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Harsh economy: NIN required as Customs begins distribution of seized food items to poor Nigerians

He said Customs is collaborating with other agencies to ensure the direct distribution of these items to those in need, adding that the gesture was part of the federal government’s efforts to reduce food prices in the country.

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In a bid to alleviate the current hardship in the country, the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) said it has begun the distribution of seized food items to poor and vulnerable Nigerians.

Speaking at the flag-off of the exercise in Lagos, the Comptroller-General of Customs, Mr. Wale Adeniyi, disclosed that Nigerians would require a verifiable National Identification Number (NIN) to benefit from the gesture.

He said Customs is collaborating with other agencies to ensure the direct distribution of these items to those in need, adding that the gesture was part of the federal government’s efforts to reduce food prices in the country.

He said: “Our target includes artisans, teachers, religious organizations and other Nigerians within the area of customs operations, including the border areas.

“The intention of this distribution is to reach out directly to members of organisations that have structures, to ensure the maximum impact of the exercise.

“The effort of the distribution is to ensure robust security protocol throughout the process, as officers will closely monitor the entire supply chain to prevent any misuse or possible diversion of food items.

“We collaborate with other sister agencies of government, while customs is the lead agency because the food items are with us.

“Among us here are the police, DSS, and we are going to have a full department of all the sister organisations for proper monitoring.”

Adeniyi assured the public that the rice being distributed had been certified safe for consumption by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).

He added that the rice has been repackaged into 25-kg bags to reach a broader segment of the population.

The customs boss also disclosed that 10 distribution points have been established, requiring interested Nigerians to present their NIN to prevent multiple benefits.

He urged citizens to report any instances of misuse or unauthorized resale, emphasizing their readiness to arrest and prosecute those found with stored food items.

Adeniyi provided an overview of the seized items, which include over 20,000 bags of 50kg parboiled rice, beans, maize, millet, and soy beans, and 2,500 cartons containing 963 bags of assorted dried fish, dry pepper, seasoning, salt, cooking oil, macaroni, sugar, and garri.

The Customs boss disclosed that over 50 trucks transporting these items are currently at the Customs area commands.

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