By Ajibola Abayomi,
January 4, 2018.
Nigeria Customs Service has donated a total of 421 trailer loads of rice totaling 252,666 units of 50kg bags valued at N3, 789,990,000 in the last 22 months to Internally Displaced Persons .
This was announced by the service in Lagos at a media briefing by Spokesman of the service, Joseph Attah, on its activities in the year 2017.
Attah, a Deputy Comptroller of Customs, told newsmen that the donations which are in line with a presidential directive on the disposal of perishable seizures after due diligence of court condemnation, were carried out in four states of Borno, Yobe, Adamawa and Edo.
The donation was carried out by the National Logistics Committee consisting members from Nigeria Customs Service, Nigerian Army, Nigerian Airforce, Nigeria Police Force, FRSC,NSCDC, NAFDAC, NTA, NAN, NUJ and Redcross.
In addition to the rice donation, he said the customs also donated 82,140 jerrycans of 25 litre vegetable oil valued at N985,680,000; soap worth N52,625,700 in 19,491 cartons and other items including clothing, insecticides ,foot wears, bags and 1 x40ft container loaded with frozen tilapia fish.
Attah said sustained customs anti smuggling efforts have kept customs warehouses filled with seizures despite the various donations made by the service to IDPs.
”Despite tonnes of rice and other relief items already transferred to the IDPs, Some NCS warehouses are still filled with rice. This only shows that the sustained onslaught against unrepentant rice smugglers continues to yield positive results.
”The ones in the warehouses now are either awaiting court condemnation or forfeiture to the Federal Government or have been already allocated to governments of the affected states who pay the Army Corp of Transport and Logistics for their transportation to the IDPs
”Eventually , the seized rice and other perishable items presently in the warehouses will be given to fellow Nigerians affected by the unfortunate insurgency in the North -East” Attah said.
On the disposal of other seized items, the customs spokesman said the service relying on its extant laws, of Section 167(2) of Customs and Excise Management Act Cap C45 LFN 2004 to commence an electronic auction regime aimed at eliminating human contacts and entrenching transparency.
The portal according to Attah is opened to all interested persons to bid between 12noon Monday to 12noon Wednesday of every week. A total of 5,454 persons registered while 4,865 bided and 646 bidders emerged winners.
”So far,646 number of vehicles have been won with N272,115,366 generated as revenue for the Federal Government” he said.
He said delays in disposing some seized goods in most government warehouses is associated with court processes after documentations and filing the court process for condemnation and forfeiture in line with the law.
Comptroller General of Customs, Col Hameed Ibrahim Ali had overhauled the anti- Ant-Smuggling units/operations resulting in a total of 4, 492 with a duty paid value of N12, 777.321.405. With 207 suspects arrested.