Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has intercepted a truck-load of grains in Kebbi State.
The grains were being smuggled out of the country before the Command intercepted along Kamba Road, Kebbi, a statement signed by the Public Relations Officer of the Command, SC Nasiru Manga said on Wednesday.
The statement explained that this was part of the measures to ensure food security in the country in compliance with the Federal Government directive.
He said following the directive, the Kebbi Area Command has toughened vigilance at its borders to checkmate any attempt to smuggle out food produce.
“The outbound Daf truck with Reg. No. JEG 27 XB was intercepted by Rapid Response Team of the Command along Maidahini-Bunza Road on 15th May, 2022.
“Physical examination of the truck revealed that it contained 800bags of white sorghum valued at six million, two hundred and twenty seven thousand and two hundred naira (6,227,200) naira.
“Briefing news men on the Command activities in the last two weeks in Birnin Kebbi, today, Wednesday, the Customs Area Controller, Comptroller Joseph Attah revealed that earlier, the previous week, vigilant officers of the Command intercepted the same white sorghum being conveyed in a trailer along Kamba Road.”
“He said when the driver failed to produce export documents; the truck was detained in the Command’s Headquarters and was later released on compassionate ground with the owner promising to return the product to their warehouse in Kaduna for domestic consumption”
“But upon the release of the truck, they went and transferred the content into the intercepted truck thinking that was enough disguise to smuggle it out, unknown to them that an officer had been detailed to monitor their movement.”
Meanwhile, Comptroller Attah noted that the ongoing crisis between countries known for grain production has created an uncertainty in the global grains market. “As countries look elsewhere for these essential products, it is imperative to secure our locally produced grains so as to avoid being plunged into food crisis.
“In addition to putting our officers and men on high alert, we have undertaken stakeholders’ engagements across all the Command’s borders, enlightening border communities on the implication of exporting farm produce, especially grains.”
Reeling out the Command’s achievements in the span of two weeks from 1st to 15th May, 2022, he said the Command has seized assorted items worth over twenty seven million naira.
“In the last two weeks under review, we have seized two hundred and nine (209) jerricans (5,225 Liters) of PMS, eighteen jerricans (450 litres) of AGO, one Daf Truck used as means of conveyance, thirty nine (39) bags of foreign parboiled rice, five cartons of medicaments and ten (10) bales of second hand clothing, among others. The Duty Paid Value of all the items in the period under review is twenty seven million, six hundred and seventy seven thousand and six hundred and fifty nine naira (27,677,659). The amount generated as fees from the auction sales of the PMS and AGO has been remitted to the Federal Government.”
On the recent reopening of Kamba Border and reactivation of the Command’s ICT Center, Comptroller Attah assured stakeholders that the Command is ready to facilitate legitimate trade for all stakeholders who choose to transact their lawful businesses through the Command, stressing that all relevant units at the border have agreed to jointly examine consignments so as to remove unnecessary delays.
“What we only ask for is compliance vis-a-vis proper documentation, truthful declaration and appropriate payment of duty”, he said.