Comptroller General of Customs Bashir Adewale Adeniyi

By Bashir Adewale Adeniyi

1. Good morning, esteemed members of the press, officers of Nigeria

Customs Service (NCS), stakeholders and fellow Nigerians. Thank you for joining us today for this critical press conference on the recent activities of NCS in ensuring food security for Nigerians. We are here to shed light on the commitment of the NCS in protecting our society by ensuring the availability of essential food items.

2. In recent months, the government has been addressing the challenges faced within our economy, particularly the lagged effects of insecurity and the current exchange rate issues. These challenges have exacerbated concerns about food security, leading to a concerning trend where food items are moving out massively to neighbouring countries. Some of the items include:

a. Over 20,000 bags of assorted grains (rice, beans, maize, guinea corn, millet, soya beans.

b. 2,500 cartons and 963 bags of dried fish.

c. Others include dried pepper, tomatoes, cooking oil, maggi, macaroni, salt, sugar, garri.

3. This trend is not sustainable as it puts pressure on our productive capacity and threatens our food security.

4. To address this, the NCS has remained responsive in carrying out its mandate to protect our borders from the inflow and outflow of restricted goods.

One concerning trend noticed is the outflow of food items in huge quantities, posing a threat to our food security. It should be noted that the condition for the export of any item is only met upon fulfilling sufficiency internally. In this regard, food items deemed not to fulfill these conditions are showing up in our interceptions made at the borders.

5. As part of our ongoing commitment to safeguarding the food security of Nigerians, the NCS has secured approval from the government to dispose of these seized food items to needy Nigerians at discounted prices. The criteria for Nigerians to benefit from this initiative include having a verifiable National Identification Number (NIN). 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.

6. To ensure the security and integrity of this initiative, NCS has put in place comprehensive measures. These measures encompass robust security protocols throughout the process. Our officers will be closely monitoring the entire supply chain to prevent any misuse or diversion of the food items. Moreover, we have established strict guidelines and eligibility criteria to ensure that the items are distributed only to those in genuine need. Additionally, we will be working closely with relevant agencies to ensure compliance with the terms of this programme.

7. 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. NCS is fully committed to transparency and accountability in this process, and we will not hesitate to take decisive action against any individuals or entities found to be in violation of the terms of this program.

8. I shall conclude on the note that NCS under the leadership of President

Bola Ahmed Tinubu, will continue to advance the nation’s goals and objectives.

Aligned with the administration’s policies and aspirations for a prosperous

Nigeria, NCS is dedicated to executing its duties with excellence and efficiency.

Recognizing the significance of its responsibility to protect the society and facilitate trade, the NCS remains steadfast in its commitment to safeguarding national interests and ensuring the well-being of all Nigerians.

9. Furthermore, the NCS is committed to fostering a culture of transparency, accountability, and public service. By upholding the highest standards of integrity and ethical conduct, the NCS will continue to earn the trust and confidence of the Nigerian people. As a responsive and forward-thinking organization, the NCS will remain at the forefront of efforts to drive sustainable development, enhance competitiveness, and promote inclusive growth. In doing so, the NCS will contribute to the nation’s progress and prosperity, ensuring that the benefits of economic growth are shared equitably among all Nigerians.

10. Thank you for your attention, and we are open to addressing any inquiries you may have at this time. Let us join hands in safeguarding the food security and well-being of our nation.

*Being text of the press conference address presented by the Comptroller-General of Customs, Alhaji Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, MFR on the commencement of the sale of seized food items to Nigerians on February 22, 2024.


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