The Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Hameed Ali, has approved the release of seized goods ranging from 46,000 metric tons of rice, 36,495 kegs of vegetable oil and other items valued at N3.2 billion for distribution.
The Customs’ Public Relations Officer, Joseph Attah in a series of tweets on Nigeria Customs Twitter handle noted that service does not have the liberty to use seized goods as they deem fit.
He said these items were approved for distribution based on a presidential directive to boost the Federal Government’s effort to alleviate sufferings associated with the lockdown in some parts of the country.
“It is, therefore, necessary to explain that in line with the provision of section 167 (2) of CEMA CAP C45 LFN 2004, seized items 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.
“Accordingly, in compliance with the Presidential directive, the Comptroller General of Customs, Col, Hameed Ali (Rtd) has already approved the release of the following relief items,” Attah said.
He disclosed that the items approved for distribution include 46,000 metric tons (158 trailers) of rice, 36,495 kegs of vegetable oil (30 trucks) and 3,428 kegs of palm oil (1 truck).
Others are 136,705 cartons of tomato paste (54 trucks); 2,951 cartons of spaghetti; 1, 253 packets of noodles; 828 bales of wrappers and 2,300 rolls of lace fabric.
The NCS spokesman, however, noted that only edible items certified fit for human consumption by NAFDAC will be released to the public.
“As a responsible agency of Government, NCS appreciates the opportunity of contributing its quota to Federal Government’s continuous efforts to provide relief for Nigerians in this difficult time,” Attah concluded.
President Muhammadu Buhari had in a nationwide broadcast announced lockdown of activities in Lagos and Ogun states including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja to curb the spread of coronavirus.