure the maximum impact of the exercise. 
  • “The effort of the distribution is to ensure robust security protocol throughout the process as officers will closely monitor the entre supply chain to prevent any misuse or possible diversion of food items.” 

He said that the gesture was part of federal government’s efforts at ensuring reduction of food prices in the country. 

  • “We collaborate with other sister agencies of government, while customs is the lead agency because the food items are with us. 
  • “Among us here are the police, DSS, and tomorrow we are going to have full department of all the sister organisations for proper monitoring,” he said. 

 

He assured the public that the rice being distributed had been certified safe for consumption by the National Agency For Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC). The rice has been repackaged into 25 kg bags to reach a broader segment of the population.  

What you should know 

Ten distribution points have been established, requiring interested Nigerians to present their NIN to prevent multiple benefits. Adeniyi announced the Customs’ collaboration with the police to prevent the resale of the food items. He urged citizens to report any instances of misuse or unauthorized resale, emphasizing the readiness to arrest and prosecute those found with stored food items.  

Adeniyi provided an overview of the seized items, which include over 20,000 bags of 50kg parboiled rice, beans, maize, millet, suya beans, and 2,500 cartons containing 963 bags of assorted dried fish, dry pepper, seasoning, salt, cooking oil, macaroni, sugar, and garri. Over 50 trucks transporting these items are currently detained by Customs area commands. 

Backstory 

NewsTimes reported that the federal government is addressing food hoarding and illegal smuggling, identified as causes of soaring food prices and uneven availability across Nigeria.  

The Nigeria Bureau of Statistics reports a record food inflation of 35.41%. To counter this, the president released 42,000 metric tonnes of grains to curb rising food costs and pledged to avoid food imports.  

Simultaneously, the Nigeria Customs Service initiated a nationwide operation to combat the illicit export of essential food items. These coordinated efforts reflect a comprehensive strategy to stabilize food prices, enhance availability, and bolster the nation’s food security. 


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