The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Niger/ Kogi/ Kwara Command, on Thursday, said it intercepted a truck belonging to the Dangote Group loaded with 700 bags of smuggled rice.
The command in a statement made available to PREMIUM TIMES said its patrol team around Minna-Lambata-Suleja axis seized the truck, with registration number, XA 297 NAK, transporting the bags of rice worth N11,900,000.
Benjamin Lomba, the command’s Public Relations Officer, said in the statement that they had, a few months ago, made a similar seizure of a Dangote truck with Reg. No. DAL 769 XA DSR-1B-019 conveying 520 bags of 50kg Rice worth N8,840,000 concealed with 50 bags of sugar worth N697,000, intercepted along Mokwa axis of the command.
Mr Lomba, while insisting that the command would continue to wage war against smuggling of prohibited items, appealed to Nigerians on behalf of the Customs Area Controller (CAC), Yusuf Abba-Kassim, to always embrace legitimate means of livelihood and to avoid smuggling in all its ramifications.
“Despite the campaign against rice smuggling into the country, the Anti-smuggling Command Patrol Team around Minna-Lambata-Suleja axis of the Command, yet seized another Dangote truck with registration number XA 297 -NAK transporting 700 bags of rice worth N11,900,000.
“It is worrisome that some Nigerians remain unrepentant even as they continue to lose their goods, not even the Federal Government’s visible efforts in transforming the Agricultural sector; especially in the area of rice production has touched their conscience to avoid smuggling of rice
“The Customs Area Controller revealed that his officers and men are totally committed and with the renewed strategy and proactive measures put in place in discovering new tactics of smugglers is yielding positive results.
“In his word, the Command is set to key into Federal Government policies and the Next Level Agenda to encourage Home-Grown Rice, which will go a long way in creating employment opportunity to our teeming youth.”
The CAC appealed to the general public to always embrace legitimate means of livelihood and to avoid smuggling in all its ramifications.
“The eagle eye is all around Niger/Kogi Command to uncover and suppress the smuggling to the barest minimum in the interest of the economic prosperity and national development.”