The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), has seized 6,669 bags of rice worth N90 million smuggled into the country through the land border.
Addressing newsmen in Lagos yesterday, Deputy Comptroller and National Coordinator, Comptroller General, Strike Force, Mr. Abdullahi Kirawa, said the rice that has been intercepted by the Strike Force team was equivalent to 11 trailers.
He warned that the rice being smuggled into the country is less nutritious compared to locally produced rice, urging Nigerians to patronise locally made products.
According to him, the seizure of goods made by the CGC Strike Force team from August 11 to September 18, 2018 in total value was N414,712,500. He added that the seizures were based on credible intelligence gathering by Customs Intelligence Unit (CIU).
Giving breakdown of the seized items, he said they include second hand clothings and 640 bales of shoes in 1×40 container worth N32,000,000; 18×20 and 3×40 containers of unprocessed/firewood worth N144,000,000; 2×20 containers of wet blue worth N123,727,500; 59 bags of 50kg sugar worth N590,000 were seized respectively.
While seven seized means of conveyance with four cars worth N6,000,000, two trucks worth N6,000,000 and 1 Mercedes Benz bus worth N1,500,000 were as well intercepted.
However, other items also seized were frozen poultry with quantity of 45 cartons valued at N225,000; vegetable oil in 26 kegs x10 litres valued at N130,000 and 14 kegs x25 litres valued at N140,000, used vehicles seized were Madza 323 car worth N750,000; Toyota Hilux N11,500,000;
Toyota Avensis car worth N1,800,000; Lexus ES 350 valued at N2,500,000; Toyota Venza worth N5,500,000 and Ford Transit Bust FTC loaded with contraband goods valued at N1,750,000 including 6,669 bags of rice (50kg) worth N90,000,000 were all seized.
He said the total value of the seized goods is N414,712,500, adding that NCS and its men are also not relenting especially in the months of ember. He said the service is working round the clock to ensure that illicit trade does not thrive in the country.
To tackle smuggling activities around the borders, he said NCS formed synergy with its other sister agencies such as Nigerian Army, Navy, among others, to track the nefarious activities of smugglers.