Customs okays N3.2b relief items to alleviate COVID -19 pains


In compliance with the Presidential directive, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS ) Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd) has approved the release of relief items worth N3.2 billion to boost the Federal Government’s continuous efforts to alleviate sufferings associated with the ongoing lockdown in the country.

NCS Public Relations Officer,  Joseph Attah made this known in a statement yesterday.

According to him, the items include: Rice 46,000 metric tons  (158 trailers); Vegetable oil (25l) 36,495keg;   30 trucks); Palm oil 3,428 kegs (one truck); Tomatoes paste 136,705 cartons;  (54 trucks); Spaghetti/Noodles 2,951ctns and 1,253pkts    trucks); Wrappers (Ankara) 828 bales;   (one truck); and Lace fabric 2,300 Rolls  (one truck).

The items, he said, have estimated market value of these items is, N3,251,806,000 with Duty Paid Value of (N2,034,954,765).

NCS said only edible items certified fit for human consumption by NAFDAC would be released to the public.

Earlier, Attah noted that the  outbreak of the deadly Corona Virus (Covid-19) necessitated various actions by the government to prevent the spread of the virus.

He said: “Reacting to pains associated with the effects of the lockdown in some parts of the country, some Nigerians have taken to the social media to call on Nigeria Customs Service to share seized rice and other edible items to members of the public.

“While some of these calls appear well intended, others had attempted to create the impression that Customs Officers have the liberty to use seized items as they deem fit. Some even mischievously impugned that the items may have already been shared to cronies. Nothing can be further from the truth.

“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.”

The PRO noted that 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. NCS, he said, remains committed to strictly adhering to all extant laws governing seized and overtime cargoes.

According to hm, despite the prevailing risks, the Service will continue to discharge its functions of securing the land borders and collection of revenue that is needed during and post Covid- 19 pandemic period.

While urging the officers and men to remain focused on Service delivery, the CGC reminds the operatives and all Nigerians on the need to obey all directives of Government and medical experts to stop the spread of the deadly virus.

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