The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) will today begin the sales of rice and other food items to the public in Lagos and other parts of the country.

Nigeria Customs Service

The pilot sales held at Zone ‘A’ Headquarters of the Service on Harvey Road, Yaba. The Comptroller-General, Adewale Adeniyi, said a 25kg bag would be sold for N10,000 to vulnerable Nigerians.

According to Adeniyi, the initiative is part of President Tinubu’s commitment to boost food security.

He said: “The trend of essential food items being smuggled out of the country is alarming and poses a severe threat to our food security. We have secured approval from the government to dispose seized food items, primarily rice, at a subsidised rate of N10,000 per bag to eligible Nigerians.

“Some of the items to be sold include 20,000 bags of assorted grains (Rice, beans, Maize, Guinea corn, millet, Soya beans; 2,500 cartons and 963 bags of dried fish; dried pepper, tomatoes, cooking oil, Maggi, Macaroni, salt, sugar and garri.”

Criteria to benefit from the initiative include having a verifiable National Identification Number (NIN), while target groups include artisans, teachers, nurses, religious bodies, and other Nigerians within our operational areas, Adeniyi said.

He added: “The intention is to reach out directly to the public through these organised structures to ensure the maximum impact of this exercise. To ensure the security and integrity of this initiative, NCS has put in place comprehensive measures. These measures encompass robust security protocols throughout the process. Our officers will be closely monitoring the entire supply chain to prevent any misuse or diversion of the food items.

“Moreover, we have established strict guidelines and eligibility criteria to ensure that the items are distributed only to those in genuine need. Additionally, we will be working with relevant agencies to ensure compliance with the terms of this program.”

The CGC also warned that the items are not to be resold, saying the service has taken a strong stance against any form of profiteering or exploitation of the initiative.

“We urge Nigerians to report any incidents of misuse or unauthorised resale of the seized food items. NCS is fully committed to transparency and accountability in this process, and we will not hesitate to take decisive action against any individuals or entities found to be in violation of the terms of this program,” he added.


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