Food security: Customs backs up Federal Government plans; sells rice at N10,000 per bag

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As part of the initiative to alleviate the suffering of the people the Comptroller-General of Customs (CGC), Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, has expressed commitment to align with President Bola Tinubu-led administration’s plans to tackle the pressing issue of food insecurity by ensuring the availability of essential food items to Nigerians.

Speaking at the flag-off of the rice disbursement program in Lagos on Thursday, February 22, 2024, CGC Adeniyi emphasized on the distribution of rice at the target areas of customs operations, ensuring direct access to beneficiaries most especially the poor masses.

He also said that the seized rice has been re-bagged and certified for consumption.

Meanwhile, 25kg of rice would be sold for as low as N10, 000 as against the prevailing market price of N40, 000.

The Comptroller-General of Customs Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, stressed the importance of transparency and accountability in the distribution process, urging Nigerians participating in the exercise to refrain from selling the rice in markets or hoarding it for purposes other than domestic consumption.

Speaking further, the Comptroller-General of Customs said the NCS secured approval from the government to dispose of the seized food items to needy Nigerians at discounted prices after satisfying the verification process of presenting the National Identification Number (NIN).

He emphasized, saying “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.”

He however, stressed that the initiative’s primary objective is to provide essential food items to those in need, in line with the Nigeria Customs Service’s commitment to enhancing its social welfare responsibility programs.

“It is imperative that beneficiaries of this exercise understand that the items are not to be resold. 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.” the Comptroller-General of Customs said.

It would be recalled that the Chief of Staff to the president, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, met behind closed doors with the National Security Adviser NSA, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, and some ministers at the Presidential Villa, Abuja recently over food security and protests in some states.

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